Friday’s Fords

I looked at my number of posts and realized that I have now written over 1000 blogs which is a milestone in this business. I started by sending them email to my friends and ended up with a website which now has over 10,000 viewers from all over the world. I plan to continue as long as I have material I deem worthwhile. I know I am stuck on Deuces, Woodies and Forties but I do like other year models also. I am going to try and feature some more styles, but will always lean toward the traditional style hot rod versus the smoothie look…That’s just me.

I love the solid axles but find the IFS provides a much better ride for these old bones so you may see a few IFS on the cars I feature. Roy Brizio once told me,”use solid axles on pre 34’s and IFS on all the rest”. He has built enough hot rods to know what works best and as long as you can’t see them why not go with the latest technology for suspensions, brakes and steering. I have even changed my outlook on engines. The EFI has a great advantage over a carbureted engine and provides lots of benefits in today’s world of $4+ a gallon gasoline. The only drawback is the serviceability of the electronics involved. The FAST module system seems to be working without any problems but the final exam will be on — fixing the EFI on the road. I hope to gain enough knowledge to be able to pass the exam.

Basically, I am a lover of old Fords and Chevrolet engines, but I have learned to appreciate the various Ford motors that are available. I also enjoy  the renewed interest in the Buick, Olds, Cadillac and Hemi engines of the past. I always spend some time looking at these other engines as they seem to be showing up in the early style traditional hot rods. The flathead will always be on my list as they are what started the hot rod trend in the beginning. I don’t want to build one but I sure enjoy looking at them at the shows. The transmissions of choice has changed from the 39 LZ geared box to the T-5 and Tremec 5/6 transmission for easier shifting on the street. Many are still using the 39 box but if you drive your car long distances you will soon be tempted to switch to the modern versions of manual transmissions or in my case an automatic overdrive.

The quick change is my favorite rear end choice for a roadster and Winters makes it easy to install in your build. The other rear end of choice is the Ford 9 inch which is available from many sources including junk yards. Just add a buggy spring, coil overs or a parallel leaf suspension and you have a real reacher for your trips. Remember, “Traditional” is what you want it to be. Build what you like and not what someone else tells you is traditional. Your goal should be making it to and from the event without too many problems and in a style you like.

Thanks for your continued interest and take the hot rod out for a ride.

Stay Tooned!


I rode in this tub at Boyds and fell in love with everything except the top. The back and front were way to high for my taste. I can’t recall if this was Jamie’s or someone else’s. It rode like a dream but I still wanted the solid axle under my phaeton. (circa 1984)

Mike has the right idea on his tub. Chop the top and lean back the post. He drove this one to the LARS this year. Solid axle front provides the buggy spring suspension and the ride.

On early style builds the overall look of this 3 window is right on the money with all the appointments and the important 39 box.

Today’s look of the same thing but with modern technology provides the driver a trouble free ride. The floor shift controls a Tremec manual transmission for the important synchronized gears and overdrive. The choice is yours.

If you like the stock spring and want a nice set up on your Ford, then this Bob Drake rear swap bar and shock mount kit is what you need.

Loaded and ready for the trip to Pomona, Bob-O’s Deuce is very traditional and yet has tons of modern appointments such as coil overs, Disc Brakes (SO-CAL) and a four bar suspension on the rear. You can’t keep up with him unless you drive 85 mph.

My old 3 window of many years has been transformed into a smoothie with a complete Boyd chassis. Various owners of this car changed the style to suit their preference. Ron drove it Pomona this year and set up camp. The car has been driven very few miles since I sold it to Boyd in 1985. I purchased the original chassis back and installed in under my sedan.

If you like the old look but want modern upgrades then contact the HRW in ID for their conversion parts. Not cheap but quality never is.

My friend Rich, has a new roadster built to his taste and he blended the old with the new very successfully. Ryan Reed made rotor covers and trimmed the Buick drums a tad to make them disappear.

For many this is a very traditional chassis using coil overs and a tri-angulated four bar. This is a proven system and works well in hot rods.

Many builders still prefer the buggy spring rear suspension as shown here. Note the crossmember clearance with the QC. The choice is yours.

An “Office” regular is Flathead Fred who has owned his hot rod for many, many years. The body is perfect and he drives it everywhere with an owner built flathead. He calls his a true traditional hot rod. I call this style “High School” hot rod.

Today’s Traditional Hot Rod!

An original car from the Bay area built by Lem is now on the east coast and doing its duty by winning lots of awards. The car was unchopped and green when Lem built it in the 90’s.

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