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History RPU 4 U

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

  1. jman340
    Joined: Aug 22, 2018
    Posts: 11


    Nice. I inherited my dad's project last year and I hope to start working on it in a few years. Here's a mock up of some of the parts I have
    slv63 and kidcampbell71 like this.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,750


    My homebuilt.

    On several levels they make very practical drag cars. This one has a winning history and still gets run occasionally. george '12.jpg truckster01.jpg
  3. 1925, 6 and 7 were the only model T steel pickup beds.
    Stogy likes this.
  4. @thorpe31 reminded me that I'd be remiss if I neglected to post pics of yet another famous Bay Area RPU ...

    Peter Taormino of San Jose, CA (Willow Glen district) was a "Model A Guy" ... Pete was credited with starting the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the Model A Ford Club Of America (circa 1959).

    In 1952, Mr. Taormino "gave" his 12 year-old son Mel a stock 1929 Model A Roadster Pickup.

    By 1960, Mel had “hot rodded" his '29 RPU:
    • '59 Corvette engine (fuel injection, Engle cam, & Hedman headers)
    • '39 Ford transmission (with Lincoln Zephyr gears)
    • '48 Mercury rearend (with 4.11 gear ratio)
    • bodywork & American LaFrance Fire Engine RED lacquer by Wilhelm Customs of San Jose
    • chromed running boards
    • US Royal Master tires mounted on Chrysler (Motor Wheel) wire wheels
    • (later) striped by “Tommy the Greek” Hrones.
    Fast forward 67 years (i.e., 2019) ... and Mel Taormino (now living in Grants Pass, OR) still owns & drives his childhood '29 RPU!

    Now for the pics ...

    The May 1962 issue of ROD & Custom included an Andy @AndySS Southard Jr. article on Mel's '29 RPU:

    Mel Taormino '29 RPU photo shoot for May 1962 R&C (by Andy Southard Jr.).jpg
    February 1962: an Andy Southard Jr. B&W photo shot on Mel's front lawn (for the R&C article)

    R&C May 1962 cover.jpg Mel Taormino's '29 RPU on R&C May 1962 cover.JPG
    May 1962: Cover of the May '62 R&C

    The following year, Taormino showed his RPU at the Winternationals Car Show in LA:

    Mel Taormino '29 RPU at 1963 Winternationals car show (by Andy Southard Jr.).jpg
    February 1963: an Andy Southard Jr. Color photo shot at the 3rd Annual Winternationals Car Show

    Here's a pic of Mel's RPU at the 2006 Roadster Roundup in South Lake Tahoe, CA:

    Mel Taormino's RPU (2006 photo by Sherm Porter).jpg
    2006: image by Sherm @fuely32 Porter

    Taormino's '29 Roadster Pickup (and '34 Phaeton) were featured in Issue #58 of The Rodder's Journal:

    Mel Taormino - '29 RPU - TRJ #58.jpg
    Mel Taormino - The Keepers - TRJ #58.jpg
    images from @TRJ's website

    Mel (& wife Joyce) have been Associate members of the LA Roadsters since 2002 ... Here's the Taormino's (& some guy from Texas) at the 2013 LARS event:

    Billy Gibbons with Mel & Joyce Taormino's '29 RPU @ LARS.jpg
    2013: photographer unknown

    The Burnham family picked Mel's bitchin' RPU for the "Billy B Memorial Award" at the 2014 Goodguy's West Coast Nationals:

    Mel Taormino RPU @ 2014 GG's WCNs - Billy B Memorial Award winner.jpg
    Mel & Joyce Taormino's  '29 RPU @ 2014 GG's WCNs - Billy B Memorial Award winner.jpg
    2014: photographer unknown

    Here's Mel's RPU in the "Model A Room" at the 2019 GNRS:

    Mel Taormino's '29 RPU in the 'Model A Room' at the 2019 GNRS.jpg
    2019: photographer unknown
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  5. ^^Wow. That bearded guitar player has his boot on the painted part of the fender. For shame.
    Dean Lowe and Stogy like this.
  6. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,605


    Great thread @J.Ukrop and thanks to the others for juicing it up with other cool Hotrod Pickups...I will say time has not been kind to the transitions of some of these former period Hotrods.
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  7. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,605


    Outline and signature to follow...:D

    Question for everyone...are those skid plates on the Boards formed into large louver like shapes and was it on the 60s Hotrod era version?


