It's a story many hot rodders can tell. They know about an old car tucked away in a barn and, decades later, are able to buy the vehicle, build it to their spec, then spend weekends driving it around town and to rod rods. But living in a parallel universe, one that is almost like the one we know, are folks like Larry Wood. As a veterinarian with decades of experience helping animals in the San Antonio region of Texas, Larry has also gotten to know a great many people through their pets, including one gent who owned several nice vehicles (including an MG/TC bought when new in England) as well as a complete Model A roadster pickup.
Since high school almost 50 years ago, Larry had always wanted a Model A roadster pickup, and he'd ask about purchasing his customer's truck whenever he'd stop into Larry's office with his dog. It took nearly 20 years, but Larry got his chance to buy it in 2002. However, it had been stored in an outdoor shed for many years where the roof had collapsed and the weather had started to eat away at the fenders.
Gordon Chisenhall is another customer and friend of Wood. A dyed-in-the-wool hot rodder, Gordon told Larry about Barry Lobeck's shop in Ohio, as Gordon was having some work done there on his '32. At first, Larry was only looking for a frame to replace the worn-out one under his newly acquired truck, so he called Lobeck's shop in Springfield, Ohio, to get the ball rolling.
But as the project moved along, Larry found more and more things he'd like to replace to make his pickup a bit nicer, so his conversations with Barry eventually turned to getting a completely new steel roadster pickup body from Brookville Roadster.
Lobeck's has been building hot rods for decades, and if there is one thing that can be said for the cars that come out of that shop, it's that they will sit and profile better than most any other hot rod out there. That is especially true with the full-fendered cars, as they always look like the fenders drip over the tires without the aid of airbags.
With the Model A chassis nearly done (narrowed in the rear and kicked 2 inches), the suspension pieces-a Magnum dropped tube axle and stainless four-bar in the front and "straight" four-bar in the rear-were dialed in with shock absorbers (All-American coilover out back, chromed Pete & Jake's up front) and a Durant monoleaf front spring. A 9-inch rear (3.25:1) with 28-spline axles was also added, as was a simple brake system (drums aft, Wilwood disc fore).
The body utilized the complete steel body kit from Brookville, which includes the fenders, bed, running boards, and splash aprons. The only item not ordered through Brookville was the hood, which was obtained through Rootlieb. When the pickup was mocked together and still in primer, Larry got the chance to see it when he visited Lobeck's to see how things were going.
Happy that everything was on track, Wood gave the go-ahead and the work began on the bodywork and paint. Lobeck's Springfield location (the main shop is still in Cleveland, Ohio) used PPG products to coat the truck, which was followed by a subtle Tommy the Greek-style pinstripe by Cincinnati's Dauber. At first, Larry had wanted to go with a metallic burgundy for the rod's exterior color, but after some discussion, a custom-blended PPG root beer gold was agreed upon.
The rod was then fitted with the yellow cream-colored wires (15x8 and 6) from Wheel Vintique, wrapped in Michelin rubber (235/75 and 165-15). The headlights used are from a Model A, but the taillights are '33 Ford passenger units. The rest of the exterior is fairly stock, except for the addition of small, streamlined gas-lid doors in each side splash apron, feeding the twin saddle-type gas tanks.
Under the hood, simplicity and reliability come in the form of a 350 Chevy crate engine, backed to a TH350 transmission. Lobeck's doesn't stray too far from the things they know always work (Walker radiator, Edelbrock carb and manifold, Taylor wires, a mild cam, etc.), and they assembled the drivetrain with a set of Street & Performance headers and 2.25-inch stainless steel exhaust tubing.
Though Larry is a vet by trade, he's also a cowboy at heart, and collects antique spurs and enjoys riding cutting horses (those who have been trained to cut a single cow out from a herd). The interior to his roadster pickup carries the flavor of the West, from the thick baseball-style stitch on the bench seat, the real leather material, saddlebag pockets in each door panel, and even the shoestring tie on the gearshift boot.
