You'll have to think long and hard to find another name in the automotive world that garners the respect and embraces the talents of Ed Pink. He's spent a lifetime understanding the subtle nuances that place him ahead of the competition. His days as an up-and-coming performance mechanic at Lou Baney's Speed Shop in downtown Los Angeles, and as the mind behind the legend that is Ed Pink Racing Engines, have made his life an incredible journey.
Fast forward to today, you would expect Ed's stable of hot rods to be impressive. Not quite. We aren't saying Ed hasn't had his share of hot rods. Nor are we saying he hasn't been part of some of the fastest and quickest cars to come to life. Ed has raced at the lakes, Bonneville, nearly every dragstrip in the country, Indy, Sprint Cars, Midgets, Offshore Boat racing, experimental air craft, Formula 5000, Trans-Am and IMSA 24-hour endurance motors. You get the drift, Ed can build an engine. His success with drag racing legend Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, who won dozens of Top Fuel titles with Ed's motors, is of iconic status.
But you have to wonder why it has taken Ed 24 years to finally drive his own honest-to-goodness street rod? Well, Ed wonders the same thing himself, especially since it has been a dream since he was 17 years old. But that's old news and the new news is Ed's '29 Ford on Deuce 'rails, the quintessential highboy hot rod, an A/V-8.
While Ed worked on the powerplant longtime builder with his own stellar reputation Roy Brizio of Brizio Street Rods (south San Francisco) took over the build. To listen to Ed, "If I had just started with Brizio I would have saved 23 years!" Well, that may be true but we think "old Roy" may not be that old; but hey he's catching up with the rest of us! To be fair to Ed he did start the project back in the mid-'80s with Magoo's Auto (Richard Megugorac) in Canoga Park, California. As car projects have a way of getting sidetracked this one really took some time off-about 22 years. But hey, it's done and driving and that's what counts.
It's Ed's car and the signature appointment on this highboy is the engine so let's start there. Ed's shop in Van Nuys, California is named Ed Pink Racing Engines (EPRE) and from within its pristine walls and gleaming floors come numerous race engines and now one very gorgeous (if an engine can be gorgeous), very powerful, yet ultimately streetable small-block Chevy V-8. All of us have seen our share of small-blocks but this one may be for the record books.
Starting with a '75 small-block Chevy 350, EPRE massaged the internals with a billet crankshaft (3.5-inch stroke), steel Cosworth rods (6.125 inches), Wiseco piston (10.8:1), Total Seal rings, and a Crane Cam hydraulic roller (0.600 lift). The cast iron Chevy heads are outfitted with Manley valves and springs, Norris rockers, and cooling this package is an Edelbrock water pump and an aluminum radiator. But the real pièce de résistance is the EPRE intake and Indy-style EFI with EPRE air cleaners, all fired by an EFI ignition and MSD primary wires.
The stainless steel exhaust is truly a work of art and credit for that goes to Roy Brizio Street Rods. And what do you get for your money? Well in Ed's case this small-block pumps out 475 hp at 6,500 rpm and 465 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. For anyone who has been around street performance engines you realize while the horsepower is impressive it's the torque that guarantees you an E-ticket ride complete with a Cheshire Cat grin and bugs on the forehead. It doesn't get any better than loads of torque in a 2,400-pound street rod. All this power is corralled by a B&M Turbo 350 and pushed back to the Ford 9-inch rearend (3.0 gears) with Currie axles.
The 350-inch Chevy is dressed...
The 350-inch Chevy is dressed for success through great looks and performance with the Indy model EFI Tech with EPRE air cleaners, an EFI ignition, and MSD primary wires.
Sid Chavers Upholstery stitched...
Sid Chavers Upholstery stitched the Connelly natural tan leather into a pair of buckets (and panels) with a waterfall giving the appearance of a traditional highboy bench. Matching square weave carpeting covers the floor and is in the trunk.
Hairpins are always a good...
Hairpins are always a good choice for both performance and to tie in well with the heritage of the A/V-8.
The dash is a Brookville steel...
The dash is a Brookville steel panel with a full complement of Classic Instruments gauges with a Billet Specialties steering wheel riding on top of an ididit column and a floor-mounted Lokar shifter.