  8. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 398

    Craig Owens

    My 29 Model A RPU has a bit of history in the Fresno and San Jose areas, although I've been unable to discover much more than that of its' past. It'd be interesting to know where it's been, how it was used, and when it first became a hot rod. You have to remember these were work vehicles when new and for the first couple decades of their existence. It's a wonder any of them survived. Sonoma Cars & Coffee 8-13-17 009.JPG
    exterminator, eddie1, BLUSHU and 9 others like this.
  9. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 398

    Craig Owens

    The truck running boards, whether closed cab or roadster trucks, had raised diamonds embossed in the surface as a non-skid surface. They were painted steel where as the passenger car running boards had a rubber covering over the plain steel running boards.
    slv63 and Stogy like this.
  10. I really dig the chrome hood shelves. Sanitary little hot rod.
  11. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,605


    I get the checker or diamond plate which is sheet with raised ribbing but it looks to be braked into a 3d tapered step or louver shape quite pronounced at that.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  12. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 398

    Craig Owens

    Here's a close up of the running boards. Mine are admittedly, Model A Pick up Running Boards 005.JPG Model A Pick up Running Boards 006.JPG steel reproductions from Rootlieb Hood Works, but they're said to be exact copies of the originals. Rest of the truck is all original Henry ford steel, but the running boards that were on it when I bought it were passenger car versions.
    kidcampbell71 and Stogy like this.
  13. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,605


    That thing was a 60s Showrod/Hotrod so he may have done some one off oddball...Sorry My Eyes must be playing tricks with me...time for another beer...;)

    What can I say it's an optical illusion I guess created by the diamond plate pattern.
  14. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,751


    Thanks! Yes, the green/black combo is what it'll be.
  15. millerhotrods
    Joined: Feb 7, 2008
    Posts: 5


    My contribution to this great thread. Some may recognize the little rpu D9238048-84F8-414B-A0A5-3AAD47918C3C.jpeg 6EF14CC1-445F-403D-A953-A0DA9C358EC8.jpeg 16B87359-569F-464C-A5BA-BBCEEA881143.jpeg B7EBECA3-B699-4895-9CEC-A3FF96B64068.jpeg D0B2FABF-68FC-4F0F-AB42-ED93AC23E334.jpeg
  16. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,504


    Always wanted a 28-29 RPU but the stars never quite aligned. Dean Lowe's is my favorite and has been forever.
  17. Deescott
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 206


    Ribbed rear axle! Anybody know about it? I’ve always been curious about the rear axle on this pickup and would love to know more about it.
  18. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,051


    Millerhotrods : Is that the former Greg Sharp truck? Great looking regardless!
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  19. millerhotrods
    Joined: Feb 7, 2008
    Posts: 5


    Bowie- this is not the Greg Sharp truck, it’s actually all the sheet metal from Ray Silva’s truck.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  20. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,051


    Ah!, that’s the “other” truck I remember with similar grill treatment. She’s lookn’ good!
  21. I would kill for an RPU, just sayin'.
  22. WestCoastChris
    Joined: Mar 4, 2008
    Posts: 98

    from Vista

  23. Nothing to brag about...just a project I picked up about a year ago. Its literally a pile of parts but I couldnt pass it up. Plan to have it on an original A frame and drivetrain. Last two pics are for motivation.

    Attached Files:

    Okie Pete, kidcampbell71 and flyin-t like this.
  24. 28rp
    Joined: Apr 18, 2007
    Posts: 111


    2011 N.Z trip,cars &tudor project 018.JPG Ours, Pinto powered, A TASSIE NATS 2014 059.JPG been on the street for twenty years.
    56 ford custom and exterminator like this.
  25. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,704


    One of the first hot rods my brother and I talked about during his recovery from the 3 degree burns was building another hot rod for the street and drags. We liked the street roadster class with Junior Thompson, Jim Cassidy and Jim Morris at Lions. Sorry, @DeanLowe, we did not get to see and film you racing at the drags. There are films of unknown red RPUs racing, but none of your fabulous red RPU.

    red street roadster class at lions 1959-60. ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA WHO THOSE RED RPU DRIVERS WERE OR WHAT THEY WERE RUNNING?

    upload_2019-11-5_3-39-21.png upload_2019-11-5_3-39-38.png

    Junior Thompson VS. Jim Morris Street Roadsters at Lions 1958-60

    My brother and I sat in one and it was a tight fit for a couple of big teenagers. So, we decided that if we did build one, it would have an extended cab/seating area without disturbing the lines. It would be full steel fenders and powered by an SBC like our 1940 Willys Coupe SBC 671 that ran in the C/Gas class.


    At the time, my brother and I had the skills, (recessed firewall, chassis mods, brackets, etc.) but never did any modifications to that extent. But at least 6-8 inches more of cab room would have done the job. The truck bed would have to be shortened the amount of inches of the cut/extension. Now, we would have more room to enjoying driving the RPU in our cruising grounds and at Lions Dragstrip.

    But, with this modification, the RPU would probably go into the Modified Roadster Class to race against the Speed Sport Special or Tony Water’s roadsters. It would not be a good class to be in for competition, unless you wanted to see the exhaust pipes going down the dragstrip. At least with this extension of the open seating area in the RPU, we could drive it to the dragstrip every weekend and to high school every day.

  26. Never2old
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 535

    from so cal

    I planned from the start of my build that I would have to extend the cab of my '29.
    I also wanted to keep the proportions close to original and keep the bed full length.
    I decided to lengthen the doors 3" and the quarters 2" and the frame 5".
    The doors were at least 1/3 of the overall effort in the entire build.
    The body is all steel and original. LA Roadster-6.jpg
    jnaki likes this.

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