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Projects The Tale Of My 29

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by nailheadroadster, Jul 13, 2018 at 3:13 PM.

  1. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,416


    {This is going to cover the when, what, why and some of the how. It may be a long read in places or not enough in others. It might make you smile at times, but possibly could bore you to death also. Either way, I hope you’ll be entertained.}

    Back in the late 80’s to early 90’s I was attending high school in freeze-yer-ass-off Wisconsin. Being a car nut since before I was able to read, I subscribed to several mags but my favorite was always American Rodder. It was the only publication that featured a combination of mostly traditional rods and a bevy of scantily clad ladies… both seemed to hold my attention rather well. It was then, that I first saw a feature on a Model A Sport Coupe. It was a smoothed off, chopped, full fendered, beige street rod. Trendy for the time and certainly not traditional at all… but something grabbed me with that car. It was different than other coupes and just plain cool to me. The hook was set.

    After I left the Navy in 96, I figured it was time to start gathering parts for a 26 roadster… even tho I lived in an apartment in Florida and had to rent a storage unit to put the old rusty parts in. I came to realization that wasn’t working out and ended up renting a house with a carport early 98-ish, to build my hot rod. By this time, American Rodder had pretty much been watered down, but luckily there was this new one called The Rodder’s Journal that would become my cover-to-cover read.

    With plenty of help from guys that must’ve took pity on my dumbass, my dream of owning and finally driving my hotrod came to be in April of 99. I’ve had some GREAT times with that car and it’s never been for sale… even after some pretty tempting offers, but that sport coupe always had me looking for one. Of course, I never had the dough to even entertain getting one, so the search was never in earnest.

    Over the years since then, a few builds have taken place and few others have gone down the road. Friends have been made and lost because of some of them, jobs have been secured and left along with living arrangements. In 2013 the biggest of them took place when I was offered a job in Texas. So, everything was loaded up, except a bunch parts that were sold or given away to close friends… but of course, plenty were kept also.

    With the move to Texas, I found a whole new glory in perusing Craigslist. Sure, Florida had Craigslist, but the cars weren’t nearly as plentiful. Of course, I very rarely “need” anything when I’m looking… and I’m sure that nobody reading this has ANY idea of what I’m talking about! LOL But you never know, right?

    And that’s what happened on the morning of Christmas day of 2013. The ad title read “modle a 1929” (yes, spelled just like that). There were two pictures of a stock, black sport coupe on a car trailer with no grill, radiator or hood… which was all I needed to see! I grabbed the phone and called… only to get a voicemail, UGH! I left my info and hoped for the best.

    To be cont...

    woodz, chryslerfan55, Muttley and 2 others like this.
  2. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,416


    Later that night my phone rang. The guy on the other end said he still had it and proceeded to talk it up considerably. Obviously not his first rodeo selling an old car. I asked several questions and he had all the right answers. Before long, I needed to know where and when I could take a look at it… before anyone else did! But ya gotta play it cool. He said he could do it tomorrow after 5pm and when he told me where he lived, it turned out to be only 7 miles down the road from my place! WOOOWHOOOO! So, we set the appointment and I hung up.

    My lady was standing with me through the whole conversation and immediately high fived me and gave me a big smooch! She knew how excited I was about the car and she’s always AMAZINGLY supportive of all my car stuff. She never gives me any grief about this obsession and I KNOW I’m extremely lucky to have her! We talked about it and she definitely wanted to go with me the next day. Cool! But… now I have to wait!!! UGH!

    Sleep was sketchy that night and work lasted FOREVER the next day. Her and I made the what-seemed-like long drive out to his place and hoped for the best when we pulled into the address. We met the gentlemen, made our pleasantries and he motioned towards a dimly lit large, old steel building as he walked away from us. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… “dark is the worst time to look at a car you want to buy”… I know, I KNOW!

    As we got through the half open door of the building, the stench of cat piss was like the equivalent of your face getting the business end of a Mike Tyson right hook! I tried my best not to gag, as did my lady… but it didn’t seem to bother the scruffy, mid-60s-ish guy in the least. The next thing that grabbed my attention was the MULTITUDE of endless spider webs… EVERYWHERE! I hate spiders… and I’m not found of their webs either! And when I say “hate”… I mean fucking HATE! The dirt floor was covered with portions of cars… doors, fenders, greazey engine blocks, ripped velour seats, tractor parts, broken chairs, tires, water heater tanks, chain link fencing, piles of PVC, a lone Hustler magazine from probably the Regan-era… opened to a lady with no qualms of spreading it all out for your enjoyment… just, a shit ton of JUNK everywhere!

