For over 22 years David Rippy of Indianapolis, Indiana, has been building some of the finest hot rods around. About 10 years ago he finally made it a full-time business instead of just a hobby. As an automotive fabricator, ideas swirl through his mind like a full-fledged deep space supernova. However, some ideas don't just fall helplessly into our mind's void never to be thought of again, no, some, hopefully the better ones, have a way of creeping back into the conscience to haunt us until they become a reality.
For David, this reoccurring vision was a car so cool he felt it had to be built and the time just happened to be right. After a brief search for a decent Model A project, David came upon a rough '29 body with a very interesting torsion bar front suspension in Greenwood, Indiana. The '32 rails had been pinched to the width of the '29 body and had a Magnum Axle Co. 48-inch axle. This was it, the beginnings of an idea that had been plaguing David's mind for over 8 years.
The first orders of business were to fix all the rust in the body and to restore it to semi-original condition. David wanted to retain some of the '29's original good looks and unique features, so not much in the way of body mods needed to be done. In fact, the only real modification was filling the roof section with one from an Oldsmobile Cutlass. David also fabricated the driprails because the originals were far too rusted to save. The handcrafted aluminum hood is also one of David's specialties, and a must for any of his personal or customer cars. To keep the '60s style theme going that he had been planning on, David had good friend Jamie Keister spray the DuPont Sunset Copper paint over the immaculately prepped steel body. The door handles and even the cowl-mounted gas filler were retained and help set the car apart, but what really did the trick was how the chassis and body ended up sitting when dropped to the ground with those American Racing wheels and perfectly-sized rubber.
As for the '29's amazing stance, we can only direct your attention to the detailed work of Steve Panarites of Steve's Auto Fab in Jamestown, Indiana. Steve "The Greek" Panarites took the Sprint Car-style torsion bar front end and mated it to his handmade hairpins, the 4-inch Magnum Axle, Vega steering box, and Wilwood brakes for a super reliable and decent riding front suspension. Steve also fabbed a custom Panhard bar and unique hidden shock mounts for the '29's frontend. As for the rear, Steve's highly prized fabrication skills can be seen by way of a custom four-link, Panhard bar, and similar style shock mounts with Carrera coilovers. The 8-inch Ford housing uses a 3:55:1 gear ratio with Wilwood brakes for stopping power.
Of course, all that bitchin' chassis work would be for not if David hadn't mounted the Keith Santo-built 350ci Chevy small-block between her rails. The engine features a 3.48-inch stroke, eagle rods, forged pistons, and a compression ratio of 10.5:1. A Comp Cams camshaft opens the magnum roller rockers that open the Comp Cams valves to the rush of fuel being delivered by the Holley 650-cfm carburetor. Keeping it all cool is a Stewart water pump, Perma-Cool fan, and custom brass radiator by Steve long. Jeff Bradley of Bradley's Transmissions of Indianapolis, Indiana, built a '70 Turbo 350 with a 10-inch Transmissions Specialties 3,000 stall converter, S.F.I. flywheel, and shift kit.
With the dirty work out of the way it was time for Hot Rod Upholstery of Brooks, Kentucky, to take over by stitching a smooth sand-colored vinyl pattern over a Dodge Minivan seat. On the dash side of things, David chose a set of Auto Meter gauges, Lokar shifter, and a rich looking Grant mahogany steering wheel.
So, once again, David Rippy has built himself a very unique and traditional highboy. The stance, wheels and tires, and color not only exude the '60s theme he was going for, but the finished product speaks volumes about what a lifetime of creative car building can produce.
We're not exactly sure what it is about David Rippy's '29 that looks so perfect. Being a r
Those different-looking round taillights are actually '37 Ford lenses with original chrome
When all you want from your powerplant is strong, reliable horsepower, there just isn't mu
Keeping things simple and clean on the inside was the job of Hot Rod Upholstery out of Bro
The factory dash was retained, as was the factory gauge panel with a set of Auto Meter gau
Helping to give this '29 a ride and stance that is second to none are the custom-made hair
The Wilwood disc brakes were simply an addition of safety and reliability that may not fal
The backend of the coupe sports a nicely-built Ford 8-inch with Steve's Auto Fab-built fou
|1929 Ford coupe|
|Frame / Manufacturer ||'32 Ford / Steve's Auto Fab|
|Modifications||pinched to fit '29 cowl |
|Chassis plumbing||stainless steel |
|Rearend / Ratio||8" Ford / 3:55:1 |
|Rear suspension||custom four-link w/ Carrera coilovers |
|Rear brakes||Wilwood 10" disc |
|Front suspension||torsion bar / axle / hairpins |
|Front brakes||Wilwood 10" disc |
|Master cylinder ||Ford Falcon|
|Steering box||Vega |
|Front wheel make, size||American Racing Torq-Thrust D, 15 x 4.5 |
|Rear wheel make, size||American Racing Torque Thrust D, 15 x 8.5 |
|Front tire make, size||Kleber, 145 x 15 |
|Rear tire make, size||BFGoodrich, 255-70-R15|
|Gas tank||custom 14-gal. |
|Other chassis items ||hidden shock mounts, handmade hairpins|
|Year and make||1970 Chevrolet |
|Machining / Assembly||S&S Automotive/ Keith Santo |
|Rods||5.7 Eagle |
|Water pump||Stewart |
|Cooling fan||Perma-Cool |
|Valves / Springs||Comp Cams|
|Rockers ||Magnum rollers|
|Manifold / Induction ||Holley|
|Ignition / Wires||MSD / Taylor |
|Exhaust / Mufflers||stainless / Flowmaster 2-chamber |
|Year and make||1970 GM 350 Turbo |
|Converter||Transmission Specialties 10", 3,000 stall|
|Shifter||Lokar Performance Products|
|Trans mods||performance by Jeff Bradley|
|Driveshaft||3" by Wilkinson's |
|Body style / Material ||coupe / all-steel|
|Body manufacturer||Ford Motor Co. |
|Body mods||filled top, all new floor |
|Bodywork||David Rippy / Jamie Keister |
|Paint type / Color ||DuPont / Sunset Copper|
|Headlights / Taillights||Vintique / '37 Ford |
|Other body items||chrome work by Metal Finishing |
|Insert / Gauges ||Auto Meter |
|Upholsterer||Hot Rod Upholstery, Brooks, KY |
|Material / Color||Vinyl/ sand|