Less than an hour after arriving in Gulfport, Mississippi, this Model A coupe caught my eye from across the parking lot. Highboy Model A coupes have long been one of my favorites and this particular hot rod struck a wicked profile. The 4-1/2-inch chopped top looked aggressive but avoids that crushed look that a more radical cut might produce. Semi-flat green paint was another eye-catcher, not quite primer, not quite paint, it has a built-in patina that gives the appearance of timeworn paint, yet the packaging was all there.
The twin velocity stacks rising above the grille shell make a real performance statement and that performance is backed by a 427ci Ford FE motor topped with a very rare Mickey Thompson cross-ram intake manifold that mounts a pair of Holley 600-cfm carbs. Inside the motor you'll find a COMP cam and roller rockers moving the valves in mildly reworked heads. Flattop pistons push the exhaust through the headers and collector-mounted mufflers.
Safety wire always adds race car flavor, not to mention safely preventing fasteners from b
Connected to the big Ford motor is a TREMEC five-speed that spins those pie-crust cheater slicks through a 9-inch Ford rear. While checking out the driveline it became obvious something was missing, namely the radiator. An electric water pump is in service and coolant lines run along the inner framerails to a trunk-mounted radiator. Suddenly the heavily vented decklid made perfect sense. The radiator was relocated to the trunk where an electric fan forces cool air through the radiator and out of the decklid louvers.
This entire effort was to produce the proper look of an early drag car and the results are spot on. The empty grille shell now carries a Moon tank mounted with owner-built brackets. The upper half of the grille is filled with well-perforated and riveted aluminum.
All this rolls on a Model A chassis with buggy springs front and rear. The front axle is a drilled Super Bell unit located with Pete & Jake's hairpins, while out back the rearend is located with P&J ladder bars. It's a simple hot rod approach that works fine. The combination disc and drum brakes stop the coupe with ease and rolling stock consists of Rocket Wheels up front and steelies out back.
Beyond chopping the top and punching the sunvisor full of holes, the Model A body remains largely stock, including the roll-down rear window. All that changes once you open the door. A pair of Speedway Motors bomber seats are mounted to the bead-rolled steel floor with a set of owner-built brackets. Brad opted to dress up the seats by fabricating side panels and riveting them to the seats. When it came time to do the “upholstery” Brad tackled that too, after a trip to the local Army-Navy surplus store. The bottom seat cushion is covered in OD canvas sourced from an Army tent, while the back pads are covered by a pair of B-12 parachute packs, chosen because of the snap straps. All the aluminum panels are owner built and they envelop the entire cockpit. Speed holes and rivets give the interior some serious attitude, while bead rolling stiffens the panels and adds to the race car look. Gauges consist of a set of modern winged S&W gauges with a vintage Super Sun Tach mounted to the steering column. Add a rollbar and the cabin is complete.
After talking with owner-builder Brad Outlaw it was apparent that this car was 100 percent old school, built at home, help from some friends, using the parts that were available and substituting creativity and hard work for liquid dollars. The results are remarkable, a hot rod coupe that has blended military aircraft and vintage hot rod into a perfect flavor. The craftsmanship is impressive and only exceeded by Brad's enthusiasm for hot rodding.
You gotta love a guy who fabricates an aluminum map pocket for his hot rod door panel. The
The interior is completely owner fabricated, and when we asked Brad about doing the work h
Power for the coupe comes from a warmed-over 427 Ford filled with flattop pistons, reworke
COMP Performance Group Tech Tips
Presented by COMP Cams
Installing Rocker Arms? Add Pushrods.
It is always a good idea to replace your pushrods when you install new rocker arms. Pushrods and rockers wear together, much like a cam and lifters. Even though the pushrods may not show any wear, installing new rockers on old pushrods can result in premature failure. Use a small amount of COMP Cams Valve Train Assembly Spray (PN 106) on the tip of each pushrod at the rocker arm to prevent wear on initial startup.
Using the Proper Intake Manifold is EZ
Any intake manifold you have used with a four-barrel carburetor will work with both the EZ-EFI and EZ-EFI 2.0 Self Tuning Fuel Injection Systems. They have been tested with both dual- and single-plane intakes. However, as with carburetors, using adapter plates to adapt a two-barrel to a four-barrel is not recommended due to poor air and fuel distribution.
Synchronize Your Carbs
Weber IDF Carburetors are commonly used in pairs, making synchronization important. Be sure to bring the high-flowing carb down to the low-flow carb, and then bring them both up to proper idle speed.