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Projects Model A roadster pickup

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by wils0nmurphy, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. wils0nmurphy
    Joined: May 18, 2021
    Posts: 5


    A couple of months ago I was browsing Facebook and I stumbled across this little model a roadster pickup for sale. I’d been very slowly collecting bits for a hot rod but to build one from scratch seemed impossible, given limited skill and time. I think this was the perfect platform for me to get started; a ‘28 roadster pickup, stock running gear, no fenders, 40 Ford wheels. The perfect canvas to hop up into my own hot rod. My idea is to keep it on the road as much as possible, while hopping it up along the way to make it my own.


    The car was 13 hours away, so me and my mate Mick took a weekend to drive there, pick it up and drive home. Being pretty motivated to get there and back we did some long hours in the car and made it back by Sunday morning. We got the car off the trailer, did a couple hot laps around the block and I got it in the backyard and started pulling it apart to give it a paint job. By Sunday afternoon, it was sanded and had a couple coats of rattle can gloss black. The old colour wasn’t terrible, but I needed to make it mine and I wanted it to be unrecognisable from how the previous owner had it.

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    The next weekend our club Misled Youth were to be involved in a show to showcase the future of hotrodding and shed the light on young people involved. So I decided to get cracking and do a few things to change the car up even more. I brush painted the engine Brunswick green, installed some tail lights from a 41-48 Chevy that I picked up at a swap meet, installed a number plate & club plaque.

    Getting it to our little display at Autopia was pretty cool. Already well and truly a different look from when I had bought it just a week prior, I was loving the direction it was heading, but I still had some things in mind to really complete the look I was going for.


    After Autopia, another deadline loomed; Rattletrap. A beach sprint event in Central Coast area of NSW. I wanted to finish version 1 of the look I was going for, a pretty simple 4 banger hot rod that could have got around in the late 40s.

    Fellow Misled Youth, Megan sold me this 32 dash that was made to suit an early A. Perfect! I had been collecting Stewart Warner guages for a while and I gathered a neat old set together to be placed on the dash. The last part I needed was a speedo or tacho to be a centre piece and some how it was just meant to be that at the next swap meet I went to, there was a SW speedo. I also installed a 40 Ford wheel.

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    New firestones were on the cards, 6.00 up front and 7.50 in the rear made the car look a bit more solid. (didnt have the new rear tyres fitted in these photos) I got a 32 grille shell and made it work with the original radiator, had to have the filler neck moved and channeled the grille shell a bit to make it look right. I also chopped the screen and mocked it up. Mocking up a new part on your car is the best, the ultimate motivation to make things happen.

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    The final piece I needed to complete the look I had imagined was a windscreen. The car came with some repo stock height posts and a windscreen however they were not the look! With the help of my friend Sean we cut up the posts and leaned them back. The deadline was coming up quick and it was still the last piece I wanted to have done for rattle trap. On the night before we were to leave, I got the posts back, went to bolt it all up and realised the windscreen frame that had come with the car did not suit, it was too wide. Thanks to my mates Aaron and Mick we cut it up again and made it work, it’s not perfect by any means but it really looks the part on the car I think.
    I hadn’t really had a chance to drive the car very far at all since owning it for a couple months, a test lap around the block and I loaded it for Rattletrap.

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    Driving your hot rod around with friends has got to be the most rewarding thing ever. Getting coffee at Rattletrap with my friend Alex in his y block powered model a roadster.


    I've missed little bits and pieces, but this is basically where I'm up to with this little roadster pickup. Never made a post on the HAMB before but I think it'll be neat to document my progress on this car. I'm real happy with how it looks now, theres still a lot I'd like to do but for now its good enough to enjoy!

    Attached Files:

  2. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 3,305


    Great looking car and awesome ongoing project. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  3. oliver westlund
    Joined: Dec 19, 2018
    Posts: 1,839

    oliver westlund

    Cool rod! I dig it
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  4. High test 63
    Joined: May 8, 2020
    Posts: 305

    High test 63

    I love your little truck!
    I'm currently collecting parts for a 29 on duece rails rpu. Thanks for posting your pics. Your enthusiasm is also inspiring for my own project!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.

  5. Jacob O'Hara
    Joined: Nov 16, 2021
    Posts: 23

    Jacob O'Hara
    from Dorset, UK

    Looks super cool dude! been following on insta and I love it!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  6. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 10,401


    I’ll 3rd/4th the nice ride. Looks like you found a pretty solid one too!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  7. Kajewski
    Joined: Nov 2, 2015
    Posts: 23


    Love it mate!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  8. Wardog
    Joined: Jan 12, 2010
    Posts: 2,433


    Nice work Willie, I’m keen to see it keep evolving.
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  9. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 938

    Tow Truck Tom
    from Clayton DE

    Having fun. Good times. Thanks
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  10. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 12,011


  11. Looks great. I especially like the raked windshield- makes it look like it's going 100 mph!:cool:
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  12. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,630


    very cool! always wanted a 29RPU but they are just a bit tight to fit in for me especially at 79. Tried a few over the years.
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  13. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,548

    from NE Vic

    It was good to meet you at Rattletrap, (I had the RPU with green wires - #9) I am impressed with your clubs cars & attitudes, not too full of yourselves, don't loose what this thing is all about

