Four velocity stacks protruding from the left and a set of exhaust headers snaking out of
Street rod builders are clever creatures. Give an experienced builder a few pieces of sheetmetal, an engine, and drivetrain, toss in a few wheels, tires, and suspension components, and next thing you know you have a street rod ready for paint.
That’s essentially the scenario that played out at R-Goods Autoworks in Arvada, Colorado, a couple years ago when this Model A appeared almost magically from the dark corner of the shop. R-Goods is actually the name on the shingle, but the shop owner’s name is Brad Aregood and his specialty is fabrication and painting. He also builds cars, including his own phantom phaeton Model A using, well, pretty much the ingredients from the parts manifest listed above.
Quads For Rods helped Brad set the little Quad 4 engine within the homebuilt framerails. B
The seed for the project was planted when Brad spotted a sketch of a budget phaeton in the Apr. ’09 issue of STREET RODDER’s sister publication Rod & Custom. Jimmy Smith’s sketch titled “Mo’ Time Than Money” grabbed Brad’s attention. “I told myself that I could build one of those,” he recalls, but the thought languished until a few weeks later when he visited Bert’s Model A Center, a popular place in Denver where A-bone fans go for their ferrous fix in Fords dating from 1929-31.
Bert’s had a rather salvageable Model A Tudor that interested Brad. “It was just a shell of a Tudor sedan, really” he says, “but it had promise.” That prompted Brad to remain true to his word, so he bought the old body to begin his own more-time-than-money project. He had his sheetmetal, now all he needed were a few other components for his street rod.
An 11-gallon aluminum gas tank occupies the rear quarters, while Brad and his wife, Kelly,
“First thing I did was cut the top to mimic a roadster,” Brad says. Next he fashioned and smoothed the beltline, the style line as he puts it, to give the body a more finished appearance. To do that he cut about 1/4 inch above the beltline, fabricating a cap from sheetmetal to cover the exposed perimeter. Notice that there’s a slight flare at the front of each door to blend with the front cowl, and speaking of doors, Model A roadster aficionados have probably spotted that the hangers on this car are noticeably long for an open-top Model A. “The sedan doors are about 4 inches longer than those on a roadster,” Brad points out, “but the benefit here is that it’s easier for my wife, Kelly, and me to get in and out of the car!” Ah, those clever street rod builders …
But Brad wasn’t finished massaging the old body (the car’s that is). “I didn’t want the body to sit high over the frame as a Model A normally does,” he told us. So he extended the lower portion of the body about an 1-1/4 inch, and the overall effect is an exceptionally clean-looking profile that’s accented on the right side with the long lakes pipe that dumps the exhaust about a foot before the rear tire.
But what about the left exhaust? Glad you asked, because the left exhaust got left in the dust; Brad’s A-bone has a General Motors Quad 4 engine so there’s only a need for the right side pipes. The little four-banger nestles neatly in the engine bay, and what you see poking out of the left hood apron are four velocity stacks that lead to a pair of dual-throat Weber DCOE side-draft carburetors on the other side of the sheetmetal. Brad credits John Erlick of Quads For Rods, also in Denver, with engineering the engine for the car. Erlick also cast the intake, bell housing, and thermostat housing for the potent four.
A tidy tunnel in the rear panel that Brad fabricated to house the Rodsville quick-change r
After Brad had settled on the powertrain that consisted of the Quad 4, T-5 transmission, and early Ford Rodsville quick-change rearend, he commenced to building his own frame the old-fashioned way. He laid down the dimensions on his shop floor, broke out the rectangular steel tubing, and started cutting and welding. There’s a slight kickup in the front, and the rear section was Z-cut to maintain the low stance. “I had a lot of help from Chris Mac at Max Innovations (Arvada) with the frame and its geometry, plus he performed some of the high-tech welding when I needed it,” Brad adds.
A 4-inch drop Super Bell I-beam axle mounts a pair of Vintique 15x6 spoke wheels and ’40 Ford juice brakes, and the rear axle rides on 15x7 Vintique spokers. This little phaeton is meant for driving, so BFGoodrich radials are found on all corners.
After Brad applied the paint to the finished body, Ron and Dan at Auto Weave stitched the upholstery. Next stop was Rick Losh Pinstriping for the cowl art.
“World War II nose art has always interested me,” Brad says, “so I wanted some on this car.” After months of searching for just the right piece of work, he settled on “Midnight Madness II” that had been painted on a P-61 Black Widow night bomber. Turns out that the original “Midnight Madness” P-61 crash-landed on Iwo Jima, and the crew dutifully named their second plane Midnight Madness II. By chance Brad had once built a Model A Tudor that he named Midnight Madness, so naturally he elected to name the roadster MMII. “The theme fits,” Brad adds, “because after building cars all day at my shop, I spent a lot of nights, often past midnight, working on my own car.” Like all street rod builders, though, there is a little method to Brad’s madness.