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History RPU 4 U

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,077

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    RPU 4 U


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. Sweet!
    Once of my favorite rides at Bonneville is the North of 49 RPU, it also has all the check marks and I hear it is coming back.
    I'll hunt for a image and post later
    Found it
    north of 49.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  3. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,172


    That’s one fine RPU, in the classic 60’s California style.
  4. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 947


    After I got out of the Army in 1968 I lived in Las Cruces NM and one day a 28/29 roadster pickup drove by, it was a slicked up street rod/hot rod, I never saw it again but it is one of the few memories that have stuck with me over the years. I do have a soft spot for that car.
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  5. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,870

    Atwater Mike

    An exceptional version was Ray Silva's in San Jose, dating way back. Wilhelm painted Ray's in black nitro, 1954. Last seen in San Jose at Mylar's '50s Nite, in 1983, paint still excellent.
    Beautiful R/PU ran a 296" flathead, all aluminum pieces anodized and chromed...Ray also ran a chromed quick change rear, chrome Buick Skylark wires, and a chopped '32 shell with horizontal stainless grille teeth, first one ever.
    Frame was Z'd in back, fenders fit the tires in perfect radius.
    Ray's roadster pickup looked like Les's, at a glance...but with everything chromed/ detailed, it was obvious.
    I saw them together lots, as San Jose's First/second streets were THE cruise a moving outdoor autorama.
    Ray later pioneered the first Jag rear installation, but there's more to that story...
    The credit was taken by 'persons undeserving'.
    Sadly, Ray passed in '83, then the roadster was parted out...
  6. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,289


    I don't know too much about them, what years did Ford make this style of automobile?
  7. Because a TJJ Blog / H.A.M.B. thread can never have enough pics ... here's some James Handy photos of Les Erben's RPU ... at the 1963 San Jose Autorama:

    An overhead view of the show floor at San Jose showing Les Erben’s 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup. In the rear we can see George Barris’ Twister T Roadster and Gene Winfield’s blue 1935 Ford Shop Truck.

    ... and at the 1963 Grand National (Oakland) Roadster Show:

    San Jose resident Les Erben brought his beautiful 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup to Oakland and took home a Sweepstakes award. Credit for the bodywork and black lacquer paint went to Joe Wilhelm. The 1955 Oldsmobile engine contained a bunch of go fast goodies and was topped with an Edelbrock triple two barrel manifold. The Buick Skylark wire wheels finish off the abundance of exterior chrome. The black interior featured twin bucket seats and Stewart Warner gauges.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
    Jet96, exterminator, Stogy and 10 others like this.
  8. @Atwater Mike Here is a 60's James Handy photo of Ray Silva's RPU.
    Jet96, exterminator, Stogy and 9 others like this.
  9. From page 16 & 17 of the June 1963 issue of ROD & Custom:

    R&C June 1963 page 16 - Les Erben RPU.jpg
    R&C June 1963 page 17 - Les Erben RPU.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  10. From the October 1964 issue of CAR CRAFT:

    Les Erben RPU - Car Craft October 1964.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  11. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,589


    I think they were available during all of the model T years up to 27, then model A 28-31.

    Then, only a handful for 32, 33, and 34.

    Beanscoot likes this.
  12. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,778

    from DFW USA

    Hands down, my all time favorite hot rod is Dean Lowe's RPU.

  13. A few of us have always liked roadster pickups. ;)

    Roadster pickups were factory produced from 1926 through 1934.
  14. Arnold Avilia's '29 was always a favorite of mine.

  15. louisb
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 954


    Love RPUs but I can’t fit into them.

  16. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,442

    Marty Strode

    I have always wanted to build a 28-29 RPU, some of my favorites were owned by these men. Joe Cardoza, Dave Diaz, Don Varner, Dean Lowe, and Jim Stevens, all California trucks. Last December the planets lined up, and I was able to purchase a very nice original that was in storage. I have been collecting parts for a few years and will be able to start on it in May. I have a decked out tri-power 55 Olds engine. But since it will be raced, and be heavily influenced by Dean and Jim's. The power will be a range of small blocks, with either dual 4's on the street, and an early Hilborn for the track, backed up by a 4 speed, along with a Halibrand Championship Quickchange. As body and paint work always slows the progress of all of my projects, this one will be different. The plan is to buff the existing black paint, and do minor touch up as needed. Down the road, I can always take it apart for paint. IMG_2296.JPG IMG_6540.JPG
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  17. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,232

    Gary Addcox

    I remember reading the article many years ago where Les Erben and Joe Cardozo installed Jag rears in their '29 RPU rides. Is Les still around ? I've seen something on Joe recently, but wondered if Les is still alive. Their rides were both first class.
  18. Dangerousdan
    Joined: Apr 12, 2018
    Posts: 54

    from Arizona

    I met Les way back. I lived in San Jose at the time Les built me a rear cross member for the 1956 Ford pick-up I bought from Jim Mikes another San Jose Roaster member. Both great guys
  19. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,232

    Gary Addcox

    Thanks for the reply, Bud. My wife and I land in Tucson on our third night heading to El Mirage in our Deuce roadster. We actually found some great Tex-Mex food somewhere in Tucson. We were pleasantly surprised. If you intend to be at El Mirage for the first event, look me up. I'll be in a red Deuce roadster with YOM Texas plates. We can have a "toddie" and check out the rods.
  20. Joe Cardoza & Les Erben were founding members of the San Jose Roadsters (circa 1961).

