A '65 Chevy 327 was gone through...
A '65 Chevy 327 was gone through and assembled by Dan Brewer in Torrance, CA. A polished and balanced crank works with stock-size rods, 0.040 over pistons, and a COMP Cams camshaft. Up front a FlowKooler water pump was used as well as a three-pass Mattson's radiator. Electronics include a Powermaster alternator and an MSD ignition system running through Taylor wires. Exhaust exits out a set of Corvette manifolds and a custom exhaust system made from stainless steel by Moal's. A four-speed Muncie transmission with a Hurst shifter is used for gear selection.
With a mind guided by sports car performance, Michael used a NASCAR 12:1 power steering box modified and blueprinted by Tommy Lee to help with the steering, and it connects to a LimeWorks column. Rollers come in the way of Vintiques wires, 15x6 and 16x8, which have been shod with Goodyear Eagle GT II 195/60-15 and 285/60-16 rubber.
Now all that the roller needed was a motor, and one was found in the form of a '65 Chevy 327. Dan Brewer, out of Torrance, California, went through the engine for Michael, reassembling the polished and balanced crank with stock rods and oversize (0.040) pistons along with a COMP Cams camshaft and stock iron heads. Up top a trio of Holley carbs mounted to an Offenhauser manifold feed the small-block, and exhaust exits out a pair of Corvette iron manifolds. The V-8 bolts to a Muncie four-speed transmission, which is guided by a floor-mounted Hurst shifter.
Once complete with engine, the chassis could now receive the body, but "stock" really isn't in the Moal vocabulary. A custom three-piece aluminum hood was also fabbed up (with three rows of louvers added to each hood side), and the most striking addition to the car-the track nose-was soon created at Moal's in November 2007. Michael wanted a vintage '40s look to the nose, so this one was made with a little more vertical profile (very similar to the one found on the old Barney Navarro dry lakes racer) than what you'd find on a contemporary roadster.
By January 2008, Michael was ready to gain a little extra room in the cockpit so the rear section of the roadster pickup cab was extended a few inches. The next big custom piece was the trunk, which would sit over the rear end. Made from aluminum and riveted together, the trunk actually conceals a bladder-type fuel cell that takes up roughly half the trunk's space. And with the chopping of the windshield posts and the addition of the cowl vent and scoop, the body was ready to roll into the spray booth at Moal's at the end of December 2009. Moal's Mike Faccini and Al Aguyao used PPG paint to coat the car in white, after which Michael laid out a scallop job in contrasting black. After Rory came by to 'stripe the pickup, the exterior was pretty well done.
The interior was next, and Michael thought something simple would work well but simple is a lot harder to do correctly than it looks. Michael started with a new, larger dash made from aluminum, added a glovebox and door, then in the first week of January 2010, filled the dash with a set of Moal Bomber gauges. The steering wheel is a Schroeder four-spoke, 14-inch midget wheel, which has a black anodized aluminum horn button that looks like a mini crash pad, and mounts to a LimeWorks column.
Another advantage to Michael was when it came time for some seats. He wanted bomber-style buckets, and it just so happened that the first pair of seats Moal's made for the California Special back in 1997 weren't used in the car, so he claimed them before sending them to Tom Sewell to have him cover them in pleated red leather. The door panels are aluminum, but they're covered in black leather by Sewell. Down below black and gray carpet was laid out.
By January 26, the car was off its jackstands and getting prepped for its first public showing: the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California. From a rather slow start over a period of years to a mad dash for the last six months, Michael now has first-hand experience in what it takes to get a car finished and ready for its first show.
In the time it took him to start and finish his first traditional rod he not only had a son (Rex, his first) but now he's old enough to be enrolled in school. Rex has already shown an interest in the shiny, glossy vehicles down at the shop, so here's hoping the Moal legacy will be carried on well into the 21st century!
A drilled I-beam axle from...
A drilled I-beam axle from Magnum hides the two arms that connect to the torsion bars, which run lengthwise just inside the framerails. A 12:1 NASCAR power steering box from Tommy Lee makes turning the vehicle a breeze.
Dialed in on a 104-inch wheelbase,...
Dialed in on a 104-inch wheelbase, the frame started with two 2x6 boxed rails. This triangulated four-link system is a unique Moal design. Dual torsion bars run just forward of the Halibrand V-8 quick-change, and double-adjustable aluminum shock from Strange Engineering (with Moal covers) are used.
Another major piece fabricated...
Another major piece fabricated at Moal's was the hand-formed, riveted aluminum trunk that hides a Fuel Safe fuel cell racing bladder inside.