Some Beauties We Missed the First Go
The French Are Back in Favor
Crowd Pleaser. Aquarius, a tribute to the Delahey 165s of the early post-war years, with bodies by French coachbuilders like Figoni et Falaschi and Saoutchik, is certainly a roadster, but we’ll have to wait to see if it was contending for the AMBR.
Lowly Beginnings, Sweet Results
The genius of Hot Rodding is to take a car that no one wants and turn it into a head-turner. The Henry J was cheap, and that was about all that could be said in its favor when new, but it was also small. That translates into light. Add a 350 CID Chevy small block and that equals fast. This immaculately executed rod, by Melody and Larry Henderson, is what admirers call “sanitary.” It sounds like understatement, but it means thoughtful design, detailing and execution such that you could eat off any surface – from engine room to dash.
Sweet and Low
Bill Shimer’s 1930 Ford Tudor Sedan’s engine sports the vertical valve covers that identify it as a Buick “nail-head” V8, a late ’40s overhead valve design popular for engine swaps.
Another nail-head, this one in a gorgeous ’29 Ford Roadster owned by Alan Behrse of Victorville. Even the fuel lines are color matched!
Seven Liters – and Overhead Cams
This replica Deuce (chassis and body are aftermarket), shown by Harold Hannemann of West Covina, CA, is powered by a “Cammer,” the short-lived single overhead cam Ford “FE” 427 with hemispherical combustion chambers that was developed to counter Chrysler’s Hemi, only to be banned from NASCAR. Below you can see the shadow of the crossover to the underbody exhaust, making those “lakes pipes.”
What? No Fuelie?
Augie Delgado of Fullerton, CA, showed the only Corvette I ever saw with four dual side-draft Weber carburetors, a 1964 Coupe (see below).
A growing movement among hot rodders is the recognition of historic early cars. This one is a bit confusing. They call this ’36 Ford 3-window “The Pierson Coupe,” owned by Jim Bobowski. But there is another Pierson Coupe, owned by Petersen Museum co-founder Bruce Meyer. The latter is a more radical, record setting dry lakes racer, with most of the character of the donor car eradicated. This one is milder, but with a racing history of its own (see below).
The Grand International?
Born in Stockholme, Sweden, The 507 Coupé (Don’t forget the accent) was imported by Martin Lundquist. In correct hot rod tradition, it takes a Deuce, adds a Grille from an Adler, a Dash from a Lincoln Zephyr, and many custom-made pieces to realize a truly unique vision.
Another ride you might not associate with hot rodding, but worthy of inclusion in any car show, the Jaguar XK-E remains a benchmark in automotive design. This 1962 “HotCat,” entered by Marty Habouan of Anaheim, CA, has not been limited by the slavish attention to originality common in concours. It benefits from the substitution of a modern 5-speed transmission in place of the Moss original (with its non-synchro first gear), and three dual Weber Carburetors (below) instead of the three SUs that came with the car.
They have not yet posted the results of the judging, so we don’t even know which of the roadsters we saw are included in the rumored eighteen candidates. We’ll be back with stats and pix as soon as we have them.
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