Google "hot rods and donuts," and no matter where you are in the world the best free car show on the planet comes up in a search. Some guys call it the Donut Derelicts, the donut shop, or even Church, but one thing's for sure, the Saturday morning phenomenon has been at the hub of the Orange County street rodding scene for over a quarter of a century.

It was at the donut shop in 1997 when "Boss" Bob Wells, a street rodder from Laguna Beach, California, first spotted this 1928 Ford Model A Roadster pickup. The little truck parked with a "For Sale" sign on it reminded Bob of one a friend had owned back in their high school days. That was all it took for Bob to add another car to his collection. He plopped down a pile of cash and the truck was his. On the outside Bob liked how things looked, but under the hood someone had spelled Ford wrong. The plan was to pluck the undesirable powerplant out and install a small-block Ford. This was where it was discovered the former owner not only couldn't spell he couldn't fabricate or weld either.

The butchered Model A frame was scrapped and a brand-new chassis was ordered from Total Cost Involved. Bob Miller, at Bob Miller Performance in Costa Mesa, California, was tasked with the job of swapping things over. With the '28s original tin and fiberglass re-pop rear fenders removed it was discovered most of it needed to be replaced. To save what little was left, and add numerous custom touches overall, Terry Hegman at Hegman Specialty Cars in Fountain Valley, California, was commissioned. By the time Hegman (truly one of the great metal masters) had finished working his magic, with subtle changes only a Model A fanatic would recognize, the roadster pickup's fate was sealed to become a high-end street rod.

A period of five years lapsed, and then spearheading the project's construction was turned over to Bill Brown at Rod Tech in Costa Mesa. To get things back on track Brown shipped the small-block Ford engine locally to Dave Koch at Koch Racing Engines. After all the parts were precision machined to tight tolerances by Engine Supply in Santa Ana, California, the block and rotating assemblies were returned to Dave Koch where he laid a SCAT stroker crank and rods that combined with 0.030 SRP 10.0:1 forged pistons brought the displacement up to 347 ci. A pair of Edelbrock Performer heads flank a new old stock Hilborn fuel injection system from 1965 that Hilborn then used to prototype their EFI for small-block Fords. A chrome 105-amp Powermaster one-wire alternator keeps two Odyssey batteries mounted under the Glide seat frame fully charged to feed the Hilborn EFI's hungry brain. A 5,800 rpm pull on the dyno produced 416 hp at the crank earning the 347 its stripes to wear the Cobra name on the aluminum valve covers and oil pan from Branda. The Ford C6 transmission was beefed by Fred Casillias at Coast Transmission in Costa Mesa, and employs a Lokar shifter to direct power to a polished 206T6 aluminum Currie Stage III 9-inch rearend via a custom driveshaft from Drivelines of Irvine, California.

Constructing the '28 was a constant process of assembly, disassembly, and re-assembly. After numerous test-fits to ensure everything aligned perfectly, Brown removed all the sheetmetal including the Brookville bed, and one-off Rootlieb hood, then delivered the lot to Mascar in Costa Mesa for final prep and paint. Ken Maisano, Mascar's owner said they invested over 500 hours of labor into the '28 before it was ready to be sprayed in PPG black single-stage paint and rubbed out.

For interior colors Bob told Augie at Costa Mesa Auto Upholstery he wanted the Ultra Leather to match the baseball mitt he had as a kid. In complementary shades Augie matched the 2-inch chopped removable top by Rod Tech in Hartz cloth, and the carpet in German wool. A faithful member of the weekly congregation it was almost 10 years to the day when Bob was able to drive his roadster pickup back to the donut shop and park it in "magazine row."