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Features The John Athan '29 A Roadster

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jive-Bomber, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,335


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    The John Athan '29 A Roadster


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. exterminator
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,513


    If I could own any roadster- that would be the one!
    Stogy, dirty old man and El Hueso like this.
  3. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,383


    I agree with you.
    Stogy and dirty old man like this.
  4. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,413


    Saw that several times when in SoCal at the NHRA Museum while visiting family. It sat a few cars away from Ed's roadster. A real treat to see! :)
    On one occasion I asked the receptionist if Greg Sharp and Tony Thacker where around. In about 5 minutes both of them showed up and we had a brief conversation. Greg is a walking Hot Rod encyclopedia.
    Then a hop over to the SoCal shop and a chat with Jimmy Shine.
    I have since seen on TV both rods in Wayne Carini's shop in Connecticut.
    Cal Trip Greg Sharp Tony Thacker 0209 025a.jpg
    Me and Jimmy Shine SoCal 001a.jpg

  5. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,105


    Nicely done roadster! Really clean lines and kept it as simple as possible.
    Stogy likes this.
  6. Total Iconic Car
    Stogy likes this.
  7. The car is very cool, but that windshield... hmmm...
    sloppy jalopies, X38 and Stan Back like this.
  8. JWL115C
    Joined: Jan 28, 2010
    Posts: 161


    Why the forward slanting radiator grille shell? It takes away from an otherwise beautiful roadster.
  9. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,664


    In my mind, it's still the Elvis roadster.

  10. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,493


    475K for a hotrod. Cool. But Jay @Jive-Bomber it sounds like you’re saying it didn’t sell, the family thought 475 was too low?
    Well you’ve got to love how high they’re setting the bar, good luck to them.
    Stogy likes this.
  11. agshelby
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 512


    I remember seeing that car in the movie when I was a very little kid, thinking "What is up with that windshield?" I still feel the same today. Nice car, cool history, but that windshield is just plain ugly.
    Dago 88, sloppy jalopies and X38 like this.
  12. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,133


    What a treat this is, I have loved that car forever. It was one of the coolest hot rods in the movies. It is done in a wonderful color keying combinations - red includes, motor, grille shell insert, red wires, nice big red roll around the seatback. Black -body, and trim touches, really tasty. I am shocked to learn what that unusual windshield was, it has grown into it is so ugly it is cool and I certainly had decided it was just custom glass cut and handmade frame. some very nice chrome work throughout as well. Thank you so much for presenting this.
    Stogy and sloppy jalopies like this.
  13. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,517


    I’ve always thought that this car was very special in an ocean of A/V8s. While the windshield is unusual, it’s well done and defines the car as the Athan Roadster. It just wouldn’t be the same with a conventional A windshield. The red and black color scheme was hugely popular back then according to my Dad.
    What I noticed was the unusual steering box placement and the angle of the steering column. Cross steering no doubt, but I wonder what box he used and why? He was definitely an independent thinker. I sure don’t see 500k - 1 Mil there though.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Stogy and kidcampbell71 like this.

    kidcampbell71, Stogy and exterminator like this.
  15. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,092


    is there a thread with roadsters that have the windshield modification ? ive seen a few examples.
    kidcampbell71 and Stogy like this.
  16. On the windshield thing, IMHO, remember, John Athan built the car in the late '30s.
    Think of pre WW II and airplanes and lakes racing, and I believe Southern California car culture.
    Nobody knew or cared if there was really a difference between a Rod and a Kustom.
    I believe John himself built that windshield out of the rear window of a '39 Chrysler.
    It's one of one, you'll never see another. Way rarer than say a Duval.
    It is believed to be the first '28 Ford on a '32 frame, a big deal in '37! (Corrected) Thanks Jimmy B!
    Same with the awesome shaped headers into under car mufflers.
    These are early days one off stuff, and still unique today.
    That car hasn't changed hardly at all since at least 1957 and the Elvis movie, "Loving You"
    That car was, is, and always will be, unique!
    Haven't said this in a while but just my $.02
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  17. exterminator
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,513


    If I only had the money...……….:rolleyes:
    Stogy likes this.
  18. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,193

    sloppy jalopies

    great car, great history, at the time a great windshield …
    give me a hallock or duvall any day...
    the movie must have starred a skinny elvis...
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  19. Hey sloppy,
    some of us actually remember skinny Elvis!!
  20. Car was built in 1937, hundreds of A's on '32 frames had been built by 1947.

    Car was auctioned by Kruse GWS in 2019 @ the Hard Rock Cafe. I have been trying to find the auction results to see if it sold.
    kidcampbell71 and Stogy like this.
  21. Hey Jimmy B. My goof. I meant 1937! I still can;t Type worth S..t!
    kidcampbell71, Stogy and Jimmy B like this.
  22. Hey Jimmy B, I fixed a few more details when I looked back.
    I fixed them all....I think! Thanks for the head-up!
    kidcampbell71, Jimmy B and Stogy like this.
  23. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,932


    I have shared images of this roadster many times and with that Provenance I can seriously see the Dollar Value Potential...I have not the money but as This Historical Hotrod with so many firsts in that Genre of Hotrod which is Huge even today as a Style, owned until and maybe still by the Family. Then take into consideration Elvis and his chasing the Vehicle after the fact as a Want...This Puppy Has Serious Soul...Athan was a Creator of Something Big...Too Cool...Thanks for sharing @Jive-Bomber
  24. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,130

    Automotive Stud

    What do you mean? It looks like it's straight up and down, any forward lean is because the car has a rake. Although there are no radiator support rods, so it may droop forward? Hard to say from photographs.
    Stogy and dirty old man like this.
  25. Woogeroo
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 1,069

    from USA

    I think it's sweet.

    bct, Stogy and dirty old man like this.
  26. Athan10.jpg

    I've seen the car in person ... it's slight ... but it does lean forward:


    Pretty sure it's leaning forward for fan clearance (i.e., it just needs a shorter fan spacer):

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
    Stogy likes this.
  27. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,932


    No Rad Supports as eluded...obviously the Rad Hoses are the Support and Positioners in this case...mind you there is a possibility the builder beefed up the lower supports to take on a more supporting role...I have a 29 Ford that relies on this support structure and have the Rad buck left and right with those rods present depending on road condition so I have a vision of my rad being ejected without those supports in place...

    That said it obviously worked for John and my situation is slightly different in that I have a Smallblock with only one rad hose which would unquestionably change dynamics...but I still wonder how that performed for him.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
    brady1929 likes this.
  28. Mpls 40
    Joined: Mar 18, 2005
    Posts: 163

    Mpls 40

    There's authenticity in those droopy door handles and misaligned doors. ;)
    bct and HEMI32 like this.

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