    But, there was single rollup door about 50 feet to the right of where we just walked in, that was open and the dusk light that was left just after 5pm in late December, shown around the profile of what would make this all worthwhile.

    Still sitting on the trailer from the ad pictures, was what I would come to find out was the most solid and complete Model A that I’ve ever laid eyes on. All the normal places that rust out on 28-29’s were amazing. All the Sport Coupe specific parts were there! The rumbleseat was open and when I wiped my finger across the inner rain gutters and structure, I was awarded with shiny paint and not a hint of rust or painted over rot!

    To be cont...


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  3. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,416


    I hoped I was containing my excitement and knew I was when my lady gave me the “What do you think?” look. I waited til the old guy wasn’t looking and gave her a big smile. I figured I should check the underside, so I stuck my head under the passenger running board and peered at what looked to be an unrestored, beautiful frame with barely any slight surface rust. Twisting my head, the brake rods looked great and all the brackets were there… AAAAAH!!!!! Big honking spider not 6” from my face!!! I quickly ascertained that I saw enough of the undercarriage and should look over the topside sheetmetal a bit more.

    I asked if it turned over and he replied that the battery was dead, but the motor “for sure” wasn’t frozen. Hmmm, odd that he volunteered that info before I asked. He quickly added that he did have the hood, radiator and a new grill shell for it. Hmm… I wondered why all that stuff had been unbolted if there wasn’t a problem with it. So, I ask some more questions and as it turns out, this is a two-owner car and the last gentlemen, George, passed on a few years ago. The family doesn’t want it, but they know George loved it. Evidently, he bought it in either 42 or 43 and always kept it inside, but they can’t remember him driving it much. Parades, around the neighborhood, that kinda stuff… but it had been a loooong time. Sounds good to me. “Could I think about it and call ya tomorrow?” Sure he says. I snap a few pics and we leave. I figure I’ll go back tomorrow with a Model A crank and try to spin the engine over and go from there.

    I called him the next day before lunch and asked if I could come over and talk to him around 5pm again. He agreed that would be fine. Again, 5pm couldn’t get there quick enough and I meet him on the dot with crank in hand. He asks what that is and I tell him I’d like to turn the engine over with it. Quizzically, he looks at me and I know the jig is up. I’ve shown my hand that I’m not the wide-eyed-hoping-to-get-an-old-car-dumbass that I had played myself to be. He mutters that I can give it a try (or something like that), so we enter into the dim light of the land filled with feline urine and spider condos. I walk right over to the coupe, insert the crank, give it a tug aaaand… nothin’… not even a budge. Sigh. I try to reason with my sinking heart that I must not have given it a good enough pull. So I reset the crank and give it way more than I know it should take to spin… and again, not even the slightest movement. Well crap!! I know my face was evidence enough when I looked at him and he said “I thought it was good!” Fortunately for me, I now have some bargaining power… unfortunately for me, I’m very disappointed. But, I know what this car is for me and I know I’ll most likely never see another one this spectacular at this price. AND, its black on black on black! Not yellow with pink wheels. Not cowpie green with purple fenders. It’s BLACK as can be!

    Pretty much right away, the dance begins. Prices are discussed… of course, he says I’m way too low and I say I can’t afford his high price (but I probably would’ve paid it because it was actually reasonable). He starts to drop his end, I don’t say a word… just staring at the car and shaking my head. Poker face, keep the poker face! Seeing an opportunity to ease our “moolah two-step” complications, I ask to see the new radiator shell that he mentioned. He starts walking to the other side of the building towards one of the many floor-to-ceiling leaning Tower of Pisa metal racks, that surely should've been torn down when Hoffa was still walkin around. He's about half way to the rack when he drops his price again and I can’t believe my ears... until my eyes lock onto three water stained Vintique Inc boxes sitting on top of a Walker radiator box. Oh My! What is this now?!!

    He grabs one of the boxes and pulls out a brand-new repro nickel plated shell, still in the plastic. I ask about the other boxes and he says they contain brand new headlights and a radiator. How does this keep getting better? Be cool, just calm down. “Sooo aaahh how about this?” I asked. I repeated the last price he had thrown out and added that the four boxes would come with me… and since you already got it on the trailer, it’d be awfully nice of you to take it the seven miles to my house, where a few ice cold beers are awaiting our arrival. Just as I finished my “deal-of-deals speech”, I punctuated it by pulling a wad of $100s out of my right front jeans pocket. I was hoping for effect on that and I think it worked because he stared at that cash way too long. He did the old twisted-face-gonna-trying-to-bargain-again look, but evidently his brain caught him and his mouth uttered “Ok”. HELL YEAH!!!

