The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Mar 22, 2019.
J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:
RPU 4 U
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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
That’s one fine RPU, in the classic 60’s California style.
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.
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 then...like 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...
I don't know too much about them, what years did Ford make this style of automobile?
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.
@Atwater Mike Here is a 60's James Handy photo of Ray Silva's RPU.
From page 16 & 17 of the June 1963 issue of ROD & Custom:
From the October 1964 issue of CAR CRAFT:
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.
Hands down, my all time favorite hot rod is Dean Lowe's RPU.
A few of us have always liked roadster pickups.
Roadster pickups were factory produced from 1926 through 1934.
Arnold Avilia's '29 was always a favorite of mine.
Love RPUs but I can’t fit into them.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Here's some "HAMB-friendly" photos of Cardoza's '29 RPU:
1963 - @ indoor car show (photo by James Handy)
1966 - @ GNRS (photo by Gary Hartsock)
1968 - Roadster Roundup Pismo
... some “semi-HAMB-friendly” photos of his RPU:
1968 - article in the January 1969 issue of HOT ROD magazine
1972 - parked next to Tom Prufer's highboy @ Andy's Picnic
1973 - @ LA Roadsters show
... and a couple "not-so-HAMB-friendly" photos of Cardoza's '29 RPU:
1986 - Bay Area Roadsters Party @ Varni's house
Present Day - Bay Area Roadsters website photo ... NOTE: Joe Cardoza has been an active BAR member since 1976.
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.
Here's Bay Area Roadster member Dave Marasco's '29 RPU:
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.
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.
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:
image by @40LUV
@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.
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.
^^Those two are the big influence on my RPU. I'm getting there.
As God is my witness, I WILL finish this thing one day...
wow blake! yes you need to finish that!!! im wanting to build one for my son. sure are some inspiring photos on here!
Is the green with black fenders going to be the finished colors?
I hope so, it looks great.
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.
Hemi32 thank you for the pictures and history that goes with it.
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