Mark Anderson’s Pre War 1931 Ford Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod lights

Mark is a card carrying, astute and highly respected member of the World Famous Beggers Car Club in Washington State. As such he drives an appropriate car…daily. Yup, this is his daily commuter.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod rear side R

A lot of folks builds traditional style hot rods and some try to use only era correct parts. Some builders are more successful than others in this effort. There is not a single component that is made after 1940 in this car.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod side right

It’s all in the attitude! As you can see the car is not ridiculously low, it sits just like a car from that era should sit. Stance and attitude is everything. This original 1931 body rests on an original 1932 Frame. There is not one single reproduction piece on this car.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod hood side

Chevrolet (Ooops, sorry about that, Ford Fans) …anyway, you get over it!…Vintage Chevrolet hood sides offer these factory louvers for a great and different look. It also offers a practical solution as it helps with cooling of the flathead.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod engine

The flathead is equipped with two leaky Strombergs mounted on a vintage Weiand manifold. Mark did some thinking about the exhaust manifolds. What would the 1940’s hot rodder do for tubing? Well, a home built hot rod could very well have used flexible tubing and that’s what Mark went with. Looks great. Also, note the liberal use of copper tubing adding to the “right” look.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod interior

The office: Lack of door stops offer easy access. Seat belts are vintage aircraft units.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod attitude

Yup, it’s all in the attitude!

Thanks Mark for sharing your cool ride with us!

 

 

Rolf Coupe, 2.0 hits the road: “The Roller Nailer”

I got several e-mails and messages about this car so I best give it a proper intro.

I was asked to build a model A hot rod similar to the old red “Rolf Coupe” as you guys call it. The cool thing with this is that I could improve on areas where I learned from the first build.

The customer is a Buick enthusiast so a Nailhead was a given. The 425 Nailhead is built to the hilt including a high lift roller cam. That gave the car it’s name: The “Roller Nailer”

It has taken WAY too long to build this car. I have gone through two back surgeries, sold a home, bought another, sold a business, bought another…my customer has been incredible patient but I think he is pretty happy with it.

The plan was to build a similar car but this time with shiny paint and high detailing. I’m am the first to say that the car is not an era correct car but it’s built in a certain style that qualify as sort of old timey.

We opted for the best solutions like Lincoln brakes, radial tires (yup, the slicks are built on radial cores) and the Cooker Classics bias-ply-look-alike tyres upfront do not offend most traditionalists. The interior is European leather and the carpets is Euro square weave material. It smells like a new Mercedes inside.

Well, we made it to the NSRA meet last weekend. I still have a few things to finish before GoodGuys in Puyallup but it is manageable. I have some issues with the carburetors that I have to dig in to it.

Sorry for crappy overexposed photos, I was in a hurry.

1930 Model A Hot Rod top

 

1930 Model A Hot Rod interior

The red leather looks great against the black paint. Instruments are 1956 Chrysler.

A Muncie four speed hides under the swan shifter.

1930 Model A Hot Rod rear

Ford 9 inch with limited slip keeps the slippage limited.

1930 Model A Hot Rod front

1930 Model A Hot Rod 425 nailhead engine

The reason we opted for the Rochesters as they will feed this thirsty monster better than a set of Strombergs.

There you have it, see some of you at GoodGuys in late July.

Rolf Coupe 2.0 to be at the NSRA meet in Ridgefield, WA Jun 28-29th

June 28 – 30, 2013, at Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield, Washington.

Very subtle car with 500 horse roller-cam nailhead, Tri-power, Muncie M-22 four speed, Ford nine inch limited slip rear axle, cheater slicks, pro leather interior, 1956 Chrysler instruments, Lincoln brakes, Buick brake drums and shiny paint.

How ’bout some teaser shots:

1930 Ford model A hot rod glass

 

1930 Ford model A hot rod radiator clamps

 

1930 Ford model A hot rod rear slicks

Rolf Coupe hits German soil!

So I built this model A hot rod back in 2007.

RCMay2007

I was fortunate to have the car land on the cover of Rod & Custom Magazine. Chris Shelton shot the car and made it look great. I was very proud.

Well, one reader of Rod & Custom in Germany, Marco Wenzel read about that hot rod. He contacted me and asked if it would be for sale. I told him that I already sold it but I will get him in touch with the current owner. The current owner had the hots for my current 1932 Ford Five Window. So the current owner bought my ’32, Marco bought the model A hot rod and I bought Project ’37 Ford Cabriolet. Everybody happy!

