For some folks, having a hot rod is kind of a passing thing, while others it’s ingrained into their being. Though Dan Sobieski is only 42 years old, he remembers working on cars with his dad at the age of 7. And, for the next 35 years, Dan would be what you would call “fully immersed”.
Wanting an engine that might...
Wanting an engine that might look like it was pulled out of a ’67 Corvette, Dan Sobieski achieved his goal with a 327 topped with an injection system from Eight Stack that mimics the look of having four Weber IDA carbs. Ross 10.5:1 pistons were used inside and double-hump heads are equipped with roller rockers and finished with Corvette valve covers. Stainless ram’s horn headers bolt to a stainless steel exhaust fabbed by Poor Boys, and the engine backs to a T-5 transmission. \
If his name sounds familiar, you might know it because you tuned into the Discovery Channel’s American Hot Rod TV show that featured Boyd Coddington and ran between 2004 and 2008. In what could be described as a constant train wreck, the show had only a couple of standouts who didn’t participate in the daily drama that was central to the show’s concept, and Dan was one of them.
After Coddington died and the show went off the air, Dan used his talents and gathered up a crew to continue building cars, calling it Poor Boys Hot Rods, setting up a 10,000-square-foot shop in a corner of Boyd’s old location in La Habra, California. Sheetmetal fabrication, chassis building, paint and bodywork, and a fine attention to detail are only some of the attributes Dan brings to the table with his business.
During a couple of the television episodes, Dan was shown at his home garage with the ’32 Ford truck featured here. It was just after he’d bought it from SoCal hot rodder Bob Bauder, who knew the truck was used to deliver eggs in Bakersfield in Central California in its former life. The TV show captured Dan disassembling the stock truck all the way down to the bare chassis, but it never showed what happened after that.
What happened was Dan took a year to go through the pickup from top to bottom and build what he is now typically known for: a well-detailed but stunningly subtle hot rod. Starting with the chassis, Dan boxed what was there and added Model A crossmembers both front and rear. Classic hot rod underpinnings were used, from the Winters V-8 quick-change with ’36 Ford wishbones out back to the original heavy ’32 Ford I-beam axle up front that was drilled and then chromed. Drilled split wishbones were also installed along with Deuce Factory spindles and finned aluminum Buick drums. The gas tank stayed under the seat, and Dan/Poor Boys created a steering column for the banjo-type steering wheel from LimeWorks. Rollers come in the form of 16-inch steelies (4s and 4.5s) wrapped in Firestone rubber (4.75 and 7.00).
Bill’s Hot Rod Interiors used...
Bill’s Hot Rod Interiors used gray square-weave carpet in the cab, and then used flat black leather over the modified bench seat (moved back and down for more legroom), door panels, and the rest of the cab’s interior. The ’32 three-window dash was woodgrained by Jeff Styles, and a simple trio of vintage Stewart-Warner gauges inform Dan on what’s going on.
The truck’s theme is pretty basic, that is until you lift up the 25-louver hood side. The truck’s only blast of color comes from a small-block Chevy dipped in orange that looks like it was lifted out of a ’67 Corvette from back in the day.
Borowski Race Enterprises, based in Rockdale, Illinois, prepped the 327 block before Poor Boys assembled it with a stock crank, solid lifters, and 10.5:1 Ross pistons. Double-hump heads, equipped with roller rockers and seven-fin aluminum Corvette valve covers, were also used.
An impressive injection system from Eight Stack feeds the 327, and spent gases exit through polished stainless steel ram’s horns and out a Poor Boys fabbed stainless steel exhaust system and MagnaFlow mufflers. The engine backs up to a T-5 transmission, which is fitted with a Hays clutch and ’39 Ford arm. Other engine items include an Edelbrock water pump, a Walker radiator, and a fan from a ’57 Cadillac to help keep things running cool.
There are plenty of folks who think “more is better” when it comes to body modifications, but not Dan. Subtle is the name of the game, and after shortening the bed of the truck 6 inches and removing the hinges and rivets, he was done with altering one of Ford’s greatest designs. Poor Boys fabbed up a set of taillights, ’32 commercial headlights were also added, and the dash from a ’32 three-window (with glovebox) was also installed. Once the bodywork was complete, Dan pushed the truck into his AFC downdraft spray booth and covered everything he could with black PPG paint.