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Projects 60's Era Street/Strip 30/31 Model A Coupe Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by -Brent-, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    I've owned this Model A Coupe body for over a decade. Back in 2009, after the car was chopped, the car got shelved and then, subsequently, buried.

    Funny thing is, the car and I had similar journeys. It wasn't until September 10th, 2017 that I "woke up" and made massive changes in my life. Six days later, I found out that I was at risk for losing my eyesight. From that day on, everything, and I truly mean EVERYTHING changed. I cut out most of what didn't matter and made building the coupe a priority.

    Truthfully, with where the direction of the car is, now, I'm glad it didn't get built. It would've been a pretty soul-less hot rod. The plan, back in '09, was to build a 30 Coupe on 32 rails with a Y-block. That wasn't really my dream car, though. It was just something I thought was cool and there were plenty similar examples being built in 2007-11. I was following along...

    HOWEVER, what really grabbed my attention as a kid were 60's style hot rods. I loved that they were taking ques (and parts) from the muscle car era but cars from that era could get a little funky. I loved that... still do.

    Understanding that life is too short to not get EXACTLY what I want out of life, I changed directions.

    All that said, here we go.

    I picked the car up in Adiar, Oklahoma from HAMBer @coopsdaddy. I didn't have all that much money back then. I had moved to Utah from the northeast and I was saving for a wedding ring. My girlfriend (whose now my wife) had just gotten back from a month in China. She slept all the way there, through picking the body up and having a beer after we loaded it, and nearly all the way back. Haha.

    DSCN4414.JPG DSCN4415.JPG

    Shortly after the car was in Salt Lake, it ended up at Chris Davenport's shop (Salt Flats Speed Shop). It was torn down and blasted.

    01.jpg 02.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg

    Based one what I can tell about the car, it must have been a circle track car or a low budget hot rod. It was crudely channeled and there was evidence that a sheetmetal roof insert was screwed to the roof.

    DSCN1140.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  2. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    When it came back from blasting it was a little better than I expected but it was still pretty rough. It needed complete subrails, patches, and a bunch of misc. work... but we were young and not experienced - so of course we did the chop first. HAHAHA.

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    Prepping for the chop.

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    Laid out to take 4" from the height and 3" out of the rear window. These are choices I'm glad I made back then.

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  3. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Model A 4" Chop

    I'm sure I have more pics from way back saved somewhere and if I find them, I'll include them. Here are some of the detail pics of the chop.

    Door Pie Cuts.JPG

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    MAC's Rear Lower Panel.JPG

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    This was what I was going for, back then.

    Stance 2.JPG

    One of my favorite pics from those days.

    DSCN0124.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  4. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,554

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I love '60's style builds, will be watching.
     
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  5. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Then... the car sat.

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    This is when I put it in my garage, when it was just a couple light bulbs and an outlet. Couldn't really get any work done. So it sat, stored. It had already sat a while in a storage unit... kind-of in the same configuration.

    Then, I remodeled my shop and moved the car to storage. This was about as good as it ever looked.

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    It kept getting more and more packed... it got pretty bad. I need to find a pic at its worst! I was overwhelmed.

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  6. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    When the choice was made to get some help with the car (let's be honest, the car wouldn't get done with the skills I have), I had a short list of people whom I shared the same vision with. On the top of that list was Matt Seret. I just plain old like Matt.

    A plus is that he completely got what I was looking to do with the car. He likes the era and he's one hell of a fabricator. He's also in Vallejo, California! I'm not one to shy away from a road trip (this car's frame comes out of Colorado and the fenders came out of Big Bear Lake, CA.), so I packed up the car and the family and we headed west.

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    This is the first time it had been outside in years. It had some new dings and dents from sitting, getting moved and then getting junk piled on it, repeatedly.

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    Packed and ready to go.

    After a long trip on I80 west and 200 stops to use the bathroom... we arrived in Vallejo.

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    We'll stop here, for tonight. After this, the car really takes shape... not without some life drama to challenge my commitment to building this car.
     
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  7. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 879

    UNSHINED 2
    Member

    Excited to see this build thread! Was good meeting you and getting to hang out with at Glory Days Drags. You must've finally got caught up on sleep after the red eye trip coming east.

    Gonna be a super cool buggy!
     
  8. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Thanks man! Yeah, it was cool to have some guys to sit and chat with in the stands, I appreciated that. I'm really excited for what's next.

    I just took a big stroll down memory lane while I was organizing photos, tonight. There's a lot to post.
     
  9. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,552

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great Stuff @-Brent-...Power to the past...look forward to the evolution...;)
     
  10. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Okay, let's get back into it.

    Before the car was loaded up and sent anywhere, I wanted to solidify the plan. 60's era could mean a lot of different things, early, mid and late 1960s hot rods reflect the time and style differently. I chose mid-to-late sixties. I loved the proportions, the NO BS approach, the chrome, and the fact that street/strip cars could be both stylish and "mean".
    ...
    The car I always imagined was shiny but I'm not chasing perfect. I want a thrasher.

