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Introducing the Question Mark Coupe – Supercharged A-V8

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Elrod, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,561


    [​IMG]<iframe src=";byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ffffff" width="569" height="320" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

    Some of you may have been following along as Anderson and I thrashed to rebuild my Model A coupe for the 2012 Lone Star Round Up in Austin Texas in the build thread found here. I wanted to share a little background about how the idea was formed for the car and a little Dallas racing history as well.

    A few years back, while visiting a local old time radiator shop, I spotted an old race car photo on the wall.


    I asked the owner about it and he said, &#8220;That&#8217;s a car I helped build back in the late 40s. I believe one of the drivers of that car was Ed Sissum&#8221; I commented on how cool I thought it was and he said, &#8220;Would you like to go meet Ed? He still lives a block away.&#8221;

    Wow! What an opportunity. We drove over to his house and had a chance to briefly talk and he and his son invited me back to talk some more and to see some pictures. The next week, when I returned, he told me about the races he had run back at the old Devil&#8217;s Bowl and shared with me the pictures he had in his album.


    The common factor amongst all the cars was the fact that while the other cars ran numbers on their doors, Ed&#8217;s car consistently ran the Question Mark symbol. I asked about that and he said, &#8220;That was my number. Other guys ran their numbers, but that was mine. The Question Mark.&#8221; Something about that symbol jumped out at me as being such a great symbol of adventure.


    He also looked at my car and thought it really had lots of potential. I brought my camera and my Model A coupe, which at the time had not yet been chopped or lowered.


    Fast forward to 2011 and the swap meet where I found the Supercharger for the flathead. The seller told me a story about how it was pulled out of a 1940 Ford coupe with drag history around Florida for a jaguar engine swap. I had to have it.


    I remembered that I had seen one on a car in an old photo. I returned to the collection of photos that Ed Sissum shared with me and there it was, on that war torn 34 Ford dirt track car.



    Again, staring back at me was Ed&#8217;s Question Mark, the symbol of stepping out into the unknown, of uncertain outcomes, and confident ambiguity. This was the moment that I knew the coupe needed a rebuild, and now it also had a direction.
    Anderson and I discussed if we thought we could do this build before the Round Up. We had three months, and we had the drive, but who knew if it could be pulled off. Would all the pieces would work together or would it be a total failure? Nothing worthwhile in life comes without a challenge. So, on January 22, 2012, he made the push on me and out came that little hopped up 4 banger.


    We thrashed night and day, and almost killed ourselves, but on the Friday of the Round Up, April 13, 2012, it took it&#8217;s first successful drive with it's completely new driveline.

    Anderson and I had met our deadline, but still a long road ahead for the car&#8217;s transformation. We loaded up the car and headed for Austin.

    Saturday morning, Anderson arrived, and after all that we had been through, pulled from his pocket that shining Question Mark Symbol. He had made it the night before and said it was time for the coupe to reveal it&#8217;s identity, The Question Mark Coupe.


    It&#8217;s the beginning of something new and exciting with a lot of unknown still to come. I couldn't have done it without Anderson and without the help of Revhead and SpeedDrome.
    The car will continue to be transformed, but one thing will remain the same. The Question Mark Coupe will continue to honor those that have come before, who blazed the unknown paths for the quest for speed. This one is for you Ed Sissum.




    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  2. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,980


  3. Very cool! Congrats on making the deadline. Video was pretty fun too, that flatty sounds great!
  4. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    from SUGAR CITY

    Simply awesome!!! Car turned out great!!! I love that Question mark plate he made.

  5. James Boys
    Joined: May 13, 2006
    Posts: 174

    James Boys
    from London ONT

    That's a great story for an awesome looking Model A! What else is in store for the coupe?
  6. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,561


    Plans for the future are to fix a lot of the little bugs that still need to be worked out, and then prep the body for paint and to do a full vintage style interior.

    The time period I'm shooting for on this car is 1949-1952
  7. Thanks for sharing Elrod! That's a really neat story.
  8. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,862


  9. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,078


    Great job man!

    Thanks for the photos...
  10. Pinewood
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 347


    Very cool. I was at the Roundup and noticed the question mark in the window. I knew that it had to have a neat story behind it.

    Does the supercharger give you noticable hp?
  11. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,561


    Well, I'm at a bit of a disadvantage when answering this question because I also added 4 more cylinders. It's definitely has a lot more punch now than it did before! :D
  12. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,618


    Very cool background to that question mark. Did Eric make that plaque or did he find it?

    iPhone - TJJ app
  13. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,561


    Eric made it for me Friday night and brought it with him Saturday morning.
  14. Joatha
    Joined: Jul 6, 2008
    Posts: 184


    Have you taken it over to show Ed yet?? I bet he'll love it.

    Good work! I followed your thrash build thread and it was pretty fun to follow along.
  15. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,473


    Actually I had another friend carve it out if some aluminum plate for us based on a drawing I did. Then I polished it up and painted it, and made the mounting bracket. Got lucky since I didn't have the car to measure up, but it fit nicely!
  16. Awesome car and backstory! Shake Eds hand and thank him for the inspiration for me!
  17. So-cal Tex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,373

    So-cal Tex


    I am so glad you kept the fenders......I think on '30-'31 coupes they look great!
  18. Pinewood
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 347


    That's right you had a banger in there before. It sure sounds and looks like allot of fun to drive now.
  19. Sorry about the drool I left on the running boards at LSRU.
  20. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,842

    from Tampa, FL

    Really nifty. Nice job. Gary
  21. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,890


  22. swissmike
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 1,297


    Great job, both on the and the ? Plate!
  23. Will Kimble
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 400

    Will Kimble

    Right on, thanks for sharing some of the backstory.
  24. D.W.
    Joined: Jun 5, 2004
    Posts: 2,070

    from Austin Tx.

    As great as she hear her run is BONER INSPIRING!

    Sweet machine!
  25. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,270

    general gow
    Staff Member

    looks great, sounds better! and the ? is awesome.
  26. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Great story and a great car! Well done!
  27. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    really nice story. That ? plaque is one of the most awesome "accessories" ive ever seen.
    Beats writin the name of the car on the car by a thousand miles!
  28. Rem
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,256


    The Coupe looks perfect. Was following the build-up on the other thread - the ? is the icing on the cake.
  29. ChuckleHead_Al
    Joined: Mar 29, 2004
    Posts: 1,842


    Great job on the Coupe, the dash is incredible, the whole car is bad a$$.

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