Ron Pope Motorsports                California Custom Roadsters               

New to the Forum Old Guy


My name is Bill and I am a hot rod nut. I currently drive a Caddy powered 48 F-1 every day and a SBCd 48 Chev convert lots of days. I have had the F-1 since 1999 and the convert since 1975.

I am currently building a 26 lakes modified style T. I have been collecting parts since 1994 and started on the frame in May 2008 and have about completed it, see picture.

The roadster is a long term (10-15 year), low dollar project that should resemble a modified roadster originally built in the forties and kept and updated for street use into the fifties. The sought after look will be that of a modified roadster assembled from readily available junk yard parts and cleaned up and made to shine but still have a little of that used patina. As with my 48 Chevrolet convertible and 48 Ford F-1, this will be a driver. Other than perhaps the driveline it will have a combination of parts readily obtainable during the 1940's and early 50s.

The body is the front half of a 1926/27 Ford "T" Touring from on a pretty rough hot rod allegedly built in Vermont in the late fifties or early sixties. The abbreviated T touring body at that time was on an unknown frame with an independent front end and a nailhead Buick V-8 engine. The body had been channeled about 6" and had an abbreviated pickup bed. It was supposedly run at the drags with the Buick during that period. It was purchased in the mid sixties by Hank who put the body on a flat head Ford powered 1930/31 Model frame with a suicide mounted 40 Ford front end, an open drive 47 Ford truck rear end under a Model A spring and an oval "T" gas tank. Hank had it all together and drove the car with repairer plates for a brief time. Hank's plans to take it apart and finish and detail the car was aborted when he decided not to go through the hassle required registering a composite vehicle. Hank stored the car in a building on his property that he moved (the building) three times before he sold it with a bunch of other stuff to my friend Ron in the spring of 1994.

Since acquiring the body by swapping work from friend Ron I have also obtained a chopped and chromed 32 Ford grille shell, a chopped 32 radiator, a stainless steel chopped grille shell insert, four 30/31 Model A hood sides, a rectangular gas tank from a 1936 -38 FARMALL, a 26-27 windshield assembly and a fiberglass 32 roadster dash for a model "A". The gauges are early SW and will sit in a Mercury Marine panel on the 32 dash. The frame is a z-d and tapered 2X4 tube with a Rolling Bones / Spencer style front end and the model A rear cross member. The roadster will run a full hood to provide room for a straight six in the future, with mid 30's GM headlights (I don't know exactly what they are from) on a modified 1928/29 Model A headlight bar. Tail lites are an accessory (trailer??) lite that resemble a 50 Pontiac lite but in a round bucket. It will be pointed down the road with a "Bell" type 4 blade steering wheel or a 39 Ford "banjo" wheel, 48 Ford F-1 steering box and shifted with a 51 Ford pickup truck column shifter hung under the 32 style dash. I am using a 34 Ford axle (not dropped), and the front reverse eye spring is mounted to split 34 wish bones with MG style shocks similar to the Rolling Bones / Spencer style.

I have collected all the above since June of 1994. I also have obtained two sets of wheels for the modified to roll along on: 1935 Ford 16 inch wire wheels with 1932 Ford hub caps and trim rings and also a set of 16" Ford F-1 solids, trim rings, and 46 & 48 Ford hubcaps. I have a pair of 7:50 X 16 rear black walls and a pair of 7:00 X 16 rear wide whites For the fenders (CT and my town are particular on this) I have several 1935/36 Ford and also a 40s era Woody spare tire covers.

The currently planned (I have it, it was free, low mileage, quiet, no smoke, and I think I understand it) motor is a 78 Buick V-6, 231 ci. This will be coupled with a 350 transmission linked to a GM 10 bolt or 48 Ford rear mounted under a Model A rear spring with split 39 Merc wish bones. I made the frame long enough to add a straight six at a later date. I want to get it on the road and then make changes over the winters.

In addition to acquiring restoring and refreshing a multitude of parts, I have done a fair amount of work on the body. After I stripped it of a gallon or two of bondo it was found to be cobbled together in the best shadetree fashion. The firewall had been welded completely in, perhaps replaced. The cowl sides, quarter panels, rocker panels and doorsills had been replaced with home made panels. This resulted in one door opening being 1/4" narrower than the other and a slight out of shape to one rear quarter. This old work used 16 & 18 gauge steel solidly welded. The original floor bracing/sub frame had been cut out along with the bottom 6 or 7 inches of the rear panel to channel the body over the frame.

I have both stiffened the bottom edge and increased the height of the body by welding on a perimeter of 1x1" tube. I also made floor supports tied into the 1" square tube perimeter frame. This has dropped the floor 2 1/2" below the original location. I also extended the firewall forward 7 1/2" (a reverse of the old wheelbarrow trick), and braced the cowl to support the steering column and the narrowed deuce dash. I fabricated a cowl vent mechanism to operate the gas fill door in the cowl. I have also replaced the lower portion of the rear of the body and strengthened the rear with 1" x 1" tube and 1" X 1/8" strap. This stiffened the body significantly and should also give some protection from errant drivers. The seat riser has been lowered at least 6" and moved to the rear 2". As the body will sit on top of the frame, hi-boy style, this should allow us to sit down low in the roadster and provide decent legroom. I want it to be a reasonably comfortable driver. One choice of windshield is a cut down and reshaped 1937 Ford closed car frame with one off brackets reminiscent of the Duvall or speedster type. I also have 26/27 w/s posts and a complete what appears to be an aftermarket 26/27 windshield assembly.

The project did not start out with this as an objective but it has turned out to be a low bucker. I probably wont do it for a "dollar a pound" like the old ROD & CUSTOM (little book) "T" roadster series in the mid-fifties. I am not sure that's even my goal. Cheap (inexpensive) is OK but not the prime objective that is "safe and thr right look". Currently due to a lot of donations of unwanted parts by my friends I have only $1854.00 invested in the modified.
Welcome from another "Old Guy" :lol::cool:

looks like you got a pretty good start, and from the looks of the stuff in the back ground, plenty of equipment to finish it;)

hang out with us, plenty of good advice, don't be afraid to ask a few questions, and answer some if'n ya can.

Welcome to the site. Your project sounds real familiar.



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