This car is so light any engine will cook the tires, and you can bet John can light ’em up
Though the look has been around since the earliest days of dry lakes racing, Lakes Modifieds and One Man Modifieds are enjoying a resurgence in their popularity. John Geesner, a hot rodder who in 2008 opened up his own shop, A&J Southern Rod Shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, liked the look of those cars, too, and found one for sale in California.
After bringing it home, John decided to put his own stamp on the car by changing some of the basic design characteristics with some concepts he wanted to try out. Mixing years of parts, such as a Deuce grille on a Model A or a ’40 dash in a ’32 roadster, has always been popular with rodders, so John hooked up with Gene Bostwick, a metalman whom he had worked with on several other cars, to add a ’38 Ford grille as well as a ’27 Ford trunk section.
Adding the grille was tricky, as its top section now includes a portion of the hood and it had to be tweaked a bit to fit the existing 2x4 chassis and, for the trunk section, the chassis had to be extended for support. Once the trunk was on, the lid and bottom apron were filled with louvers, which copies the look found in the aluminum hood top and sides (there are a total of 176 louvers all told on the car).
There’s a fair amount of room in the cockpit, mostly due to the leather-bound bench seat w
At 2,200 pounds, the car doesn’t need a lot of motor, and John can still easily bake the hides with its 350/350 engine and trans combo. The motor is topped by triple Rochesters bolted to an Edelbrock manifold, which feeds a set of double-hump heads. A PerTronix Flame Thrower ignition is used, as are custom lakes-style headers that have Car Chemistry baffles fitted inside. Early Corvette finned valve covers give an older appearance to the engine, as do the reversed frog-mouth air cleaners, and the whole shebang bolts up to a TH350 tranny equipped with a Lokar shifter.
The car is painted Dupont white by Aaron Lykins and Scott Hamlin, and the 17-inch wheels, which used to be painted white, were redone in red to provide a better contrast before being wrapped in 4.75 and 6.50 rubber.
The simple pleated interior, done with brown leather, was stitched by Interiors By Scott, and the color complements the African Mahogany wood ring used on the custom four-spoke steering wheel. Up on the stock ’28 Ford dash, three Stewart-Warner gauges were fit to the original gauge panel, plus two Classic Instrument gauges (a tach and speedo) mount on either side of the steering column in their own panel. A handful of other custom touches (the green glass windshield, the E&J headlights, and ’34 Ford hubcaps) finish up the car, which John says is a blast to drive down some of the country roads he has around his home, and we believe him!
A custom 2x4 frame is tapered up front and kicked up high in the rear. Out back a Speedway
When John bought the car it was a lakester—without the trunk section and with a flat nose.