For the Top 100 program, STREET RODDER attends 10 particular car shows each year and picks 10 vehicles at each to make up the Street Rodder Top 100. For more on where those shows are and how they’re voted on, check www.streetrodder.com.
Dan Garcia, Anaheim, California / 1940 Ford coupe
Pop the classic hood on this ’40 and you’ll see contemporary horsepower in the form of a fuel-injected ’03 Ford Cobra 4.6 V-8. Behind the 32-valve fuel-injected engine is a Ford AOD transmission and 9-inch Ford rearend on parallel leaf springs, and IFS helps to smooth out the bumps. Hot Rod Haven in Albuquerque, NM, handled much of the construction. Ron Mangus of Rialto, CA, stitched the interior.
Landis Chisenhall, San Antonio, Texas / 1936 Ford coupe
This three-window coupe is a unique combination of a traditional street rod on the outside and canyon carver underneath. The body has undergone some subtle changes, such as a three-piece hood, Dodge taillights, and the substitution of nerf bars for bumpers, but underneath Danny Zoller’s perfect body and paintwork there are a number of surprises. An LSX from Mast Motorsports drives a rear-mounted Corvette IRS transaxle. Up front the suspension uses the spindles and aluminum components from a Pontiac Solstice and 14-inch Baer brakes are found at all four corners, along with Budnik wheels. Inside are more race car for the street features, leather upholstery is mixed with chromoly rollcage and an on-board fire system.
Adam Arakelian, Yorba Linda, California / 1930 Ford
When construction of this Model A pickup began at SO-CAL Speed Shop in Pomona, CA, the intent was to “capture the essence of mid-’50s Southern California styling.” To that end the body of the hauler was left stock, made perfectly straight, and painted black. The A rolls on chrome wheels with ’50 Merc hubcaps wrapped with wide whites. The bumpers have been left off and a vintage wooden toolbox can be found in the bed. Underneath the flawless sheetmetal is a SO-CAL New Traditionalist chassis with an I-beam axle on hairpins. The 350 Chevy is coupled to a Turbo 350 trans followed by Currie 9-inch rearend. Inside is a leather-covered bench seat, a ’32 dash with a SO-CAL instrument panel, gauges, and switches. A cut-down ’40 steering wheel tops a custom column.
Richard Rohrdanz, Huntington Beach, California / 1950 Ford coupe
The shoebox Ford is dubbed the “High School Hot Rod” because that’s the theme the owner/builder was after. Other than a rolled rear pan, the body is mostly stock, however it does take most admirers by surprise when they realize the deceptively real-looking side trim was air brushed by Jeff Styles. Paint was applied by Bob Cole, and Orange County Upholstery handled the interior. Sticking with the Ford theme, there’s a 351 underhood coupled to a C6 trans controlled by the original column shift lever. Bringing up the rear is an 8-inch Ford axle assembly and there’s Mustang II up front.
Pat Patton, Simi Valley, California / 1940 Ford coupe
Pat Patton wanted a ’60s-style street rod, and for him that meant it could only be one color: Candy Apple Red. Pat and Sam Limon did the dazzling bodywork and paint that comes alive in the sunlight, while Victor Zuniga stitched the period-perfect interior. Suspension up front is Mustang II with parallel leaves and a 9-inch in the rear. The real surprise is underhood where there’s a BDS 6:71 blown small-block Chevy. The engine is backed by a Turbo 400 transmission and a 9-inch Ford rearend.
Scott Roberts, Moorpark, California / 1941 Ford
Recently finished by Hot Rods and Custom Stuff in Escondido, CA, Scott Roberts’ pickup is deceptively clean and simple. At first glance many of the body modifications go unnoticed—under the custom mixed gold paint are shaved door handles, hidden hinges, and filled stake pocket holes. Inside, Armando’s Auto Upholstery in San Jacinto, CA, stitched the bone-colored leather interior with gold piping and matching carpet. The foundation for the hauler is a Total Cost Involved chassis with independent front suspension and a 9-inch Ford rearend located by a four-link and airbags are used all around. Earl Floyd built the 276ci Merc Flathead. It’s equipped with an Isky 3/4 race cam, Edelbrock heads, a twin two-barrel intake manifold mounting Stromberg 97 carburetors. A Flat-O-Matic mates the engine to a Ford C4 automatic.
