When it comes right down to it, we all have a pretty good idea of just what we want in a hot rod. Take this cool roadster for example. In the mind of its owner, Don Raker, this one had to be a hardcore traditional with the look of an early '60s show car-not one of those over-the-top cartoon cars of the day, but a good-looker that would be as at home on the street as it would be under the lights and wrapped in angle hair. And, as you can see, the result was a complete success.

The story behind this '29 began in the not-too-distant past. Don happened to be shootin' the bull with his pal, hot rod builder Rich Oakley, and naturally the subject of Don's future project came up. Rich's North Carolina-based shop, Retro Rides by Rich, is known for some of the coolest traditional-style hot rods around (I featured my first Oakley-built rod around eight or nine years ago), so it wasn't much of a stretch for the casual conversation to turn into concrete plans for a build; heck, if anyone could relate to Don's vision, Rich certainly could. It wasn't long before Rich got back to Don with an artist's rendering of his take on the project, and Don signed off on it right off the bat.

The '29 began as a vintage Anderson Industries 'glass body and not much else. Rich began work on Don's ride by fabricating a neat low-slung rectangular- and round-tube frame as a foundation. It was designed so the car would have a ground-scraping stance without the need to channel the body very far over the framerails. This was accomplished by designing the frame to accept the suspension above the 'rails rather than below, as is almost always the case. Rich laid out and assembled the perimeter frame per his design, and then drilled and sleeved the front 'rails for a cool traditional look.

Up front, a Super Bell axle is supported by a Speedway Motors transverse spring and custom radius rods, then fitted with a pair of '40 Ford spindles, Pro shocks, and disc brakes. A VW bus box and column was used too, as its size and unique mounting assembly worked perfectly for the under-slung frame. Out back, a Chrysler rearend was mounted to the round-tube portion of the frame using coilovers and custom-fab'd Retro Rides four-bar and Panhard bars. A Mustang master cylinder, custom plumbing, and a quartet of Radir Tri-Ribs wrapped in wide whites transformed the frame into a roller, readying it to accept the driveline and body.

The Vintage 'glass body was meticulously prepped, blocked, and readied for paint. Rich mixed up an eye-popping green candy color using Sem transparent toners. An early '70s SBC was freshened, painted, and traditionally dressed with a pair of vintage Cal Custom valve covers, an Offy four-deuce intake topped by a gaggle of Rochesters wearing Speedway Motors scoops, and a pair of modified Speedway Motors headers. A Powerglide two-speed auto backs up the muscular Mouse motor, and a custom-made driveshaft completed the driveline.

Rich then fitted the '29 body with a machine-turned aluminum firewall insert as well as a matching dash insert. He also used a cut-down '32 grille shell and grille. A pair of Dietz headlights and '50 Pontiac taillights, along with a period-perfect helping of green and white upholstery, go a long way in finishing up this awesome example of one rodder's vision and another's traditional skill and expertise.

Don's gotta be pleased as punch with this baby-I know it really knocked my socks off when I saw it for the first time, and I'm betting you folks are just as impressed.

Facts & Figures
Don Raker
High Point, North Carolina
1929 Ford lowboy roadster

CHASSIS
Frame / Manufacturer custom rectangular & round tube / Retro Rides by Rich (Archdale, NC)
Wheelbase 110.5"
Modifications frame drilled & under-slung
Chassis plumbing steel
Rearend / Ratio Chrysler / 3.73:1
Rear suspension custom four-bar & coilover
Rear brakes Chrysler 11" drum
Front suspension above-frame wishbone-mounted custom Retro Rides / Super Bell axle, transverse spring & '40 Ford spindles
Front brakes disc
Master cylinder '67 Mustang
Steering box VW Bus
Front wheel make, size Radir Tri-Rib (Montville, NJ), 15x4
Rear wheel make, size Radir Tri-Rib, 15x8
Front tire make, size U.S. Royal, 5.60/15
Rear tire make, size Radir Cheater Slicks, 10.0/15
Gas tank Speedway Motors (Lincoln, NE), 11-gal. spun aluminum
ENGINE
Make '70 Chevrolet
Displacement 350ci
Water pump Speedway Motors
Cooling fan electric
Radiator custom, copper / brass
Alternator Speedway Motors
Heads Chevrolet, iron
Valve covers vintage Cal Custom
Manifold / Induction Offenhauser 2x4 / (4) Rochester 2G
Carb scoops Speedway Motors
Ignition / Wires PerTronix (San Dimas, CA)
Headers Retro Rides-modified Speedway Motors
TRANSMISSION
Make '60 Chevrolet Powerglide
Converter GM
Shifter Retro Rides
Driveshaft custom, Piedmont Truck (Greensboro, NC)
BODY
Body style / Material roadster / fiberglass
Body manufacturer vintage Anderson Industries
Body mods sectioned 3"
Grille chopped '32 Ford
Bodywork Retro Rides
Paint type / Color acrylic lacquer / candy mint green
Painter Rich Oakley, Retro Rides by Rich
Striping Harrold Page (Winston-Salem, NC)
Headlights / Taillights Dietz / '50 Pontiac
Outside mirror eBay find
Other body items rear bellypan
INTERIOR
Insert / Gauges spun aluminum / Stewart Warner (Lancaster, PA)
Wiring Retro Rides
Steering wheel Grant Products (Glendale, CA)
Steering column Retro Rides
Interior mirror eBay find
Seats handcrafted
Upholsterer Bob Hill (Trinity, NC)
Material / Color vinyl / white, green
Carpet cut pile
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