You might not expect a 37-year-old to have 20 years experience in building hot rods, but once you see the work Jason Graham turns out of his shop in Portland, Tennessee, you soon become a believer.

Visit his website and you'll find he works on all sorts of old cars, and if you ever needed something chopped, channeled, or laid on the ground then Jason is your man. From relatively "easy" Model A chops to near-impossible round roofs, such as a '49 Mercury or a '37 Nash Lafayette coupe (that he not only chopped but made into a three window) it seems no job is too tough for Jason. So when he found an old Model A coupe rusting away in an old shed in Tennessee, he wasn't scared and thought it would be a good project car.

With a rough, beaten up body, one of the first things Jason did was replace much of the lower sheetmetal on the car, and hammer out the remaining dents. Since Jason's specialty is laying his hot rods down on the ground, he decided to build a custom chassis for this Model A. It uses 2x6-inch tubing for the front 'rails and the rest was done with 2x4 tubing. Jason then Z'd the frame 6 inches under the cowl and 12 inches in front of the rearend, allowing for just a 1-inch channel, though it fools a lot of people in thinking it was channeled several inches. The car sits extremely low but, even with a 6-inch chop, Jason says it provides a lot of headroom.

The rest of the suspension pieces include a '40 Ford front axle and brakes hung from a Posies spring with split wishbones. Out back a '69 Camaro 10-bolt Posi was used with a triangulated four-link setup. A great-looking drivetrain is another one of his trademarks, and he didn't disappoint with this one either: It's a low-mileage '57 Olds 371 with an adapter to bolt up a Borg Warner four-speed. The internals of the engine were left alone (except for a Schneider racing cam) and an Edelbrock four-deuce intake with four Stromberg 97s that feed the beast.

Once satisfied with how the car looked and worked, Jason blew everything apart so he could paint it. He then used a Charcoal base with a PPG 2060 satin clear to give just enough sheen. Though he molded in the visor on his coupe, he didn't fill the roof insert section, opting instead to use a roof section portion from a '76 Cadillac and covered it with cloth. Once painted the car was assembled for a final time and one of Jason's pinstriping buddies, Gator, came by to add some fine-line color to the trunk lid, headlights, and radiator cover.

Jason also tackled the upholstery duties with this ride and even made his own split-bench seat (the base is separated by the driveshaft tunnel) before covering it with a pleated red material (the same used on the door panels). The dash came from a '32 Ford and was filled with five Stewart Warner gauges. An oversized shifter, topped with a small skull, was custom made from a '46 Chevy truck shift handle. Most folks can't identify the steering wheel bolted to the custom column, but unless they've spent time on a boat, they wouldn't recognize the 15-inch, four-spoke, stainless steel item.

Though Jason builds cars for customers he has also built a few for himself, but they always seem to get sold and go down the road. When he got this one done, however, he decided to keep it for a while and he says he enjoys driving it around (he says it has tons of torque but still gets 18 miles to the gallon), and we can't blame him one bit!

Facts & Figures
Jason Graham
Portland, Tennessee
1930 Model A Ford coupe

CHASSIS
Frame / Manufacturer custom by Jason Graham Hot Rods       
Wheelbase 113”  
Modifications 2x6 and 2x4 tubing Z’d 6 inches front, 12 inches rear 
Rearend / Ratio 10-bolt Posi / 3.42:1 
Rear suspension triangulated four-link 
Rear brakes drum 
Front suspension ‘40 Ford straight-axle mounted suicide-style with split wishbones 
Front brakes ‘40 Ford drums 
Master cylinder Mustang
Steering box Unisteer cross-steer 
Front wheel make, size 15x5, steelies 
Rear wheel make, size 15x7, steelies 
Front tire make, size Coker, 5.60x15 
Rear tire make, size Coker, L78-15
Wheelcovers ‘42 Ford 
Gas tank Custom 16-gallon by Jason Graham Hot Rods 

ENGINE
Make ’57 Oldsmobile
Displacement 371
Machining / Assembly stock
Camshaft Schneider Racing Cam 
Water pump stock 
Cooling fan 15” manual 
Radiator aluminum
Alternator 12-volt generator 
Manifold / Induction Edelbrock / four-deuce Stromberg 97
Headers Custom Lake-style by Jason Graham Hot Rods 
Exhaust / Mufflers NONE!

TRANSMISSION
Make Borg Warner four-speed
Clutch disc 10.5”
Pressure plate Camaro 10.5” 
Shifter custom-made from a ’46 Chevy truck shift handle 

BODY
Body style / Material coupe / steel
Body manufacturer Henry Ford 
Body mods chopped 6 inches, molded visor, molded firewall, custom hardtop insert 
Grille ’29 Ford with custom stainless screen 
Bodywork Jason Graham Hot Rods 
Paint type / Color Charcoal Base with PPG 2060 satin clear 
Painter Jason Graham 
Graphics Pinstriping by Gator 
Headlights / Taillights ’30 Model A, ’48 Ford

INTERIOR
Dashboard '32 Ford
Insert / Gauges Stewart Warner
Stereo / Speakers Couldn't hear it if it had one
Air conditioning Roll the windows down and speed up
Wiring Jason Graham Hot Rods
Steering wheel 15" stainless boat
Steering column custom
Seat custom by owner
Upholsterer Jason Graham Hot Rods