As a car builder you are always striving to better what you've done in the past. Once you've done one type of car a number of times you start looking for something else-something different. And that is just what happened with Dave Tucci, owner and operator of Tucci Hot Rods in Marcy, New York. For eight years Dave was the official car builder for the Syracuse Nationals giveaway car program, which meant he assembled a great-looking hot rod, which the organizers of the event (that draws 7,000 cars each July) would give away to a registered participant.

But after building seven cars (three '32 Ford coupes, one '32 Ford roadster, one '38 Ford roadster, one '37 Ford pickup, and one '48 Chevy pickup), Dave thought the shop had done enough '32 Fords and he wanted to do something no one else has seen before.

Luckily for Dave, things became clearer for him after talking with the guys at New Age Motorsports (NAM) in Monroe, Connecticut. NAM builds a few different fiberglass bodies, including an American Graffiti clone, an unchopped 'glass '32 five-window, and a '23 T-bucket. But they also make a 1927 Ford roadster body, and that's what caught Dave's eye. Manufactured without a floor, the body was perfect for someone who wanted to really change the way the car would drive and look (a specialty of Dave's).

Once the shop got the body, they started looking for a unique drivetrain for the car, too, and thought they could design and create something unique. Rather than go with a "normal" small-block Chevy, Dave talked to Russ Evans at Nordstroms Factory Performance in Garreston, South Dakota, to find something unique, and they found it by choosing an '06 Pontiac Solstice Ecotec four-cylinder backed to a five-speed manual transmission.

This is how Dave saw the progression: "Once we received the motor, the basic body layout and stance started to come together. I knew I wanted the tallest but narrowest tire I could find for the rear and a proportionately matching front tire. I found that Coker offered a 33-inch-tall tire with a 7-inch-wide grooved dirt track tire. They also offered a 26-inch-tall ribbed dirt track tire for the front. I also wanted to use a wire wheel, so I called Gary Buckles at Dayton Wire Wheels and he came up with the right combination for what I was looking for-17x5 for the front and 19x5 for the rear. Once I had these sizes I started laying out the body height and the chassis setup. We then started with 2x4-inch box tubing and made a series of cuts to make the frame sweep to meet the body. Next we set up the Lucky 7 I-beam front suspension and fabricated the front half of the frame with four sections of 1/8-inch cold rolled steel and made it into a box to accommodate the front suspension.

"Once the kick up on the front of the frame was complete we then started fabricating the motor mounts to get the motor and transmission in the correct location.

"A set of Lucky 7 radius arms were used as our rear suspension arms, and to do this we designed the frame to stop just forward of the 9-inch Ford rear. A step-up crossmember on the rear section of the frame was also fabbed to clear the driveshaft area and differential.

"After making a set of threaded bungs, they were installed in the frame and used as the pivot point for both the front radius arms and a set for the rear radius arms. With the rearend's placement set, we fabricated mounts for the Aldan coilover shocks off that stepped-up crossmember. A matching set was mounted to the 9-inch Ford, too.