A few months later the car arrived in Germany:

1931 Ford Hot Rod in Germany 2

Marco is showing off his all wrapped up hot rod. In order to protect the car during transport it was all wrapped up in shipping wrap. Marco and his family are true car guys, his wife Silvia drives a 1968 Impala. Not bad in a country where gasoline is close to $8.00 / gallon !! Here is some statistic for you:

Per capita daily income in Germany is $113. The share of a day’s wages needed to
buy a gallon of gas is 7 percent. Think about that!!

1931 Ford Hot Rod in Germany

They seemed excited to un-wrap the new present.

rolf coupe, germany 2

Here it is at the first outing. In Germany you have to display a front license plate so Marco has no choice but hanging that big plate on the front spreader bar.

rolf coupe, germany

The German hot rod gang on it’s way to an event.

1931 Ford Hot rod

As you can see, as soon as the car hits the meeting spot, the ugly huge license plate goes in the trunk.

1931 Ford Hot rod in Germany

Marco and Silvia has plenty of like minded folks to hang with.

Marco, thanks for sharing, it is great to see the car getting a good home.

Photo: Marco Wenzel

 

Tech: Vintage Heat for your Vintage Car

This is for our new category: Tech Archives. If you want to read just tech articles you can go to the right side column and click on desired category.

I like to fix, repair and refurbish old things when possible as opposed to buy new stuff.
Old American products are usually of very high quality and all they may need is a cosmetic restoration and some inside updates. Some items look great with original patina and some lend themselves to refurbishing. Only YOU decide what direction to go…not your buddies, not the current trend, just use common sense.

This article is about how to stay warm in your vintage car or truck while still looking old-timey.

Washington state offer some great summers for vintage car cruising but we do get a fair amount of lousy and wet weather as well. While some hardy folks can drive an open roadster in the middle of the winter…I am NOT one of them. I like to be comfortable so a heater is high on the list. You can hide a modern heater unit under the dash or seat but I think a good looking vintage heater is the coolest. (No pun there…) I find these at swap meet and sometimes at garage sales. Up to the late fifties new cars and trucks did not come with heaters but there were many manufacturers that stepped up to produce add-on heathers. Allstate, Firestone, Southwind, HaDees and others made aftermarket heaters and many of them had beautiful designs.

1937 Ford HaDees Heater

This Hadees Junior is sporting some serious art-deco design and it will look great restored.

 

1937 Ford Cabriolet heater grille installed This one is part of a larger assembly out of a Ford and I like the crest and simple design. I just kept this rectangle box and it will contain the element and fan. I am debating what color it will be. In the 40’s brown or black wrinkle finish was used. Another favorite coating is the hammer paint. I found the stainless grid at an elevator interior company of all places. It looks like an old radio cloth. Love it! There will be a tech article on this unit down the road.

Today we are going to restore a Tropic-Aire heater:

1930 Ford Model A heater 1

 

Let’s go to work: 1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 2 First order of business: Dissasemble.  Most firewall heaters are rather deep because they have the fan assembly behind it and also the tubing usually designed to go straight thru the firewall. I usually eliminate that by installing a compact brushless fan or small cooling fan similar to the ones you see on small transmission coolers.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 3 This heater contains a round element with the fan motor in the center. This makes for a compact unit and I will duplicate this set up.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 4 I want the heater core as deep as possible in to the unit so I removed this ridge.

 

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 5 I also flattened out the louvers on the side and welded them up.

 

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 7

I welded a stud to the outside louver to keep it in place..

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 8

Test fit…looks good.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 6

After some bodywork and hammer coat paint we got ourselves a nice looking heater body.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 9

A good coat of a maroon color and some polishing yielded a nice looking louver.
1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire

I polished the stainless trim piece and painted the letters in gloss black.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire 2

Hubba-Hubba !! (technical term) That looks pretty snazzy. Let’s attend to the inside components now.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire 10

This is a 12V clip on fan from that big box store. It set me back a whopping ten bucks.

 

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire fan

I removed anything that did not look like a fan from the clip-on fan and I made a back shroud based on the diameter of the fan blade.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire11

This is the mesh from the fan I bough. I welded it to the back shroud to protect any toes that may find themselves behind the heater.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire 12 Here it is, all ready to go together. The fan motor squeezed in very nicely inside the core. I used some silicone glue to keep it in place.

1937 Ford Cabriolet heather valve

I use a stand alone heater valve from any parts house. I like this kind with the cable bracket in the same unit. That way you can attach a remote cable without having to secure the heater valve to anything. It can just be in line with the hoses and cable operated without tugging on anything.

 

1930 Ford hot rod heater

…and here it is. Installed in our latest project build, a 1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod.

