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Projects Direction change, better or worse?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by alanp561, Nov 17, 2022.

  1. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I started a '27 T roadster build with a general idea of what I wanted to achieve. My first frame, purchased from a dead guy, seemed like a good idea until I realized that MII front and Jag rear suspension wasn't going to cut it on this forum. Not wanting to be like everyone else, I had a good running 289 Studebaker until I decided that flathead was the way to go. After all, I'd had flatheads when I was a kid, shouldn't be that tough, right? I bought a decent roadster body and a Model A frame and, in short time, I came to realize that the 6' tall 150-pound kid I was 60 years ago didn't exist anymore. I'm still 6' but the additional 90 pounds was going to make it very difficult to fit me in that roadster. An opportunity has come up for me to buy a pretty decent '29 A roadster pickup body and, I'm thinking, if I were to replace the T with the A, I might be a little happier. I'm probably overthinking this, but it just seems the simplest way for me to get a roadster. If I do it right, I'm still cool, right? ;) Edit: I forgot to mention that the doors are extended 4 inches.

    Tight squeeze 27T.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,333

    Roothawg
    Member

    T's are definitely small. I feel like I moved up in the world switching to an A roadster.
     
  3. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 18,609

    alchemy
    Member

    Is the 29 RPU that much bigger? Sure it's a little wider, but I doubt it's much longer.
     
  4. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 3,052

    williebill
    Member


  5. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 16,265

    Squablow
    Member

    This would be my question as well. The A RPU has a pretty vertical back-of-cab panel (whatever that's called) so if you want the back rest to be anything but straight up and down, you have to move the bottom of your seat a bit forward, where the T is angled a bit.

    My '26 T is a tight fit for sure, I know the struggle. I made a dropped floor pan right behind the pedals and I made the thinnest possible backrest attached directly to the back of the body tub, with a low seat to maximize every inch, also the bottom of the firewall is pushed forward (basically flush with the top part of the T firewall) so every inch counts.

    I've got enough original pieces to build a steel '34 and I'm hoping to do that sometime in the near future just because I think I'd be more comfortable in a big car. I know why you'd want to do it, I just wonder if you're really gaining anything with the A RPU body.
     
    lothiandon1940 and alanp561 like this.
  6. I've owned both a "T" and an "A-RPU" and there is very little difference in inside space.
    An A roadster or coupe, you can fudge a little to get more space but hard to do in roadster pickup.

    Mick
     
    lothiandon1940 and alanp561 like this.
  7. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I forgot to mention that the A pickup has had the doors extended 4 inches.
     
  8. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,780

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, Alan;
    Sounds like you have enough parts to build 2 cars. :D . One for here, one for the late 60s->early 70s. I'm liking the jag, mm2 not so much. Studebaker is a big yes. Maybe one of the photochop guys could do a couple of proportion/sizing pics, so adding in an inch or two to the doors' length + the same for extending the tub length. Should make it easier to maneuver in/out. Looks like you've got the body in decent shape.
    Lately, I've found that I have a similar problem, only it's my body flexibility - as in, a lot of what I had, is not there anymore. Mind says it is, body emphatically argues it's not, then proves the point over & over. ;( . So some compromises will have to be made.
    IDK about the A roadster for more space, but a tub could be altered for more driver space w/o it looking badly. I seem to remember a thread about this, guy moved the dr seat sheetmetal back a little, maybe lengthened the front doors, kept body overall length the same. ??? 4" might well work. Do you fit in it better & is access easier? May be the way to go, esp if the proportions look good.
    Even though people were literally smaller(in every way) back in the early 1900s, I never could understand why the drivers' area was *a lot* smaller than the passengers. Seems to me that a driver was always needed, regardless if any passengers were along. ???
    Marcus...
     
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  9. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,617

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    I feel your pain, every time I sit in the Whatever project! Same height, but 40 pounds more, sounds like a blivet...
     
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  10. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 3,050

    oldiron 440
    Member

    Your only cool if you like what you see in the reflections of the big glass windows down town... lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
  11. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,119

    evintho
    Member

    I'm 5'-8" 170 and I barely fit in my T roadster. It's actually channeled a bit over the frame and I can't drive it for more than an hour without a visit to the chiropractor! Kills my back! My advice.....if the A doors are extended 4", that'll work much better than the T. Don't channel the A, invest in a quality/comfortable seat and you'll be a happy camper.
     
  12. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The 27 T will go up for sale. A fellow in Texas needed the Studebaker for his pickup. The 59AB in the Model A frame is staying. The frame has been stretched about 10 1/2 inches so that I can use a '48 spring in front axle and a spring behind on the rear axle. Leaves the stock Model A wheelbase. This is the 29 body I'm getting. The seller stretched the doors 4 inches and put a new Brookville rear panel in it. I think it's gonna work.

    '29 A Rpadster body from Bill Nabors.jpg
     
  13. TCTND
    Joined: Dec 27, 2019
    Posts: 354

    TCTND
    Member

    I've always wanted a '27 roadster but I sat in a few and found they were a lot tighter than even my Morgan. Hence the '33 coupe, another car that was on my list.
     
  14. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,723

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    You said you HAD a 289 Studebaker engine.
    I know you aren't asking for opinions but I think the Studie engine would be refreshing in a sea of flatheads that have become quite the norm in the current traditional environment.
     
