Jo went dumpster diving, so to speak, for a $150 T5 transmission from a '91 S-10 that runs a stock Buick flywheel and clutch with a Chevy disc. Jo ordered the shortest driveshaft Speedway Motors makes and it was a perfect fit. The custom 9-inch rearend was fabbed by Scott Wible. It supports a limited-slip differential with a 4:10 gear and Moser axles.
The rear suspension is a wishbone triangulated four-link with a transverse '32 rear spring. The shocks are Pete & Jakes while the brakes are '65 Mustang drums. The rear wheels are 16x4-inch steelies with Coker Firestone Deluxe Champion 8.90x16 grooved dirt trackers.
The sparse race-inspired interior...
The sparse race-inspired interior has a super-wide Sprint Car-inspired seating with matching aluminum interior doorskins sporting leather pouches taken from a tool belt. The shifter is made from 1-inch round mild steel machined flat with a groove milled into it. The shifter was bent and drilled and then topped off with a brass shift knob. All the pedals, linkages, bell cranks, and steering column were home fabricated. The dash insert is filled with Stewart-Warner gauges. Hidden in the shadows behind the seat is a four-point 1-1/2-inch chromoly rollbar.
Most of the front suspension came from Thompson's Garage. The axle is a 4-inch dropped I-beam with '37-41 Ford spindles all controlled by Pete & Jakes shocks. The front spring is a cross-mounted '32 Ford resting within a '32 crossmember. The front brakes are '46-48 Ford 12x1-3/4-inch-wide drums. The wheels are 16x4 steelies with '40 V-8 caps wrapped with 16x5 Coker Firestone Deluxe Champion grooved front tires.
Jo twisted into service an F-100 steering box that became a cowl steering unit with a homemade Pitman arm. The steering column was another piece Jo made from aluminum and topped off with one of his old Sprint Car steering wheels. The extra knowledge gained from setting up race cars has helped Jo tune the suspension for a thrilling but surprisingly stable ride.
While the chassis and running gear were perfected, Schon was laying down the Sherwin-Williams black paint on the '32 grille shell and the straightened out '30 Model A coupe body.
The interior is a fabrication wonderment, resulting in seat and door panels fabricated from aluminum and have flanged holes thoughout. The shape and profile of the seat were made to match the seats that Jo once had in his Sprint Car but increasing the width to fill the Model A interior dimensions. The driving position is pretty close to how you would be sitting in a Sprint Car except the seat is laid back a little more. (I was really comfortable in the car and I'm 6 feet, 2 inches tall.) The pedals and shifter are more garage-bound handiwork showing off more of the "hole" theme. The engine-turned-aluminum panel supports four Stewart-Warner gauges, the ignition, and the headlight switch. The door handles and all other hardware is drilled and the bolts are safety wired throughout. The only glass in the car is the windshield and Deuce rearview mirror. The roof is fitted with the correct amount of wood but for now this really is a sun and moon roof! Jo says in the not-too-distant future the sky view will be closed. Getting caught in a downpour a few times with an open roof car and you become a convert.
The throttle linkage is stout...
The throttle linkage is stout and totally adjustable. More of Jo's detail work can be seen on the return spring perches. Jo had to fabricate an adaptor to get the Carter marine carbs to work with the Offenhauser manifold. The cowl steering is based on a modified F-100 box; Jo fabricated the steering arm.
As the project was coming together Jo made sure to enlist a series of little touches that he wanted the coupe to have. The front and rear bumpers have a Sprint Car look to them. The drilled rear bumper features a pushbar and the license plate is mounted in the pushbar area with a Model A taillight right above it. The brass door hinges and shift knob are more subtle touches, while the Josh Shaw pinstriping adds the finishing touch. The finished hot rod has won awards since the day it was done. It won Best Coupe and Best Engine at Cavalcade of Customs in Cincinnati, Ohio; Indy High Winders Pick at World of Wheels in Indianapolis; 2010 Best Hot Rod Dan Webb's Pick at Autorama; Chopped and Dropped pick at Goodguys Indianapolis; Relix Riot at Gilmore Auto Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. Apparently this car is well liked!
This rod is understated in its beauty. It takes a little while to soak in all the details but it's an enjoyable process. The stance, chop, and wheels are perfect. The Nailhead motor backed with T5 trans and good handling suspension makes this hot rod a driving experience. The details are endless and interesting with a theme that honors Jo's family's lifelong love for racing.