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Projects The Gentleman's Coupe...Bob Hilton is busy again.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wex65, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    I bought a solid enough '30 Coupe but due to my total inexperience, I hit a wall pretty quickly. People on here warned me about making sure I had a plan before moving forward but I kinda zig zagged my way into a dead end which wasnt helped by the fact I have little time to devote to the car. I had a vision but few skills to get me there. Fabrication was the biggest hurdle...

    Model A.jpg 2.jpg

    Really the only good thing I did back prior to meeting Bob was happen across Jack and Drew at Dropped Axle Productions who put together a really nice 32 frame to slide under the car. The front crossmember has been moved forward 1.5 inches to allow for the loooong nailhead.


    A local guy ("professional welder") then pretty much butchered the rear of the car, warping panels and leaving it in a sorry state.

    It was at the point that I had almost decided to call it quits when a HAMBer down the road from me (thanks 61cad!) connected me to Bob Hilton over at Hilton Hot Rods. Bob drove up the following weekend under the guise of buying the Model A from me but he had other ideas... He brought one of his creations with him and I was hooked.

    This was the tease he drove over to me in.

    The car headed to his workshop the following weekend...
    leaving to Bob.jpg

    We initially talked about his building me a roller but I bit the bullet about 2 months ago and we agreed on a full build, to be unveiled at the Detroit Autorama in early March 2015.

    I already had a vision for the car but Bob really helped bring that vision into focus. An old school chopped coupe, cowl steering, nailhead powered, Buick drums etc. Where it might be a little different is the underlying feel...a slightly more refined car. Less flames and noise and more speed but with finesse...."A Gentleman's Coupe" as Bob termed it.

    It didn't take much convincing from Bob for me to pull HAMBer Tony Lombardi (GoatRoper02) over at Ross Racing Engines into the project. I have been following his Miss Chevious (Hot Rod of The Year) build for some time and their work is amazing.

    Tony will be completely reworking a '55 322 nailhead I had from an old Roadmaster, setting it up to run a Spalding I managed to track down and a half dozen Strombergs.

    The car will be on the receiving end of a 4 1/2 inch chop, 36 Ford dash, '48 Ford steering wheel, cowl steering as well as see some other additions to set it apart from the crowd.

    Bob had the body completely stripped to see what gremlins were under the paint. It was fairly solid with a few battle scars...

    As of today the car has rear rails back together, a Steadfast kit installed to mate the 30 body to the 32 frame, beaded floor pans and a 32 firewall.


    I will post any future updates to this thread...counting the days till Detroit!

    Having seen some of Bobs's other projects I know he really will nail it!

    Attached Files:

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
    Tudor and volvobrynk like this.
  2. I love it! You definitely have it in the right hands. I can't wait to watch the progress 'cause I know it's going to be special.:)
    volvobrynk likes this.
  3. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    holy shit about jumping into the deep end!

    congrats...will definitely follow this one

  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,185


    Sounds like there is a real plan in effect now. I'll be following this one too.
  5. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,803


    I have a 322, need a Model A. That is quite a calling card Mr. Hilton has. Good luck, but it doesn't look like you'll need it.
  6. Drew is one hell of a fabricator...he and his Dad do amazing work...
  7. It's in great hands now, can't wait to see it in Detroit.
  8. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    I'll be watching this one also and putting it on the list of "must see" in Detroit.

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  9. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Couple of shots from this morning when I went to collect the Spalding for its appointment for a grooming over with Bubbas.

    The firewall proved to be something of a pain as the Spalding leans back but a switch from the 32 piece to the original 30 firewall, reversed, works fine. Bob did a nice job of reversing it. To be honest I think I actually do prefer the reversed 30 firewall. The 32 is slick but I think the reversed 30 fits the image of this car better.

    A nice shot of the fresh wood which will be left uncovered. Frame heading off for a lick of paint in a week or so. Everything on track so far...should be 4+ inches shorter next time you see it.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  10. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48

    Looking really good so far, can't wait to see more updates...
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  11. T-DeWitt
    Joined: Aug 16, 2012
    Posts: 293


    I'll be watching this one,and can't wait to see this in Detroit.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
    Joined: Jun 25, 2012
    Posts: 659
    from KS

    "A"NAILHEAD"A". subscriber.
    I will be watchin for LOTS of PICS.
    Tryin to build a rookie one myself, but this will be AllPro inspiration.
  13. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,137


    Your ride is in the right hands now, and your build is on track to be a real baaaaaaddddddd rod. Bobby has the right recipe. Looking forward to seeing it in Detroit.
  14. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Firewall filled...
    KCsledz, 1927graham, Muttley and 4 others like this.
  15. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,664


  16. BiscayneBrain
    Joined: Aug 10, 2013
    Posts: 123


  17. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Bob has indeed been busy...

    Wheel arches in , all patches done and roof lowered by 4 1/4 inches.

    In the next week or so the frame goes to paint and the engine heads north to Tony at Ross Racing Engines for him to do his magic.

    IMG_1611.jpg IMG_1612.jpg IMG_1613.jpg IMG_1614.jpg IMG_1615.jpg IMG_1616.jpg IMG_1617.jpg
    KCsledz and volvobrynk like this.
  18. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,718


  19. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Went out to see Bob this evening, the car looks amazing.

    Engine being shipped off Friday morning. Frame will go to paint in the next week or so.

    I am a big fan of the wood. At Bob's suggestion we went with a lighter color and I am happy we did.

    IMG_2964.JPG IMG_2967.JPG IMG_2969.JPG
  20. Well all right all right all right ! Found you again. Hate losing good reads. Won't lose me this time. Next please.
    lothiandon1940 and LOU WELLS like this.
  21. Pewsplace
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 2,799


    I am following this one. Nice start!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  22. Cusco
    Joined: Nov 10, 2010
    Posts: 63

    from Europe

  23. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,213

    from Burton, MI

    Man oh man! I really like the wood....
  24. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Yes, the wood will be left exposed on the inside of the car with upholstery stopping possibly below the rear window. A snap on roof cover will be removable to show it when the weather allows.

    After Detroit the car will be driven from Virginia to the Lonsetar Round up in Austin in April so WILL be seeing rain.

    The Austin trip is part of the Hilton hazing process for owners. All new owners have to complete the trip, blindfolded, to prove themselves worthy of the car. GoatRoper02 (Tony) had the task this past April in Miss Chevious.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  25. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Most metal work now done, doors chopped and hung.

    Dash and cowl steering going in this week along with some final clean up around the rear.

    Lil'Alb, Tudor, volvobrynk and 4 others like this.
  26. Ricky Rocket
    Joined: Aug 10, 2011
    Posts: 63

    Ricky Rocket

    Subscribed! I'm following your project for my own '31 coupe build. Looks awesome!
  27. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,718


  28. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,499

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

  29. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Houston, we have a dash... imagejpeg_23.jpg
    volvobrynk and lothiandon1940 like this.

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