The Brookville (Brookville, Ohio) '29 highboy roadster body sits on a '32 Ford frame that began its hot rod life at Magoo's Auto, then owned by Dick "Magoo" Megugorac back in the mid-'80s. The 106-inch wheelbase was retained and then massaged to handle the traditional rodding fare of the day; pinched to accept the Model A body, solid front and rear axle, big 'n' littles, Chevy V-8, and lots of attitude. Things happen and while the project languished in Ed's garage the time would come when he would drag it out and decide once and for all to get 'er down and hauled it off to Brizio's. In a short time Roy's crew had it together, and for the last year we have been waiting to shoot the car, but Ed had to get the engine just right. Well, he did and we're glad we waited.
The front suspension is housed around a Super Bell chrome-plated tube axle with accompanying spindles, Vega steering, monoleaf spring, Pete and Jakes chromed tube shocks, and 10-inch rotors with Wilwood calipers. The rear suspension is based on a Ford 9-inch rearend, which in a street rod is as common as, well a Ford street rod! Still it doesn't hurt to do it right and this one is done right. Centered via a four-link, the ride falls to a pair of Aldan coilover shocks and a rollbar. Making sure this hot rod can stop a healthy set of Wilwood four-piston calipers, wrapped around 11-inch rotors are in place. Pressing the brake combo into service is a Magoo pedal assembly through a Corvette dual master cylinder and prop valve.
Eric Vaughn worked his magic...
Eric Vaughn worked his magic on the Halibrand-style 15x8 rear wheels shod with Firestone Indy rubber measuring 255/70R15s.
We mentioned big 'n' littles and let it be known that any hot rod, especially a highboy, is judged a success or failure based on its attitude and a great deal of this is determined by the wheel-and-tire combo. Eric Vaughn put the Halibrand-style wheels measuring 14x6 in front and 15x8 in back wrapped with Firestone Indy rubber, 195/60R14 in front and 255/70R15 in back.
The Brookville steel body is true to Henry's view, well almost, with the addition of a rear pan. Although not visible in the pictures there's a top and it sports a 3-inch chop as do the windshield and posts. Liberal amounts of Ferrari Red (Tony Nancy recommended the color) are sprayed over the Guy Ruchenet massaged sheetmetal by Darryl Hollenbeck of Vintage Color Studio (Concord, California). Other tin work includes a Hageman aluminum three-piece hood and a Dan Fink Metalworks (Huntington Beach, California) stainless steel grille insert. Other appointments include painted sealed beam headlights, the omnipresent teardrop '39 Ford taillights, external mirrors from Valley Auto Accessories, and liberal amounts of brightwork was supplied by Sherm's Custom Plating (Sacramento, California).
The front suspension is housed...
The front suspension is housed around a Super Bell tube axle, spindles, P&J shocks, and a Wilwood disc brake package.
Inside rests a Brookville steel '32 dashboard with Classic Instruments (Boyne City, Michigan) gauges, an ididit (Tecumseh, Michigan) steering column, with a Billet Specialties (La Grange, Illinois) wheel and mirror, a floor-mounted Lokar (Knoxville, Tennessee) shifter, and lots of Dynamat (Hamilton, Ohio) insulation. The chore of making all the electrics work fell to Jim Vickery of Brizio's and he based the wiring off of an Enos (San Luis Obispo, California) Black Box fuse panel. The custom twin bucket/bench seat was stitched in Connelly natural leather (tan) by Sid Chavers Upholstery (Santa Clara, California), who also installed the square weave tan colored carpeting. (Tony Nancy was originally going to stitch the interior but he died before he could do the job. He'd recommended the Connelly natural leather in tan.)
When asking Ed to sum up his longevity he was quick to say, "Had I stayed with just one type of engine my entire career, I'd probably be long gone. What has kept my juices going is all the different engine projects, with so many great people. I guess I'm like a goose: Every day is like a new life. Each project is new and exciting, and the passion's still there. I'll still do some consulting here, and you'll see me at some of the races. I've had a '36 Ford, three-window coupe, sitting in the back shop since 1976 that my good friend Harry Hibbler found for me, I haven't touched it yet. When I retire, that's what I'm gonna do."
Ed began tinkering in 1948 and is still busy today but he is quick to thank a list of "who's who" in hot rodding for mentoring him along the way: Lou Baney, Vic Edelbrock Sr., Bobby Meeks, Fran Hernandez, Don Towle, Frank Barron, Eddie Meyer, and Chickie Harishima. Ed learned from the best and learned well.