To save more weight, Paul eliminated all carpeting from the floor and front seat back. “Carpeting is for your grandmother’s floors,” he says. He hand-cut black rubber floormats to fit, adding ’41 Harley footrests for protection. To help streamline the car, he laid back the windshield bases and chopped the stanchions, the windshield frame, the top irons, and bows, still providing a folding top. The interior, top, and side curtains were all done in Paul’s garage with the help of Sammy Head.
The tail is brought up with Chrysler AirStream lenses on Packard buckets and ’31 Ford reworked arms. Hanging below are ’50 Triumph motorcycle mufflers. Out front are streamlined ’40 American La France fire engine headlights, a ’37 Indian motorcycle horn, and a Pines Winterfront grille.
What Paul’s car represents should be clear by now. He set out to increase the performance of his tub in the three ways possible. Each step he took created the appearance you see—form following function.
He ended up with a really “hot tub.” On one hand Paul Gommi’s phaeton is a shrine to the most desirable obsolete parts in the world. On the other hand, he put those parts together in a way our forebears never thought to. The result changes our notions of tradition and progress.
It’s unlikely anyone else will focus so many rare and desirable parts in one place in such an original package. At the very least, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could top it. For more photos of Paul’s tub, visit www.streetrodder.com.