Note 1956 Chrysler gauges, custom sub dash and vintage style Euro square weave carpeting. Look for this car at the NSRA event in Ridgefield, Washington, June 28-29th.

 

Rolle Nailer details

Got the modifications done and the “body work” finished on the heater housing. The gun metal grey hammer paint looks nice. More on this heater project later…

 

This is the down tube on the headers. It will sneak inside the frame and be painted black so it visually disappears.

Custom made weed burners are ready to assemble. The black down tubes makes them pretty much invisible…almost.

Also, the black “hole” in the block off plates makes the header look uncorked…almost.

Mo later…

Harry’s “back in the day” Hot Rod Pictures

I bought a vintage Volvo from Harry and his wife a few years ago. I learned that he has been a car guy and hot rodder all his life and here are some pictures to prove it.

Gotta love this stuff:

A Mopar 413 Ramcharger powered this red hot rod. The stick figure in the front is Harry himself.

With a ride like this it was not a problem to atract the ladies.

Just love the stance and look of old hot rods.

The hot rod started life with a different color. Check out the two color top insert.

 

More evidence that the ladies dig guys with hot rods…

A completey restored 1937 Dodge truck was the ride of choice for a while.

One of the earlier cars Harry owned was this 1926 Ford Model T. Bought it for $150.00 and sold it for $300.00. They only car he made money on!

Thanks Harry for sharing your time machine with us.

Roller Nailer Engine up-date

This is the FOUR-HUNDRED-TWENTY-FIVE-CUBIC-INCH engine going in the Roller Nailer chassis:

Lonely chassis waiting for POWER !!

 

 

Let’s go to the swap meet…

Swap meets are great. Parts and vehicles for sale with something for everyone.

 

Here is a very manly 4X4. All of the truck was powder coated. Very nice. Displayed by a powder coat company.

 

1948 Chevrolet sedan delivery. Total restoration and for sale for $16,500.00. You could not restore one for that.
Model A truck project
Another manly truck.
There is that word again. I wonder if it’s a complex issue?? I may have to talk to my psychiatrist…or bartender…they do the same thing.
1973 Fart…ahem, Fiat convertible
Super clean model  A roadster
Street Rod thingie
Very clean 60’s Chevrolet truck
Straight and complete model A roadster pick up. You can haul stuff and get a tan at the same time!
.
This swap is one of my favorites. Here are some two wheeled reasons:
1907…something-something. Forgot the brand. Cool bike, though…
Cool Indian project
How about a Harley Davidson for $500.00? Pretty decent and could be a runner.
Like new 1974 Kawasaki 900. Mint condition. Love that color!
You meet the nicest people on a Honda…or?
1974 BMW R-90 with side car. That seat and the Hella light looks a little out of place but a beatiful bike and color combo.
Ariel. Don’t know the vintage.
Very nice 1946 Indian
If one carburator is good three must be better! For a Chevrolet small block.
There you go, another swap in tha bag. Looking forward to the next one.

So I met this guy…

I went to the LeMay open house, to attend the old car auction. On my way to the auction site, I stumbled across this cool looking ’32 Ford. It stopped me in my tracks, and it didn’t take long to notice that the car did not have an ordinary engine.

It was powered by a jet engine!

The 1932 Ford Roadster is now owned by LeMay Auto Museum but the builder Lenny was there to show off his engineering masterpiece. Lenny spent a fair amount of time with me, showing the various features of the car. He was fascinated when I told him that I used Ford F-1 shock mounts, dropped axle and split wishbones on my hot rod.

He said: That what we did in the “old” days !

Not just the average 350/350 combo, huh?

Before embarking on the jet build, he spend lot’s of time racing his car.

Lenny also spend several years racing on the salt flats in the early fifties.

Lenny worked for Boeing in Seattle, so the jet engine solution was probably close to home.

 

Gotta love those shocks !

Once he learned that Your Humble Editor was born in Sweden, he told me he worked in Sweden for Volvo Airplane Division in the sixties.

Funny story: Most of the engineers in Sweden at that time spoke good English, but most of the mechanics did not. There was one air plane mechanic that really wanted to learn English, especially the name of various engine parts. So every time Lenny pointed out a part, the mechanic would pull out his note book and write it down.

One day they were working on an engine that was just run, and Lenny leaned in on the exhaust pipe and burned himself. He said “Hot Mother F…..he stopped abruptly, realizing that was not appropriate language. As he walked away, he turned around and saw the Swedish mechanic mutter to himself while he wrote “Hot Mother” for the English name of the exhaust pipe.

We can only be grateful that Lenny did not complete the sentence !