Just the Facts
Model: Model A Coupe
Owners: Alan Behrse and Jerry Shore
In 1950, Jerry Shore graduated from high school in East Los Angeles. The right age, the right place, and the right time; what diehard traditional hot rodder hasn't imagined himself at that intersection of circumstances? As a young man, Jerry saw the hot rod hobby grow in popularity. In the decades that followed, he saw it transform through numerous trends, eventually returning to the styles established by rodders of his generation.
Alan Behrse was born in the mid-1950s, around the time that Jerry and his bride Roberta were starting a family. By the time Alan was in high school in the early 1970s, he had developed his own interest in cars. And when he married his wife, Elaine, he gained Jerry Shore as his father-in-law.
Alan and Jerry decided to build a hot rod together—the type of car that a Southern California hot rodder would have built in 1950. Jerry had been that hot rodder and had invaluable first-hand knowledge of authentic components and authentic construction techniques. A complete, stock running 1929 Model A coupe turned up on Craigslist, providing the perfect raw material for the retro-style build they were planning.
The original frame was modified with a Deuce K-member and a 4-inch Z to lower the rear. Rick Thomas at RT Welding in Hesperia, California, would step in later to build the rear floor over the Z'd 'rails, and to perform other fab work. Alan's son, Eric, contributed TIG welding and other help. The front was lowered with a 4-inch dropped I-beam axle and spindles from SO-CAL Speed Shop. Other period-correct frontend parts include the Model A split wishbones, and the SO-CAL tube shocks and front buggy spring with reversed eyes. Alan and Jerry took the rearend from a 1948 Lincoln along with stock Lincoln axles, radius rods, and shortened torque tube, plus tubular shocks and a stock Model A spring.
More cool details include the rare 1935-36 Ford radio dial.
The 1940 Ford 16-inch front wheels are matched by rear 16-inchers from Wheelsmith, wearing 1941 Ford caps and rings. A pair of 7.50-16 Firestone Deluxe Champion piecrusts roll in the rear, with 5.50-16 Firestones up front. The rear brakes are 1948 Lincoln. Front drums, master cylinder, and pedal assembly came off of a Ford F-1 pickup; so did the steering box and column.
H&H Flatheads in La Crescenta, California, handled the machining and assembly of the 8BA Flathead. The block was bored 0.060-over, and the engine was balanced and blueprinted. Internals include Ross pistons and a Potvin-style cam. Dual Stromberg 97s are mounted on an Offenhauser intake. Red's Headers and Speed Equipment supplied the headers, and Smitty's mufflers supplied the hot rod tone. A stock 1939 shifter works the gears in the unmodified trans.
In August 2012, with the chassis and drivetrain finished, Alan and Elaine and Jerry and Roberta took the partially completed coupe to Bonneville for Speed Week to achieve their goal of saying the car was on the salt. That trip was a reward for the work already done, and an incentive for pushing ahead with the rest of the build.
Back in Southern California, Alan and Jerry began the final push to finish. Now the goal was to have it done by Jerry's 80th birthday in November. Even with that deadline coming fast, no shortcuts were allowed.
The only major change that Alan and Jerry made to the original steel body was the 3-1/2-inch top chop. They mounted a 1932 grille shell and insert in front. At the deck, they restored the rumble seat and installed 1939 Ford taillights. Replacement glass and a 4-inch Peep mirror were added. Juan Nunez in Hesperia performed the final sheetmetal work before shooting the 1936 Ford Washington Blue from PPG. The top was finished with a black vinyl cover. Fresh chrome from Marcel's Chrome Plating in San Bernardino, California, completes the outward appearance.
A 1936 Ford dash—found at a swap meet and altered to fit in the Model A—still houses stock 1936 gauges. Craig Hopkins in Perris, California, custom-built the bench for the Model A and followed up with oxblood-colored pleated vinyl upholstery on the seat and door panels.
The coupe was completed five months after it began, just days before Jerry's birthday. The day was celebrated at the Goodguys Fall Nats in Del Mar where the 1929 won an award.
In June, Jerry died at the age of 80. Some consolation is the fact that he finished this remarkable hot rod, and that it serves as an example of his talent and as an example of the traditional style started by the rodders of his generation.
Alan already owned the 1950 8BA Flathead with Mercury heads (and the 1939 transmission) an
The 1940 Ford steering wheel turns on an F-1 column. Craig Hopkins created the seat and do
More cool details include the rare ’35-36 Ford radio dial. Even the Stewart-Warner Wings w