Culver City, California
'28 Ford Model A roadster
Matt Winter has been hot rodding since he was 13, and credits Logan Davis with influencing him in the traditional '40s style, and in teaching him a bit about period-correct roadsters. He has also been influenced by his grandfather, "who was a Model A guy," and by his father, who helped teach him do-it-yourself skills.
Of course he's been influenced by the generation of early hot rodders whom he calls innovators and builders. Following their example, he did the bodywork and paint on the '28. The body and custom aluminum hood came from an actual race car that ran on the dry lakes in the late '40s and at Bonneville in the '50s. Even the decklid louvers date back to the '40s. The headlights are Arrows from the '30s and taillights are teardrops from a '39 Ford. The windshield was chopped and laid back. Matt's father made the leather belt straps for the hood. Matt added a '32 grille. He shot the drab green-gray paint to give the appearance of buffed-out original paint.
The Deuce 'rails were built up with motor mounts for the overhead and a rear spring saddle. Matt also runs a pair of tube shocks in the rear, and '36 side-mount friction shocks and Model A buggy springs at the front dropped axle. A '39 pedal assembly is used with '40 Ford hydraulic brakes. The steering box is from a '39. For rolling stock, Matt chose 16-inch '40 steel rims combined with 5.00x16 and 7.50x16 World War II-era motorcycle-style tires.
OHV V-8s got the attention of hot rodders in the late '40s and early '50s. This '49 Olds Rocket 88 is the only OHV engine of the four Reelers roadsters. Machine work was originally done at Iskenderian's in Culver City, California, and the mostly stock engine runs an Isky cam. Matt runs Stromberg 97s on an Edmunds 2x2 intake manifold-and no mufflers on the custom-built exhaust. The Olds is backed by a '39 Ford top loader and cut-down torque tube driveline with a 3.78:1 '39 Ford rear at the other end.
He replaced the original dash with a '33 Pontiac dash with a '36 Packard insert and gauges, behind a '40 steering wheel. Manuel's Body Shop helped him cover the homebuilt bench seat with tuck 'n' roll leather. The lap belts are from a World War II fighter plane.
Matt says the roadster has provided him with a lot of experiences he wouldn't have had otherwise. "One of the most memorable was driving the car through the desert in the middle of the night on my way to the dry lakes for the first time. There are too many to think about, but one in particular was being able to show my father my car displayed at the Grand National Roadster Show before he passed. Seeing his eyes light up when he looked at this piece of art I'd built with my own hands using the tools he taught me how to work with was great. I'd like to pass this roadster onto my own kids when I have some-after they've built a car of their own, of course."