Just the Facts
Model: Five-Window Coupe
Owner: Paul Gerrie
The trunk was not left out when it came to the custom upholstery that hides the gas tank,
So many times a project gets started in one man's garage, and, for one reason or another, gets sidetracked for a while. Such is the case with Paul Gerrie's Oregon-based hot rod. Someone else comes along and says, "Hey, what are you doing with that old crate sitting in the back of your shop? Want to sell it?" And off it goes to a new life down the road.
That is the true story on this old Ford. Buz Peck, of Battle Ground, Washington, was in between projects—his 1959 Chevy, 1936 Ford roadster, and 1955 T-bird were rolling—and he wanted something to do. He was asking around town to see what was available and found that Brian Scribner, at Alignment and Brake Specialties, in Vancouver, Washington, had just such a project languishing in the back of his shop. It wasn't even for sale. But with a little persuading the coupe was headed for a new life.
Pete & Jake’s supplied the complete front suspension, including the disc brake coverup
It was sort of a roller, having a Kiwi Connection frame and some suspension pieces, before Peck found it. Here is the rest of the story: Pete & Jake's supplied the complete front suspension, with a mono spring added to help with the heft of the powerplant. Their brake package was added to the mix, with brake covers over Wilwood discs. The rear is rolling on a Dutchman 9-inch rear (3.70 gears) with a Gleason-Torsen differential and a Heidts tri-link suspension.
Scribner then turned the body and frame over to "Kiwi" Paul Gilbert, of Kiwi Metal Fab, in Vancouver, for some major mods. Gilbert sliced and diced the top to the tune of a 4-inch chop, then replaced the quarter-panels, hand formed new rear wheelwells, and patched the cowl doors. Gilbert then attacked the new sub rails he built by fitting them to the 1932 Ford frame. Final work on the lower deck panel, latch tray, doors, and decklid were next on the list. The body was married to the pinched frame and then the Bitchin firewall and the cowl top were welded in place. The last piece to fall by his torch was the petrol access hole in the cowl.
So, this was a great start on a new project, and the coupe made some more stops on the road to a new life. A 1957 Chrysler 392ci Hemi was laying around the Peck garage, and seemed like a great piece of go power for the coupe. Off it went to Tabor Machine in Vancouver for a little cleanup and makeover. The block was bored and balanced with a high-lift cam and stainless steel valves. A Chrysler factory dual-four intake was dipped in porcelain and mounted with twin Edelbrock 650-cfm carburetors, with the spark coming from an MSD ignition. Marty Strode, of North Plains, Oregon, fab'd up a set of his famous headers and hammered out the trans tunnel. He then designed and made the column drop that attaches to an original early Ford ignition switch. Mating the Hemi to a TH350 transmission was the final piece of the running gear puzzle. Engine tuning and brake installation were then handled by Earl Gillespie, in Brush Prairie, Washington.
Laying around waiting for a project, this 1957 Chrysler 392 Hemi sure looks good, with its
Next stop, "Big" John Terry's shop, just north of Vancouver. Terry prepared the frame for the go power by fabricating all the crossmembers, motor mounts for the Vega steering, engine, trans, and suspension. He then assembled the chassis components on the newly painted frame, and readied the car to roll on its own.
But, first, there were a few more things to do on the body.
When it was at Kiwi Paul's, it was going in a different direction, so Terry had to make a few modifications to the body, to accept the changed running gear. He modified the firewall for the big engine to fit the small space provided for it. Just think about it, that engine was built for a monster of a car 27 years after the A Bone hit the streets, and was not meant to be there. That's where Terry's "shoehorn" came in. He also modified the lower rear body to accept the 1932 Ford rear roll pan, which fills that Model A gap from the rear and provides an excellent place for the custom taillights. Channeling the frame 1-1/4 inches, Terry explained, is what was needed for that little bit of wrap over the frame to make a visual balance to the chopped top. Then for the pièce de résistance, or highlight for the rear, he designed and built the beautiful nerf bar.
Classic Instruments, a Sun tach, Wheel Shoppe steering wheel, and a cool shift knob on top
Looking more and more like a finished machine, the car took a quick ride to the paint shop of Sean Jarrett, in Vancouver. He and Jason Holguin massaged the 80-plus-year-old body to perfection before applying the Forest Green paint. Vanilla Shake was used as accent on the firewall, dash, and wheels. Speaking of the wheels, Peck found them used, and with the 16- and 17-inch sizes, added 185R55/16 Bridgestones and Cooper Discoverer H/T 255R55/17 tires to complete the roller. The headlights are original fire truck units from the late 1930s, and with the addition of an original 1932 Ford grille shell, you have a tried-and-true combo that is always pleasing to the eye.
The guys from Hampton Glass stopped by and installed the windows, before local electronics expert Bart Quchida installed the Classic Instruments, and custom wired the car to perfection.
Roger Adams, of the Wheel Shoppe, brought over one of his handmade steering wheels to complement the Lokar shifter. Ready to rock, the car fired right up for its trip to the trim shop.
Looking like a cross between hot rod heaven and a coach-built interior, Dave’s Upholstery,
Dave's Upholstery in Vancouver is the shop that Peck has used for many moons on many automobile projects. Finished in gorgeous fawn tan leather, the interior is a classy cross between traditional American and European sports car design. It perfectly matches this Model A Ford that, even as a bitchin hot rod, has the undertones of a coach-built car of the era.
As time progressed, Peck needed to thin the herd, and sold several of his cars to Dale Mathews of Memory Lane Motors, in Portland, Oregon. Needless to say, Mathews didn't have the car long when his good customer Paul Gerrie came around and had to have the Model A.
Cars like this one are very few and far between when it comes to the overall look and quality of build. You can throw money at a project, and not come close to a cool ride if you don't address the style, stance, and visual appearance that this car has. Take a good look at this Model A and learn.