    In minutes, we had his truck hooked up to the trailer and were burning holes of light heading down the highway to my place. I don’t really remember the ride home, so I can’t fill in too many details there. I remember that it got hot in my truck pretty quick cuz I had the heat on and forgot to take my jacket off, but that’s about it. I called my lady to let her know what transpired and asked that she have a few cold ones ready in the garage when we showed up. She was ecstatic and told me she loved me. Yeah, I got it pretty stinkin good fellas!

    My new-to-me Sport Coupe was quickly unloaded into my well-lit garage and I began to really marvel in the amazing shape the car was in. The three of us made small talk, all the normal “When you get it done, I’d like to see it” kinda stuff and then he was gone. I remember walking around it many times, taking in the condition of many different parts and assemblies… mentally cataloging and prioritizing the work that would need to be done.

    To be cont...


    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 3:42 PM
  4. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,416


    Well, if you’ve made it this far, hopefully you’ll be ready to see what I ended up doing with my new treasure. It was a roller coaster of stuff before it really took off for me… and of course it’s still not “done”. Here is a pic that I got from the family that I was told was taken in the very early 80’s. Notice the grill and radiator was off even then. The big sealed beam headlights were also included when I got the coupe. I have no idea who the girl is.

    To be cont...
    1.1980 pic.jpeg
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  5. Tate
    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 40


    I’m in! I need to see where this goes
    nailheadroadster likes this.
  6. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 7,291


    Sports coupes dont excite me but that one does! Gorgeous! You did good
    nailheadroadster likes this.
  7. hfh
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 78

    from MA

    Fun story to read. Thank you. Hope you enjoy getting it to be what you want it to be.
    nailheadroadster likes this.
  8. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,789


    I'm waiting....
    nailheadroadster likes this.
  9. kidcampbell71
    Joined: Sep 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,360

    1. 60s Show Rods

    Did you get the Hustler magazine ? Maybe it's autographed by the girl in the green shorts ?? :)
  10. Congratulations to you both.:D
    nailheadroadster likes this.
  11. L7
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 109


    very nicely written story - and Yes! it sounds like you are very lucky in your choice of women! ;)
    hoping good things for you regarding your build.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  12. Ok, you set the hook. I’m in for the rest of the story, too!
  13. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,126


    That photo probably was taken not long before you bought the car. There's a mid-'90's style Chevy pickup in the background and what looks like a Ford Explorer in the driveway in back of your car. Those trash cans that are visible through the door of your car weren't in use around here until about twenty years ago.......not sure about Texas though. Those shoes she's wearing definitely aren't early '80's style NIKE's either.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  14. 32fenderless
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 153


    Is the one in American Rodder the cream colored one with tan interior and polished Americans? I remember that car well. Not a huge fan of sport coupes but yours being all black is very cool.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 8,236

    Atwater Mike

    I had a '30 Model A Sport Coupe...bought the body out of a field for $3.00 (!) in 1955.
    Channeled it over Deuce rails, had it for years. Fast flathead, stock windshield. Car was 'cartoonish'.
    My Mom had a '30 Sport coupe in '35, (she was 25 and single...ran with a 'fast' crowd. Meaning they were all car nuts, and raced a lot.)
    Mom knew a man around the corner, family friend, about 50, Pete Dias. Pete was into Sprint cars, had a HUGE shop behind his house. Mom went by one day, asked Pete if he could get her some more 'rev', she needed to beat two 'wiseguys' in her crowd.
    Pete put a Winfield cam & head on it, and a downdraft intake, and 'twin' exhausts.
    She said he did some 'grinding' on it, on the side of the block, but the rest was 'secretive'. Pete was smart, not 'sharing'.
    My Mom was the fastest from Santa Clara to Holy City, (Santa Cruz mountains)
    Nobody would race her to Santa Cruz.

    I always looked at Sport Coupes as 'Uncle Daniels'. (funny old stockers that some old uncle would drive...)
    But, HEY! A Sport Coupe is the only factory 3 window we have in the Model A livery.
    ...and this one in this thread is a BEAUTY!
    Might change some minds about the 'Uncle Daniel' jacket it's gotten over the years.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  16. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,403


    Very cool on all points!

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