Shawn Appleman, who has built some fine-looking hot rods in his own right, is also an expert upholstery man, and the one Lobeck turns to when he needs something special. Appleman Interiors delivered with an all-leather package that looks purpose built, and not frivolous in any way. Shawn also wrapped the Lobeck LakeStyle three-spoke steering wheel with the same coffee-colored material he used throughout the open cab. An Auburn gauge panel, filled with Auto Meter gauges, fits nicely into the '29 dash, and an underdash tray hides the stereo head unit and some of the truck's other electronics.
While all this work was being done on Larry's pickup, he was 1,300 miles away at his home in Texas, but that didn't mean he didn't know what was happening with his ride. Two of Lobeck's Springfield employees, Molly and Charlie, would use disposable cameras, take shots of the work in progress, then ship them off to Larry so he could see what was going on. As a matter of fact, at the time this photo shoot took place, Larry still hadn't seen his finished car in person since time away from his business is tough to come by!
He's hoping to catch up with it soon at a Texas rod run, but right now the pickup is being fitted with a top ('cuz you're gonna need that during the summer, and nearly every other moment, in Texas!). And though pictures of the truck may give the viewer an idea of what it might look like, you cannot fully appreciate the choice of color until you see it in person-it absolutely glows when the sunlight hits it! And that's something the good doctor hopes to see for himself in the very near future!
Facts & FiguresLarry WoodsSan Antonio, Texas1929 Ford roadster pickup
|Frame / Manufacturer ||’29 Ford / Lobeck’s (Cleveland, OH) |
|Modifications frame ||narrowed in rear & kicked 2” |
|Rearend / Ratio Ford ||9” / 3.25:1 |
|Rear suspension ||four-bar & All-American coilover shocks |
|Rear brakes ||drum |
|Front suspension ||Magnum dropped tube axle, Pete & Jake’s (Peculiar, MO) shocks, Durant monoleaf spring |
|Front brakes ||Wilwood disc |
|Steering box ||OEM Vega |
|Front wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintique (Fresno, CA), 15x5 |
|Rear wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintique, 15x8 |
|Front tire make, size ||Michelin, 165-15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Michelin, 235/75-15 |
|Gas tank ||twin saddle by Tanks |
|Make ||Chevrolet |
|Displacement ||350 |
|Machining / Assembly ||factory |
|Camshaft ||mild |
|Radiator ||Walker Radiator (Memphis, TN) |
|Manifold / Induction ||Edelbrock (Torrance, CA) / single Edelbrock 1406 carb |
|Ignition / Wires ||Mallory HEI / Taylor |
|Headers ||stainless |
|Exhaust ||stainless 2.25” |
|Transmission ||TH350 |
|Body style / Material ||roadster pickup / steel |
|Body manufacturer ||Brookville Roadster (Brookville, OH) |
|Hood ||Rootlieb (Turlock, CA) |
|Bodywork ||Lobeck’s (Springfield, OH) |
|Painttype / Color ||PPG / Copper |
|Painter ||Lobeck’s (Springfield) |
|Graphics ||Dauber (Cincinnati, OH) |
|Headlights / Taillights ||’29 Ford / ’33 Ford |
|Dashboard ||’29 Ford |
|Insert / Gauges ||Auburn-style / Auto Meter |
|Stereo ||Auto Sound w/ 10-disc CD changer |
|Wiring ||Tracy Taylor / Lobeck’s (Springfield) |
|Steering wheel ||Lobeck LakeStyle three-spoke |
|Steering column ||Flaming River |
|Seat ||custom bench by Shawn Appleman (Lancaster, OH) |
|Upholsterer ||Shawn Appleman |
|Material / Color ||leather / saddle |
|Carpet ||wool loop |
Basically a Chevy crate engine, the 350 was topped with an Edelbrock 1450 carb, manifold,
Shawn Appleman is known for building some very cool cars, but he is also an expert interio
A Lobeck LakeStyle three-spoke steering wheel mounts to a Flaming River aluminum steering
The door panels, reminiscent of saddlebags, are a nice touch too.
Shawn used leather throughout the r-pup, stitching the pieces together with a wide basebal
Oak 'n' chrome makes up the base of the bed, while Brookville Roadster (who supplied the f