We can all proudly admit to being hot rod fans. But Dan Fuller will tell you, right off the bat, that he is a hot rod fanatic. The dictionary defines a fanatic as someone extremely enthusiastic, deeply devoted, and intensely inspired. Friends, neighbors, family members, and coworkers might also include words like obsessed or crazy. But Dan doesn't seem crazy. To us, he seems like a perfectly normal, entirely reasonable, lifelong hot rod fanatic. "I've always been addicted to cars in some form or another," he says. As a kid in the late '50s, he started reading car magazines and building models.
The Flathead engine is a bona fide hot rod mill. A Walker radiator keeps the engine cool.
Just like the Jack Morgan '34 roadster that inspired it, Dan's hot rod is thoroughly-but n
"Ever since then I've been interested in all facets of the automobile, from models to drag cars to hot rods," he says. His first car was a '31 Ford sedan. He's built a few more of his favorites over the years, including a couple of '56 F-100 big-window pickups, a '34 three-window coupe, and a chopped '34 two-door sedan-not to mention a few nostalgia drag cars. The one car missing from the list was the one Dan said was his "ultimate dream car," a traditional '34 roadster. The inspiration behind the dream came from the cover of the April '51 Hot Rod magazine-the first issue of Hot Rod Dan ever bought. It was HR's first full-color cover and the cover car was Jack Morgan's screamin' yellow '34 roadster.
John Miller's outstanding upholstery sets off the Glide seats in cream and caramel leather
Miller's custom upholstery extends into the trunk, where you'll find the battery, spare ti
Mark Renko at Tesla Machine Works used engine-turned aluminum to create the beautiful cust
Morgan's open-wheeled roadster was channeled 5 inches over the frame and wore a '37 Ford truck grille shell. The aluminum hood was punched with rows of louvers; so was the bellypan that ran the entire length of the car. The engine was a bored and stroked Flathead topped with three Cyclone carbs. One look was guaranteed to kick up the pulse rate of any sound-minded hot rod fanatic. Dan's channeled, truck-grilled, open-wheel '34 is obviously no clone of the Jack Morgan roadster, but the influence is all over it.
Dan built his tribute '34 in approximately two years at his personal project shop in Elyria, Ohio, using a combination of new and used parts. He started with a Real Steel '34 roadster body from Steve's Auto Restoration, with a few components from Walden's Rod Shop, and a stock steel hood from Henry Ford. Sheetmetal work was performed by the owner-from the bead running the length of the top hood hinge to the scratch-built rolled rear pan. The '37 truck grille was narrowed 3 inches and embellished with a grille chin splash apron similar to Morgan's car. And like Morgan's, Dan's roadster features a whole lot of louvers-on the hood top and sides, the trunk, and the rear pan. Dan also performed the 2-inch chop to the custom roadster top. Al's Autoglass provided the windshield, and Jon Wright Custom Chrome Plating provided the brightwork. The paint was shot by Dan using Squeeg's Kustom primer and PPG single-stage black.
The Arvin heater under the dash is the perfect interior accessory for a traditionally styl
The body rides on a '34 Ford chassis built at Lobeck's V8 Shop. The framerails were modified with '32 front horns, bobbed rear horns, and a tubular X-member. The front axle is a 4-inch dropped and drilled I-beam from Super Bell, with stainless spindles from the Deuce Factory. A Posies reversed-eye monoleaf spring, Pete & Jakes chrome shocks, and a Panhard bar make up the front suspension. In the rear, Dan bolted up Pete & Jakes ladder bars and shocks plus Posies Model A springs. P&J also provided the pedal assembly for the '39 Lincoln brakes from Wilson Welding, with a Corvette master cylinder and Wilwood proportioning valve. Turning corners is accomplished via a Vega cross steering box with a LimeWorks steering column.
The headlights are original Guides and the taillights are from a '37 Ford.
Dan sent the '50 Ford 8BA to Red Matthei in Cleveland for machine work and assembly. The engine was balanced and blueprinted, and bored and stroked to boost displacement from 239 to 276 ci. Blueprinted Ford connecting rods join custom 8.5:1 pistons to a Scat crankshaft with a 4-inch stroke. The aluminum heads are from Edelbrock. Valvetrain components include an Isky cam and valvesprings. A pair of Stromberg 97 carbs with frogmouth scoops was mounted on an Offenhauser intake. Fenton headers move the exhaust through 2-inch stainless pipes into a 3-inch single-dump pipe, created by Dan Tesar. The Spiral Turbo Specialties muffler controls the exhaust note.
The built-up Flattie is adapted to a T5 transmission with an 11-inch clutch, taken from a '69 Chevy S-10 pickup truck, and operated by a modified Gennie shifter. Henderson Driveline in Westlake, Ohio, built the driveshaft.
The rearend is a '39 Ford 3.57:1 differential with limited slip in a Winters' quick-change
Dan retained vintage styling with 16x4.5 '36 Ford artillery wheels, painted white and dres
This roadster has one of the most sanitary interiors we've ever seen in a hot rod. The '50 Ford dash was narrowed 10 inches to fit, and equipped with a Haneline speedometer and Sun Super Tach, both with custom faces. The seatbelts and undersized '40 Ford steering wheel were ordered from Juliano's. John Miller of Sullivan Upholstery covered the Glide roadster seats and the custom door panels in two-tone leather.
Since the roadster's been finished, Dan has had a lot of luck with it at hot rod shows: a write-up in the Goodguys Gazette, a STREET RODDER Top 10 pick at the Nats in Columbus, and now a full feature. But for Dan, as for any reasonable hot rod fanatic, the best prize is not a plaque, a jacket, or even a photo shoot, it's getting to drive down the road in his ultimate dream car.