Culver City, California
'28 Ford Model A roadster
Timothy Cicora's four-banger '28 Model A is the earliest-styled of the Reelers' cars, and built with "a lot of stuff I had hanging around the garage." Timothy is an East Coast transplant who, thanks to his father, grew up around cars. After moving to the Los Angeles area, it didn't take him long to get involved in the traditional hot rod scene.
"I was at a restaurant with my chopped '34 coupe. Matt saw it and stuck a business card on my coupe, with a note complimenting the car. I called him and we started hanging out. I met Tyrell and Logan through Matt and we started talking about a car club."
Not long ago, Timothy was driving a full-fendered '29 phaeton, but was looking for a prewar-style dry lakes roadster. His friend, builder Steve Beck, had a roadster but was looking for a tub, so they swapped bodies. A few body panels were in need of repairs but changes were kept to a minimum. The windshield was chopped 2 inches and the posts leaned back 5 degrees. The grille is the original '28 Ford piece. Manuel's Body Shop in Culver City performed some pre-paint bodywork and shot the gray primer sealer.
Timothy had done much of the chassis work when the car was still a phaeton. He added subrails to the original frame. It has a T spring in the rear to lower it approximately 4 inches. The front is lowered with a de-arched Model A buggy spring with reversed eyes, and a 2-inch dropped Model A axle. The frontend has stock spindles and a draglink steering setup, and rides on '39 shocks with aircraft-style tubular shocks in back.
The '32 Ford 18-inch wire wheels also contribute to the roadster's earlier, prewar style. He put 6.50-18 Firestone piecrusts on the rear and 5.50-18 Excelsiors up front. Brakes are '39 Ford.
The powerplant is what earns the roadster the most attention, and what provided the biggest challenge to Timothy. He built up the 0.060-over '32 four-banger was with an early cast-iron Winfield head with crow's foot chambers and a Winfield "R" cam. The Rajo-type manifold was machined to fit a pair of Winfield S-AA-D carburetors and Model B ports. Setting up the dual Winfield carbs was a lot of work, but a success. A Hallock exhaust manifold feeds into the unmufflered exhaust pipe. A '32 trans with a Model A clutch replaces the model A gearbox, and the Ford Model A rearend is geared 3.54:1.
The inside door panels were finished with the same brown vinyl as the modified Model A bench. Timothy made the steering wheel from a stock Model A wheel and a 15-inch swap meet donor. The leather cover was stained and laced by Reeler Matt Winter. The instruments are a mix of stock and Stewart-Warner.
Timothy told us about an experience he had driving the roadster with his father that captures the passion he has for his car. "My father was visiting from the East Coast and we were out in the roadster. The sun was coming up just as we began heading over the top of the hills into Pomona [California] and I said to my dad, 'What we're doing right now is what everyone wants to do.'"