Detroit ExtremeBasement GoodiesContinuing with the tradition of Editor Brennan selecting his pick from the Basement, this year the Keith Coleman sculpted award went to Bill Towers of Milford, Delaware for his much-shortened Model A sedan.
The '31 Ford is based on a Murray four-door body and was built by Clark Bates (So What Speed Shop) as he shortened it 20 inches, chopped it 2 inches, and narrowed it and additional 2 inches in back. Interestingly the door is a compilation of a front and a rear; the rear door maintains the upswept sheetmetal but is stretched to match the size of a front door.
Other points of interest: Clearly the hot rod strikes you as shortened, which it is, but upon closer examination you realize the Murray body with its laid back windshield post, arched window openings, flush doors and drip rails (nearly identical to the Deuce) is something special.
All of the sheetmetal sits on an 84-inch wheelbase with the front a Super Bell axle outfitted with a Posies spring mounted behind the axle, '40 Ford brakes with Buick drums, and '40 Ford wishbones. In back there is an 8-inch Ford rearend again with a Posies '40 Ford front spring fit into service.
The motor and transmission are lifted from a '83 Ford Ranger pickup. There is a custom log-style intake with Ford 94 carbs. A copy of an old Ambler valve cover (overhead conversion for early bangers) is fit over the stock valve cover. A custom lakes-style header finishes off the engine.
In a car with lots of interesting details one should not overlook the rims. These wheels are '75-76 Lincoln wheels measuring 15x6 in front and narrowed 11/2 inches. A lip that was adjacent to where the lug holes are was machined off and the surface of the wheels rubbed to give the "as cast" finish. In the end we have everyday stock wheels that have a vintage look-might even say Halibrand for not nearly the money or the effort to find. Congrats to Bill and Clark for a job well done.