    Their RPUs were historically significant in that they are credited with being the first guys to put a Jag IRS in a Hot Rod (circa 1967) ... and yes, I did just say Jag rear-end and Hot Rod in the same sentence! :eek:

    Here's some "HAMB-friendly" photos of Cardoza's '29 RPU:

    Joe Cardoza RPU @ 1963 Indoor Car Show (by James Handy).jpg
    1963 - @ indoor car show (photo by James Handy)

    Joe Cardoza RPU @ '66 GNRS (by Gary Hartsock).jpg
    1966 - @ GNRS (photo by Gary Hartsock)

    circa '66.jpg

    Roadster Roundup Pismo '68.jpg
    1968 - Roadster Roundup Pismo

    circa '68.jpg

    ... some “semi-HAMB-friendly” photos of his RPU:

    HRM January 1969 pg74.jpg
    1968 - article in the January 1969 issue of HOT ROD magazine

    1972-Andy's Picnic by Bruce Olson.jpg
    1972 - parked next to Tom Prufer's highboy @ Andy's Picnic

    Joe Cardoza RPU @ 1973 LA Roadsters Show.jpg
    1973 - @ LA Roadsters show

    ... and a couple "not-so-HAMB-friendly" photos of Cardoza's '29 RPU:

    1986 at Varni's by Bruce Olson.jpg
    1986 - Bay Area Roadsters Party @ Varni's house

    Present Day - Joe Cardoza - Bay Area Roadsters member #8.jpg
    Present Day - Bay Area Roadsters website photo ... NOTE: Joe Cardoza has been an active BAR member since 1976.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  21. I have always loved roadster pick ups, but I've always wanted one of the super rare 33 Ford rpu's because I always wanted to build a twin to my 33 pickup, just topless, lol.
  22. Here's Bay Area Roadster member Dave Marasco's '29 RPU:

    Dave Marasco '29 RPU (1).jpg
    photographer unknown

    Dave Marasco '29 RPU (2).jpg
    photographer unknown

    Dave Marasco '29 RPU (3).jpg
    photographer unknown

    1963 image by James Handy ...
    A small block Chevrolet was the engine of choice in Dave Marasco’s 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup from San Jose. The chromed frontend had a dropped axle. The pickup bed had been shortened 12 inches. The paint was black lacquer and the striping was done by Andy Southard Jr.

    Dave Marasco '29 RPU (car show).jpg
    photographer unknown ...
    Early shot of David Marasco's of the Bay Area Roadsters 29 Roadster Pick Up, circa 1963 perhaps at the San Mateo show.

    Fred Marasco's T and Dave Marasco's '29 RPU of the BAR (Eric Rickman 1965).jpg
    February 23, 1965 image by Eric "Rick" Rickman ...

    Dave Marasco was on the Monterey Peninsula to observe Rick’s photo session with brother Fred’s aluminum F85-powered T.

    NOTE: Greg Sharp purchased Marasco's RPU in 1969 ... and it was displayed in the "Model A Room" at the 2019 GNRS:

    2019 GNRS.JPG
    image by @40LUV
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    Jet96, exterminator, slv63 and 8 others like this.
  23. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 905


    @HEMI32, thanks for posting all of those pictures. That one at Monterey is really great. That's like the epitome of a perfect summer day.

    I'd never be able to put my finger on just one truck that I like.

    Joe Cardoza's when it had the big window Halibrands is bitchen, but I also love Dave Marasco's with the chrome reverse.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  24. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 905


    Here's a couple more great ones.
    Dick McCoy and Dale Krutz built these two Ford Roadster Pickups featured on the cover of Car Craft in March of 1957. The yellow truck is Dick's 1929 Model A, while the red one is Dale's 1927 Model T.
    exterminator, Stogy, Rich B. and 9 others like this.
  25. ^^Those two are the big influence on my RPU. I'm getting there.
  26. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,767


    As God is my witness, I WILL finish this thing one day... :(

    exterminator, eddie1, BLUSHU and 15 others like this.
  27. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,422

    rd martin
    from indiana

    wow blake! yes you need to finish that!!! im wanting to build one for my son. sure are some inspiring photos on here!
    BLAKE likes this.
  28. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 905



    Is the green with black fenders going to be the finished colors?

    I hope so, it looks great.
    Sancho and kidcampbell71 like this.
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 463


    My next project will the Model T RPU I have in the garage. Wrenched on it a little last week and put a Ruckstell under the rear and a Rajo up front. Not quite as cool or fast as these Model A's, a RPU though. IMG_0207.JPG IMG_0211.JPG
    Blues4U, Jet96, Okie Pete and 7 others like this.
  30. thorpe31
    Joined: May 4, 2011
    Posts: 166

    from nor-cal

    Hemi32 thank you for the pictures and history that goes with it.
    kidcampbell71 and HEMI32 like this.

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