Swindler’s 17th annual Poker Run

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So…it was that time again…time for the 17th annual World Famous Swindler’s Poker Run.

 

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With fuel tank full of decomposed dinosaurs and high expectations we started at the usual spot: Conway.

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Since I am hot-rod-less currently (horrible situation!) I was able to get a ride in this pile. The driver, my friend Chris insisted that the 327 small block should be approaching 6000 rpm before shifting to another gear. OK with me.

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Conway is a nice sleepy town with lot of history and lends itself to a great back drop for old cars.

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The surprise of the day was this 60’s style 1930 Ford Model A Sedan hot rod belonging to Mike Thompson. It was powered by a diesel! Why not, it’s a driver. The 4BT engine offers 265 ft lbs of torque at 1700 rpm! In other words, you shift at 2K !

 

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1932-ford-on-the-road

Traffic was really bad, old cars everywhere!

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Co is my Dog Pilot?? Hot Dog is my Pilot? Whatever…

 

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The Pacific North West is rather scenic. With the Puget Sound as a back drop, we stopped for a break along the shore.

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1932 Ford 3W coupe by the sea.

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Riviera by the sea…and a sign.

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Hot rods by the sea

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Refrigerator truck by the sea.

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Sam’s most excellent shoes box rollingin style.

 

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Model A Hot Rod truck by the sea.

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Rich’s 1957 Chevrolet truck.

 

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They don’t make hood ornaments like this anymore…well, they don’t make hood ornaments at all these days.

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I think they call this patina.

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No patina here…super nice 1940 Ford.

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Cool sedan.

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The day was ended at Paul’s upholstery shop for some show and tell. Great day.

The “Rolf Coupe” still going strong

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod in Germany

I sold this coupe back in 2010 locally but a year or two later it found itself in Germany where it lives an active life in the hands of Marco and Silvia Wenzel. They are in to American cars of all shapes. I get regular up-dates from Marco and I felt it was time to share.

 

1931 Ford Model A Crusing

It is used the best way possible: By driving it!…a lot.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Germany

The hot rod is a frequent guest at many events in Germany with likeminded guys and gals.

Ford Model A Hot Rod

Staging in at the drags.

1931 Ford Model A Drag RacingHere is Marco ready to abuse it in a drag race. Yes, of course he won!
1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

The car was sporting black walls when it left the States but now it is back to wide white walls and I think it looks much better.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland truck

The hot rod was invited to a Finish Hot Rod show and Marco was quick to oblige, It was tucked in a trailer and off to Finland it went.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland

Marco’s hot rod was listed in the show programme the Guest from Germany. That is what “Saksan vieras” means. “PAKKO NÄHDÄ” means don’t miss! So don’t miss the Guest from Germany!

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland show

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland visitor

One of the show visitors was Mika Kari. Mika lived in Washington state for a year and I met him several times. He did a feature of the car for the Finish magazine Primer at the time. Mika stopped by and visited with Marco. Mika on the left and Marco on the…you get it.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us, Marco.

Photo: Marco Wenzel

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Build

The Model A build is still sitting on static pages but I have made this directory. These links should be all pointing to the build pages. If you find any bad links feel free to ping your Humble Editor.

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Frame and suspension

Frame Part II

Frame, part III

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod frame
1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod frame pinch
It is not necessary to pinch a 1932 frame to accept a ’30-’31 body, but I think one should, and here is why..

To pinch or not to…

Engine and Transmission

Including carburation options and accessories

Wheels and Brakes

Including pedal assembly

Exhaust

Dashboard

Including gauges and steering column

Interior

Electrical and Heater

Various Mock up stages

 …this one being an early one!

Body and sub-rails

Body Part II

Body, part III

Body, part IV

Roof Insert

Firewall

Including floor, trunk with gutters, and tank

Well, how did it come out?

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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

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Test fit…looks good.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Reader’s Rides: 1932 Ford Five Window

Sometimes your Humble Editor get an e-mail from a ClassicRoad reader with pictures of his or her car. Bob Mervar from Oregon state did just that and his 1932 Ford five window is too cool not to share with the world.

1932 Ford five window

The car was finished in 2009 and Bob has been driving the wheels off it ever since.

1932 Ford cruising

Some more pictures coming soon. Thanks for sharing, Bob

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…