Rod & Custom Fab Five presented by Coker Tire
Father’s Day Fab 5
Words and pictures by Kev Elliott
Despite Rod & Custom magazine’s merge with Street Rodder, the Rod & Custom Fab 5, presented by Coker Tire, is still very much continuing. The third round of the 2014 program took place at the LA Roadsters’ Father’s Day show, at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona.
With an all-time high for attendance, and the show areas split between Specialty Parking, Closed Car Parking and the Roadster section, we all but wore out a pair of walking boots over the weekend searching for the Fab 5. The sheer number of cars made selection tough, but we’re nothing if not persistent!
Bill Davis took a 1940 Ford Tudor sedan and created a phantom roadster pickup. The rear fenders were widened inwards to meet the narrowed body behind the B pillars, while the original trunk lid now forms the tailgate. What looks like a folding roof is actually a lift-off hardtop, matching the tan interior by Jim Skinner.
The reworked body sits on a modified Roadster Shop chassis, with a 376ci LS motor between the front fenders, pumping out 515 horsepower. A Tremec TKO 600 5-speed and 9-inch Ford rearend transfer the ponies to the 20-inch Wheelsmith steelies, wrapped in 265/50/20 rubber. Matching 215/40/17s up front complete the quartet. Josh Bjorgo is the man responsible for the bodywork and light green paint.
Las Cruces, NM
1924 Model T
The Stryker family has been building, tuning and racing Offy powered race cars for over half a century, first Harry Stryker, then his son Mike, in the Seattle area. Harry always wanted to build a track roadster, and started this one in 1995. A master metalman, he formed the nose and grille himself, while Mike handled building the 276ci Flathead.
That engine, as well as the rest of the running gear, came from a 1947 Ford, with 16-inch steelies all round, measuring 7-inches wide in the rear and 6 at the front, all shod skinny in Firestone bias plies. Hairpin radius rods locate the front and rear axles, and coupled with the nerf bars front and rear, lend the correct period look. Check out strykerscustom.com for more on the family’s Offy-powered Midgets and Sprint cars.
Cave Creek, AZ
1932 Ford roadster
You’d have to have a good memory and a pretty keen eye to recognize Rich Faul’s Deuce roadster as the ex-Mark Westrick August ’92 R&C cover car! Back then it was coming straight at ya, with huge dirt track rear tyres and skinny Michelins leading the way. Actually the only thing that’s changed, according to Faul, is that rolling stock, as he felt the 20+ year old rubber probably wasn’t up to cross-desert travel in summer time, and opted to fit these 16-inch steels and Coker-sourced Firestone bias plies for his trip from Arizona to the west coast.
The V windshield, the louvered hood top with smooth sides, the small block, even the mirrors, are all the same 22 years later, but those trim-less black steels and fresh rubber really update it. Or is that backdate it? Either way, it’s a deserving Fab Fiver.
1935 Ford phaeton
The untrained eye might see a stock ’35 phaeton here. Even the Excelsior radials look like old bias plies, and the cap and trim ring-equipped 16-inch wires certainly help the illusion. That light green and black two tone – a combination owner Paul Bonderson used on his previous car, a Brizio-built ’38 Ford pickup – doesn’t hurt either.
But a little further digging will reveal Wilwood four wheel disc brakes behind the wires, and a Tremec 5-speed hooked to a ZZ-4 crate motor. Independent front suspension and a parallel leaf sprung 9-inch ensure a modern ride quality for this stunning resto-rod.
Mira Loma, CA
1949 Chevy Fleetline
We dug Terry James’ ’49 Fleetline as soon as we saw the 425ci Buick Nailhead under its louvered hood (which is backed by a TH400 and 9-inch rearend).There then followed a very enjoyable 15 minutes in Terry’s company where we tried to spot all the body mods. It’s nosed, decked and shaved, of course, with frenched headlights, long-gone door handles, and that louvered hood.
One-piece bumpers are used front and rear, but the tail lights had us stumped. Turns out they’re custom made units that terry heated and formed to the curve of the rear fenders, then built housings for! It’s that kind of workmanship that we love.