Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blown Apart

I really wish I could have stood further back for a wider view of the mess I can create in a weekend.

To be able to weld on the frame requires completely taking apart the car, only having to put the car completely back together before the sun goes down on Sunday.  Monday through Friday the heap of parts has to be covered. It's to shield against the elements --not to mention it's a barrier from the nation's "Second dirtiest city (Los Angeles) in the US." according to an article my wife read in the NY Times today.  Bakersfield being the #1 dirtiest in America.  Good for Bakersfield, how often are they #1 at anything.

Not having a garage is a drag to say the least.  I'm still happy to have a secure place to build car. But seeing some people's garages can depress me.

By the way, it only takes two to lift the whole body off and onto a table.  It weighs about 200-250 pounds I'm guessing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dirt Track Roadster Inspiration

These are a few of my favorite roadster photos I've collected from the web.  I've used them to help me, along with some old publications, as inspirational material for my latest build.  Click on any picture to zoom in.
All of these cars were build in local garages for local events.  I doubt any were build by full-time  professional 'car builders'.  These builders were your local shop mechanics, that could modify & tune their cars while servicing his neighborhood clientele.

In future posts, I hope you'll see some of the best elements of these cars adapted into my very own T roadster-racer.

One of my favorites is the photo above; two Ts battling it out before packed grandstands. A common event in some parts, especially in California.  Driving up on a competitors tires was unfortunate, and extremely dangerous to say the least.  I'd hate to have a tire hit me in the back of the neck!

I'd just have to say, I'm in love with that T above with the hood & deuce grill! So simple looking, almost toy like.

This is another favorite, Phil Weiand's T.  Driven at race tracks all over LA as well at El Mirage dry lake bed.  It was painted gold (I like gold...) with chromed wheels which was rare for the 50's.
The engine is set back for better weight distribution, with a suicide front end, and a belly pan.  Pieces of bumper bolted to the rear radius arms as smooth tire deflectors.

This one is similar to Weiand's. But this time driver/owner is unknown.  I like the stock type hood, looks great with the 32 grill, and this one visibly has a deuce frame as well.  A very clean looking car. The exhaust is under this car, it changes the look of the car a lot from Phil's above.

Here is another 26/27 T, although not in great shape.  I like this car because I thought I'd use a rear bumper bar like this. It's simple, yet serves a purpose.  Check out the hand grooved tires --for dirt track traction.

This car was driven by Ike Hanks.  It's another Model T, pretty basic, it's made of parts commonly found at any wrecking yard of the time.  Here you get a better look at a suicide front end or 'bulldog' perch.  Rolled-tube Nerf bumper bars in front & on the rear radius arms.

Although the driver in the above picture is named Hanks, the driver in this photo (Chuck Ceder) has a striking resemblance to one actor named Tom Hanks.  Don't you think?  Click on the picture for a better look.

I added this picture because the car is so rough looking I had to show it.  To a lot of guys it was only important that the car ran.  In fact I've seen some rougher cars, this one is a '27 T roadster welded together.  His rear tire looks as tall as the one on my car.

Another '27 T,  and it seems this car has seen some action!  It has a pretty well used Model T on a beat Model A frame. Well at least he has a sponsor, so he's doing ok.
Quite a few guys would compete for fun of it, sponsor-less.  But having a garage or business back you helped. As long as you could keep up with better teams, you could keep racing.
He probably, minutes earlier, took the license plates and headlights off the car.
And speaking of sponsors, here's one team that has it made!  I see some expensive race parts on this very clean roadster, other then the new tires & paint, there are those pricey Kinmont early disk brakes.  I don't know who Suds Sutherland is exactly, but he looks like a pro to me.  It's hard to believe, but this type of car was high-end for the day.  And many famous race car drivers who's name we are familiar with today came from humble race track this this one.  Parsons, Rutherford, just to name a few.

Here is another clean, purpose-build roadster. 

This car is particularly special to me, because there is a rare photo of it's interior (below).

Here you can see the belly pan as the floor.  Sparse safety equipment, only a seat belt and basic roll bar.

I had to include one picture of a car that has many of the characteristics of the race cars above, but made for the street.  I hope my car will be somewhere in between this and the cars above --leaning towards racier.  Although my car may never actually see a track I still want it to look like it could have been competitive in 1952.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New 'Stones for the T

My plan for yesterday was to post pictures of the T with the new tires.  I got a little sidetracked, thanks to Ryan and the HAMB. The Hot Rod Disorder got more views yesterday then all of September & October combined.  As well as three new public followers and I hope a few more bookmarks --welcome aboard guys, I'll try to keep you entertained.  And to everybody else, thanks for sticking with me.

On Sunday I got a few minutes to repair the new tire tube I busted and re-mount the front tire on the rim.  I could then put all the tires on the T for a look-see.  The other wheels in older posts were only temporary rollers, your average 16x4" wide-5.  These wheels you see today are the ones I really had to search for patiently.

The fronts are hard-to-find 16x3.5", and the rears are even harder to find 16x5" only made for 1939-1942 3/4 ton Ford trucks.  The tires are 8.90 in the back 5.00 up front.
The difference in size is immense! It's really pushing the boundaries of what was used in the 1950's.  Fortunately both tires were available back then. But really only the richest race teams could have afforded the newest Firestone offerings in race tires.  Your average 'run-what-you-brung' kid at the track drove in on hand grooved, balding, second-hand tires --or so I've seen in pictures.

You may also have noticed the car has seats now.  Yes, they are real WWII fighter plane seats, or "bomber seats".  I bought a matching pair from an aircraft restorer.  One good seat is hard enough to find, a matching pair? Nearly impossible... nearly.
As good as they look together, they don't both fit into a tiny T roadster cab.  If this were a '32, they'd be swimming with all that space!  But if you'll remember, I'll only need one, it's a "race car".  So I'll save the other seat for my next racer.

The key to making these tires look good is ride-height, the car has to be low. These tires are almost too intense, but they are growing on me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ed Gallagher Is Building A 32 Roadster

I have mentioned it before, my personal good friend Ed (and fellow A-V8ers member) is building his very own 32 roadster hot rod.  It's going to be a full-on traditional ride, of course.  He's staring with an og. deuce frame.

I originally met Ed at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank just after he bought his first '28 roadster.  I was well along in the build of my first Model A/V8 at the time and we struck accord over our same tastes in Fords.  To his dismay, Ed is currently stuck in Denver Colorado.  But he will return to LA someday he says, he  loves it here.

Now that Ed has graduated to 32s and he has just begun documenting it in "So You Want To Build A 32 Roadster?", click the name to read his blog.  Then bookmark it, and follow along as he builds it from the ground up.

My Survivor on the H.A.M.B.

I receive a high honor today from Ryan, the creator & proprietor of the Jalopy Journal "Hokey Ass Message Board", or the HAMB for short. I have spent many hours reading and contributing to discussions in the forum, and made a few new friend as well. So being the center of attention, even for a short time, feels pretty cool to say the least.

I have to thank Ryan for taking time to write about "Daytons".  Not many receive this honor, I am one of the very lucky few.

Click here to read the whole article... if you haven't already.

To read more about the car, you may also want to click on the picture of it in the column on the left.