    Your pickup is a grouse looking jigger, well done!
    I'll subscribe & follow on with interest!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  14. knucklenutz
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 135


    Great inspiration for anyone daunted over starting a project.
    WhitewallWill and wils0nmurphy like this.
  15. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 1,136


    If that isn't cool, then Ice Cream is hot. Nice job !!!!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  16. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 4,099

    Okie Pete

    Kool pickup
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  17. Jeff34
    Joined: Jun 2, 2015
    Posts: 647


    Nice RPU!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  18. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 14,717

    from KCMO

    Love it! You’ve got it looking slick!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  19. Steves46
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 493

    from Florida

    Awesome old school look! Enjoy!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  20. I make and sell 2 in chopped folding windshield posts for your car, for sale here on the HAMB parts for sale.
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  21. hotrodharry2
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 762

    from Michigan

    Love your story and especially your truck! Awesome!
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  22. Nobey
    Joined: May 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,428


    That looks like a very straight RPU, you've come a long way in a short time and I like it.
    Are those Jeep rear wheels?
    wils0nmurphy likes this.
  23. wils0nmurphy
    Joined: May 18, 2021
    Posts: 5


    Thanks for all the neat feedback folks! Its taken me longer than I’d hoped to get back on and write this out but better late than never.

    After another 13 hour drive towing the rpu, we arrived in Crowdy Head for Rattletrap. It rained the whole time, it wasn’t looking good for beach racing. Misled Youth had 3 cars entered, Mikaylas 32 roadster, Alex’s model A roadster and my model a rpu.

    After installing a new FSI distributor the night before we left, my model a was really running like a champ! We got setup for the weekend, Alex and I wrote some numbers on our doors in boot polish and we waited for the rain to hopefully pass. An hour later the skies didn’t exactly clear up but it was good enough to go for a cruise! With water splashing through gaps in the firewall and rooster tails aplenty I was having the time of my life! Dodging potholes and wrestling with the model a steering box we headed to the beach to check out where we were to drive the next morning. High tide and grey skies didn’t make the beach look like the most inviting setting for hot rodding, however we couldn’t care less, rain or shine hot rods are a good time!!

    There was no better way to wake up the next morning than to see the sun shining, it was going to be a good day! I gathered a few pals and headed to a local cafe to grab a coffee and something to eat to fuel up for the day. By 10am we had gathered with the rest of the entered drivers at the beach for a day of beach sprints! Everyone was in great spirits and the beachfront was buzzing with hot rods everywhere.
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    Side note: I should mention that 30 mins after arriving my starter motor decided to stop working (turned out to be broken bendix spring) so thanks to the help of my mates and some other legend hot rodders on the beach I got a push start every time.

    I’ll never forget the feeling of driving my car onto the beach. It was incredible. Had no issues all day, the little banger sure wasn’t the fastest on the sand and sure wasn’t throwing up as big rooster tails as Alex’s y block.
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    But man it was too much fun. I could have driven up and down the beach all day. We ended up having about 4 hours on the sand and it was unforgettable.
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    After getting home from rattle trap I washed all the sand and salt off. Took me a few weeks to get around to getting the starter working again. The RPU is back in action now and I’ve been just been enjoying it around town.
    It’s neat to look around for old buildings to put the car in settings where it truly fits in. These factory buildings were built in the 1930s.
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    Attached Files:

  24. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,091


    That thing is ridiculously cool! Great find & great changes!
  25. wils0nmurphy
    Joined: May 18, 2021
    Posts: 5


    Thank you! I’m not sure, my first thought was f100 but that’s just a guess. I’ve got some 40 rims to put on the back it when I convert to juice brakes.
    Nobey, High test 63 and Outback like this.
  26. wils0nmurphy
    Joined: May 18, 2021
    Posts: 5


    Between driving it heaps I’ve been working on it a little too. My windscreen frame was very rusty and ended up basically falling apart, so my house mate Mick and I spent a few evenings in the shed making a new frame from scratch. We used some round tube, my friend Sean helped by rolling the bottom tube to suit the curve of the cowl, and we cut a channel into the tube to sit the glass in.
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    It’s a little taller than the last one and actually sits properly in along the top of the cowl. I love how low the windscreen is however it’ll be much better to drive when I put in a lower seat so I’m not hunching so much to see through the actual screen.
    We’ve also been working on putting this seat in, I picked it up at a swap meet and got it home and realised it was a little too wide, so with a bit of modification it will fit nicely and look the part! The hessian sack seats are shocking and I’ve been left with a wet ass too many times.

    This weekend my friend Aaron and I took a nice drive through the country to pickup some juice brakes! Been searching since I got the car for some drums and all the other components for the backing plates and to pick up this stuff has really given me the motivation to get things happening! Watch this space!
  27. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,323


    Cool roadster pickup and great pictures
    Outback likes this.
  28. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,548

    from NE Vic

    I saw those brakes pop up. Glad you got them. It's a grouse looking little truck!
    brEad likes this.

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