The only difference between a show-quality detail job and what’s acceptable to the average automobile owner is how much labor one wants to invest and whether or not they’re willing to pay for it. On one hand are the people who are happy with a blast of water-soluble silicone marketed as a wax job by their local car wash, and then on the other hand there are detail fanatics like Ron Eastman, of Anaheim, California, and his ’29 Model A roadster.
The saga of Ron’s ’29 started 15 years before Ron and his crew of family members bought the car in 2005 from Norm Crum, of Newport Beach, California. Crum is the guy who originally constructed the ’29 roadster from what he describes as much less than a basket case. “It was a process of going repeatedly to the Long Beach Veteran’s swap meet and gathering parts until there was enough to start building a car.” Crum says the body shell started as an incomplete Model A platform and then thanks to a compilation of various panels from several cars he was able to weld together a complete body. After Crum completed the metalwork he moved onto paint. In keeping with the old-school approach of the ’29, the paint is black acrylic lacquer from R-M—the paint company that was the first to introduce metallic colors way back in the ’30s. To get the super shiny results out of the black R-M Norm thinned it with R-M PNT-90, which is a slow-drying thinner that allows the acrylic lacquer to dry to the highest gloss possible, and then followed up by color-sanding and rubbing the paint out. Some 15 years later the paint and bodywork still looks great with hardly a flaw in sight, so all Ron had to do was lay on a coat of wax. From there, Ron and his two sons went a little overboard with their detailing efforts and disassembled the entire car to gain better access to things. The ’29 A-frame Crum elected to keep instead of opting for Deuce rails Ron had blasted down to the bare metal, and left intact complete with a Ford F-1 crossmember used to convert from mechanical to hydraulic brakes. Ron says the most challenging part of the project involved devising cleaner clutch and brake pedal linkage.
Chad Blundell at Blundell’s Speed & Machine in Orange, California, started with a Cling Model A pedal assembly equipped with a Wilwood master cylinder and reworked it to function with a ’39 Ford three-speed transmission. Staying with the year 1939, the brakes found on all corners of the ’29 are first-year Ford hydraulics complete with a factory-style emergency brake. The rear suspension is comprised of a buggy spring re-arched by Deaver Suspension of Santa Ana, California, dampened with Pete & Jakes shocks, from Peculiar, Missouri. The 3.73:1 Ford banjo rearend combined with 7.50x16 Firestone Deluxe Champion tires help keep the revs down on the open road. A steering wheel plucked from a vintage race car sits on top of a ’51 F-1 steering column held with a ’37 Ford truck drop support. The steering box is from a ’48 F-1 and connects to a stock Ford front axle with a 3-inch drop. Stock perches mount stock buggy springs from Deaver Suspension with ’36 Ford dog-bone-style shocks. Talk about saving something for a rainy day, Ron bought the ’36 front shocks in 1960 at a parts house in Comstock, Michigan, for a ’30 Model A he had at the time. Equally as old if not older is the Marine issue wool blanket that found itself functioning, as the Model A’s seat cover.