    In fact, I probably used the word "thrasher" in conversations with Matt a hundred times. That's what I want to do with this car. I want to burn out in the street in front of our house every time I leave. This car is going to be built to play with because I don't know how long I'll be able to drive and that scares the hell out of me.

    What I see is a big part for me. I want to see a bunch of chrome inside the car. When I walk up to the car I want to see the rake from slicks in the rear and narrow front runners.

    Examples (just a few):
    009-schimetschek-1930-ford-model-a-gasser-the-rake-side.jpg 100_0736.jpg 001_57_orig.jpg 1_34_orig.jpg 03-151.jpg 1932-ford-victoria-front-three-quarter.jpg 20151114_085009_zpsfdidguht copy.jpg brothrhood1994.JPG determination.png gas a.jpg
    gasaMedium.jpg green a coupe.jpg
    I want have creative/well thought-out, stylish elements and a tough drive-train and frame set-up because I dig those things but I don't want a show car. That's not to say my goal is to design/build a car that will me me do a double take.

    The plan looks like this:
    Drivetrain -327 with a single 4bbl to a 4spd (AutoGear M23Z) to a 59 Pontiac rear (with 1964 brakes). 15x9.5 Halibrand rears, Radir slicks... fronts I'm on the fence 16x4 Fords or something else?

    Chassis - similar to The Freakin' A - which is a modified model A chassis, hairpin front (32 heavy axle, for now), ladder bar rear with a Model A spring rear, F1 steering box, etc.

    Body - 30/31 coupe, chopped 4", welded visor, reversed firewall, a sheetmetal bulkhead, a 35/36 dash with 60s gauges and a bunch of little ideas I've been carrying around for well over a decade. The fenders will be narrowed like the Maratta Missile (aka The Rake) and the rears bobbed. 1931 grill shell and aprons. Truck running boards.
     
  11. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Wheel well patch/replacement - Seret Style

    Here's the before:

    Driver's Wheel Well Before.jpg

    Matt scribed a line where the patch panel will sit.

    Driver's Wheel Well Scribed.jpg

    Notice there are issues beyond the perimeter of the panel. Those need to get fixed first.

    Driver's Wheel Well Prep Before Patch panel.jpg
    Patches inserted.

    Drivers Wheel Well Repair before Patch Panel.jpg

    Now the scribed line can be cut.

    Driver's Wheel Well Ready For Patch Panel.jpg
    Panel nearly done.

    Driver's Wheel Well Repair Complete.jpg
    IMG_7816(2).jpg IMG_7818(1).jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  12. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    The Other Side

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  13. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Passenger Side Cowl Patch

    The whole bottom of the car was replaced. I didn't buy and repop side patch panels. Matt hand made them all with 18ga.


    R Front Cowl 1.jpg

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    R Front Cowl Fin.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  14. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Driver's Side Cowl Repair - A Bit More In-Depth

    The driver's side cowl was in rougher shape than the passenger side. I looked for a decent cowl that was affordable and within a decent driving distance but I struck out or was a fifteen minutes behind a buyer (on two occasions).

    IMG_7797(1).jpg

    Matt fabbed a lower patch and waited for my patch.

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    Not having any luck, I put a request out to a Facebook group and a gentleman out of TX had one that was a great deal. Obviously, though, it needed some TLC first.


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    She was a little wrinkly but I though we could make it work. If not, I'd keep searching in hopes I didn't have to drive a state away to grab one.

    2019-01-17 13.16.20.jpg

    In a rush, I brought the piece down to a shop where I get some powder coating done. They handled my rush request and after blasting it looked like there was enough to make it work.

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    That night I marked a straight line and trimmed it.

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    It fit perfectly in my carry-on bag when I went out to visit Matt and the car and do the body wood.

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    The pitting on the top wasn't nearly as bad as the rest. The body guys can neaten that up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  15. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Rust Repair Continued:

    The rest of the patches.

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    And onto the FUN STUFF!

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  16. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Model A Subrail Installation

    On the morning of the subrail install we found out that the Internet doesn't have all the right answers. There's not a whole lot of subrail dimensional information on the web and some of it that we'd referenced was wrong.

    Screenshot_20190117-105200_Instagram.jpg

    So it took a couple hours of the two of us working at it to figure it out.

    The next day, a pal had all the pertinent information in an old restorers book of his. Turns out, the Internet doesn't have ALL the answers. Hahaha.

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    Here's a good look of the install, completed:

    Model A Subrails Installed RS.jpg

    Subrails Installed RS.jpg

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  17. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,552

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @-Brent- I would like to extend positive thoughts your way that you are going to drive this Hotrod till your a old old man...and then you Son and maybe even the Daughter can take it on...
     