    GlassThamesDoug likes this.
  15. Not clear, the doors are stretched 4". Is the cab back panel extended 4" or stock length?
     
  16. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Actually, I was looking for opinions but the Studebaker going to Texas came about as a result of my finding a solid bodied running 46 Merc 4 door about 30 miles away from the fellow who bought the Stude. He needed one, I needed to go to Texas and I'd already made up my mind about getting rid of the first frame and going with a flathead. A good Model A frame came up about the same time. I don't know if it was serendipity, coincidence or what, but something is getting built, even if it isn't what I visualized at first.
     
  17. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The doors and openings are extended 4 ".
     
  18. I’m 6’1 and had a bung hip which wouldn’t allow me easy access into the T body so I drilled out some rivets, moved the rear section back 4” and made new doors. Lowered the floor down to the bottom of the A chassis and now fit well.
     
  19. Zax
    Joined: May 21, 2017
    Posts: 390

    Zax
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. 1952-59 Ford Social Group

    I've never sat in a RPU so i'm not sure how much room they have. But if you make a custom seat bottom and a minimal seat back I could see it working. Sounds like a cool build with the parts you have gathered.
     
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  20. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,617

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Sounds like a plan! More pictures! We all love pictures!
     
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  21. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm 78. I want this thing to work well and be as comfortable as I can make it so I can make the trip from Tennessee to @Marty Strode 's place and back. If I can, I'd like to meet some other HAMBsters along the way. That's not too much to ask for, is it?
     
  22. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 7,154

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Alan, that will be a trip you won't forget, I had better get hot on my '29, so we can have some fun while you are here.
     
    rod1, lumpy 63, High test 63 and 4 others like this.
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,723

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Alan
    I'm a couple blocks off the Interstate and Marty is about twenty minutes west of me.
    Come on down!
     
  24. mohr hp
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 489

    mohr hp
    Member
    from Georgia

    [​IMG]If you don't plan on running a top, you could blow the cab back out, push the seat back all you want. Then the thing would be comfy!
     
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  25. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,780

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    alanp561 likes this.
  26.  
    427 sleeper, Budget36 and alanp561 like this.
  27. Alan, you'll always be cool in my book! But if I had the choice, I'd rather have a roadster pickup. Not channeled. I said I wasn't gonna build anything else for myself besides an FED, but I would love to have a RPU.
     
  28. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well hell, Lloyd! If you say it's so, then I can take it to the bank. Hang on to the FED idea, I'd like to see that in action. :D
     
  29. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,743

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @Dean Lowe , I just got around to reading the story you wrote about your '29 and in response to your question of what changed in the last 60 years, I'd have to say nothing. Inside, I bet you're still the same 15 year old kid wanting to know what's next.
     
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,566

    jnaki





    upload_2022-11-18_4-9-0.png

    Hello,


    Many years ago, for our next hot rod project, my brother and I talked about a RPU for our fledgling speed shop business we had started. A pickup would be necessary for various parts hauling and our emphasis was going to be engines. So, one that would fit everything would be best. We liked 56 Ford pickup trucks, but it would not fit in our garage.

    So, we saw a Model A RPU and both of us sat inside. We had orignally started with a Model A coupe, but sold it due to the lack of space for the two brothers inside to sit comfortably while racing or just crusing around. Even the 40 Willys Coupe we eventually built was tight when both of us were inside. Then as the years rolled on, modifications were tossed around until that period of our lives just took a sharp turn and poof, history…

    But, over the years, the RPU still tickled my mind when my wife and I were in the market for a project, a 46 woody was the choice and when that fell through, was a nice Model A RPU. This time, since my wife is not as big as my brother, there was room inside, although some modifications were going to be necessary to give my 6 foot plus size more room to feel comfortable while driving around.

    Jnaki

    Here are some drawings I did to satisfy my mind as to what a modified RPU would look like. A shortened bed is a must if proportions are to be kept to look good. A long bed makes the “rear end look too big…” which is never a good thing to say, anywhere!! Ha!

    We had driven up to Santa Barbara for a photo shoot session and the yellow RPU was one of the best looking ones we had seen in quite some time. It was well finished and we wished it were in our garage or with us driving it down the Coast Highway. So, years later, I drew what I thought the proportions would be for a lengthened RPU for a Friday Art post.
    upload_2022-11-18_4-10-25.png Normal with rake + Buick Skylark Wire Wheels
    upload_2022-11-18_4-10-59.png Extended with rake + Buick Skylark Wire Wheels

    Also, sitting in an open roadster with your height might be a challenge. Most roadsters were a little cramped as the generations grew in our society. So, the only way to get comfortable for the bigger folks is to extend the cab. The bed will be the item that gets shortened to keep the proportions right.


    There is only so much room modifying the seats and pedals without compromising driving comfort. Extended arm driving versus cramped bent elbows and the steering wheel intruding on comfort, is no one’s idea of cool cruising. Or safety for that matter… here is an orange Model A drawing I have been tossing around for ideas.

    upload_2022-11-18_4-12-10.png
    There is even a nicely finished, red Model A RPU, extended, here on the HAMB built for more room in the cab… check it out...YRMV
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/28-rpu-build-thread-it-will-be-red.703537/
    upload_2022-11-18_4-13-48.png @Never2old

     
    alanp561 and Budget36 like this.

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