Tom Shorett, San Bernardino, California / 1933 Ford
In Tom Shorett’s own words, this ’33 Ford is “a great driver,” and it must be because he continues to rack up the miles. The chassis is based on an original Ford frame that has been equipped with a Bell dropped axle and Pete & Jakes four-bars and Vega steering. In the rear more Pete and Jakes parts, in the form of ladder bars, position a Ford 9-inch rearend. Disc brakes are used up front with drums in back. Power comes in the familiar form of a 350ci small-block Chevy coupled to a Turbo 350 transmission. Painted Washington Blue, the body is a Gibbon fiberglass reproduction; the fenders, hood, and grille are original Ford sheetmetal. Stock headlights, horns, and bumpers are part of the resto-rod theme. Inside there a SO-CAL Speed Shop gauges in a stock dash and the custom top was made by Neil Gates.
Anthony Taormina, Reno, Nevada / 1932 Ford
Starting with little more than a cowl, Anthony Taormina built the doors and rear section of this roadster pickup with the help of a class and hands-on guidance from legendary fabricator, Faye Butler. To complete the pickup, Anthony turned to Vintage Hot Rod Design and Fabrication in Chico, CA. They built the unique frame that puts the undropped axle in front of the grille shell and the spring behind it. In the rear, the ’rails have been deeply Z’d and coilovers are used for suspension. The aircraft-inspired interior features extensive riveted metalwork and a genuine pair of bomber seats. For an engine, John Beck built a ’38 Lincoln V-12 Flathead coupled to a T-5 transmission. Continuing the theme, the brakes all around as well as the rearend are also Lincoln.
Don Lindfors, Orange, California/ 1929 Ford pickup
This roadster pickup has been a hot rod since the ’60s and today it wears the same paint that was applied in the ’70s. When Don Lindfors made some changes in the truck a few years ago the decision was made to save the vintage finish, so he had the legendary Stan Betz mix up a right-on color-match for the updated firewall and dash. Phil Whetstone dressed up the exterior with new pinstripes. The chassis is based on a modified original frame, there’s a dropped ’32 axle with split wishbones and Vega steering up front. In the rear Pete & Jakes ladder bars and coilovers locate a positraction-equipped 8-inch Ford rearend. A 347-inch small-block Ford supplies the power; the trans is a C4.
Tim Allen, Burbank, California / 1955 Ford
Dubbed the “Triple Nickel,” Tim Allen’s ’55 Ford was built by Moal Coachbuilders in Oakland, CA. As this car is being built to be driven, it’s based on an Art Morrison chassis fitted with a supercharged 5.4L Ford GT Cammer engine. Depending on its configuration, the engine has the potential to produce 600-850 hp, all of which will be transferred to an automatic overdrive transmission from a Lightening pickup. A number of modifications have been made to the exterior of the ’55. A Thunderbird-style scoop was added to the hood, the headlights have been frenched, and screened cold-air vents replace the original parking/turn signal lights. The stealthy look is enhanced by fat rubber on steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps. To go along with the hood scoop, the Thunderbird theme continues inside the car with the basic interior design and the addition of a T-bird dash.
Best Ford in a Ford
Some things have been taken...
Some things have been taken away, others have been added. The hood ornament and badges have been removed and a T-bird scoop put in place; the parking lights/turn signals gave way to intake air scoops.
While the perfect body and paintwork on Tim Allen’s ’55 Ford are hard to miss, this is a car that requires a close look to be fully appreciated. Fresh out of Moal Coachbuilders, the Customline coupe is loaded with added details that are so perfectly integrated they almost go undetected.
Inside the interior features...
Inside the interior features leather-covered, T-bird–inspired seats and door panels along with a transplanted dash.
Long gone is the Y-block and...
Long gone is the Y-block and in its place is a supercharged and fuel-injected 5.4L GT Ford V-8. The installation is so sanitary it looks like it came from the factory.
In the rear, the trunklid...
In the rear, the trunklid has been smoothed, new taillight lenses have been made, and the backup lights have been fitted with stainless inserts.