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  18. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Thank you, my friend! You don't know how much that means to read that. I've made a lot of changes in my life with that exact thought in mind. Due to that, my health may have never been better.
     
  19. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Model A Reversed (Flipped) Firewall

    Up until that point, the coupe could've gone in any direction. The repairs were your standard Model A fixes.

    Now that the car had the subrails and patches pretty much done (the doors hadn't been done at this point)... now we could put some of the creative/distinctive plans to work.

    The plan was to reverse the firewall. However, I wanted a blank space where the hanging pedals mount. Matt and I bounced a couple ideas around on and he knocked it out. I tell you this, it's really important to be on the same wavelength.
    A spare firewall I had brought along. Good thing too, it was way better than the other.

    imagejpeg_0(64).jpg

    Trimmed away the perimeter and added some metal to the bottom.

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    Created a new blank with a similar vibe to the A. However, it looked off, so Matt through in a bead that jutts up.

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    Tacked in.

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    In its home.

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    Getting the feet situated.

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    View attachment 4373706

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  20. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Firewall Feet Caps

    To finish off the foot of the firewall, I thought of my 26/27 Roadster and how at the front, it had a dimpled side. It looked more finished. Though it will barely be seen, if at all, we fabbed a cover that fastens to the foot and covers it.

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    Firewall feet.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  21. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 879

    UNSHINED 2
    Member

    It's the little things that add up. Looking great!
     
    -Brent- likes this.
  22. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    The Dash: 1935/36 Ford Dashboard Swap in a Model A

    There are two cars that made me fall in love with 35/36 Ford dashes. One is John Joyo's 36 Cabriolet with the chrom dash and the other is @MR. FORD 's Model A. Mark was actually gracious enough to send me some detail pics a while ago.

    35_36 dash in model a EXAMPLE (see sides).jpg

    Chrome 36 Dash.jpg

    This pic doesn't do it justice. This old custom is such a killer car.

    When it comes to 35/36 Ford dashes in Model A's, it's not uncommon. Rather, it's pretty common. However beautiful these dashes are, it's easy to make them look a little off in a Model A. Mark's car nails it and he insists they just trimmed it and slapped it in.

    After studying dozens of Model As with these dashes, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to look at during all the miles I plan to drive.

    2018-04-13 20.15.19.jpg

    35-36 dash modification 1.jpg

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    36 dash in model a.jpg

    It's weird seeing it all blank like that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  23. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    1935/36 Ford Dash with Holes for Stewart Warner Greenlines

    I messed around with gauge layout one night when everyone was asleep and came up with layout spacing that I liked best...

    2019-04-01 23.31.30.jpg

    I'm not fancy or high tech. I just measure things out and figure it out.

    2019-04-02 00.16.03.jpg

    Gauge Layout.jpg

    Holes cut in.

    SW Gauge Holes in 36 Dash.jpg

    Every other 35/36 dash in a Model A I'd ever seen has this gap and you can see everything behind the dash. Plus, my windshield was modified so the lip the overhangs this area has been removed (more on that, later). This filler strip will be chromed along with the dash (and windshield frame).

    IMG_8239.jpg

    This was our first attempt. The second piece goes all the way to the A pillar and sweeps up, like the dash (on either side). As well, the dent in the dash was removed.

    How it all fits and lays out.

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    Daydreaming behind the wheel.

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  24. Go go GO!!!
     
    Stogy and -Brent- like this.
  25. Barn Hunter
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 957

    Barn Hunter
    Member

    Looking really good. Can't wait to see more!
     
  26. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    32 Style Header Panel Insert

    From early on, I wanted a top insert. I'm still uncertain if it will get upholstered, paint or polished.

    I chose to go with a Flop style 32-style header insert. I originally bought one from Tom but didn't use it (it's been sold, fellas). Matt ended up fabbing one from 18ga.

    For some reason, the sheet metal that covers the wood header was too tall. I swear it was the one that came with the car, too.

    IMG_7954(1).jpg

    Who knows? It got trimmed and fit to the car.

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    The windshield (and garnish moldings) were chopped around this time, too.

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    From this vantage point, you can see the holes from the sheet metal top had been fastened. We should have filled them before I put the wood in.

    With every added part the car is getting more and more rigid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  27. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    Thanks! I'm happy to be making progress.
     
    lumpy 63 likes this.
  28. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,552

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I installed a wood kit in my old coupe and it was quite a jigsaw puzzle with all the brackets and such...instructions were minimal with the kit...I suppose Henry had a team fitting those all day long and they surly reworked stuff to fit the bodies...all day long...
     
  29. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    -Brent-
    Member

    I hear you on that! I'm glad to be the one that had to put it in. Man, that header and pieces above the doors were a pain!

    Because I'm running an aluminum top insert, I am going to pull out the halo pieces (sides and back) to free up some headroom. The insert should provide the same amount of support (or more) than the wood pieces.
     
    catdad49, chryslerfan55 and Stogy like this.

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