1929 Ford Model A hot rod Dale Spagenburg

1929 Ford Coupe: Never Pass Up on a Good Deal

When you’re faced with a good deal in life, especially when it comes to hot rods, you better jump on the deal, especially if it is a 1929 Ford Coupe. Even if you don’t need the parts or pieces, a deal is a deal. Dale Spangenberg of Newbury, Ohio, understands this sentiment and puts it to the test when the right deal comes along.

As an example, Dale’s Dad once sold a ’62 Pontiac Grand Prix but the new owners didn’t want the original 389c.i. V8. Dale’s always been a fan of Pontiacs and even though he didn’t have a project for it at the time he jumped at the chance to have the engine, you know, just in case. Next came a set of ’59 Poncho heads, a distributor here and there, and then the topper, a Weiand Drag Star six barrel intake. It’s not often an intake like that is going to come up for sale, so if the timing is right, you better take advantage of it.

Over time a few more loose ends found their way into Dale’s garage such as a Muncie trans and a 9-inch Ford rear end. Finally, a deal came about on a rough, but bone stock and running 1929 Ford coupe. Even though the thought of an original 4-banger and stock style Model A didn’t appeal to him, it was a good deal and he had a vision of what kind of a hot rod he could build out of the stocker. The car lasted less than two weeks before Dale had it apart in his garage.

1929 Ford Model A hot rod Dale Spagenburg

As a fabricator, Dale had no problem stripping it down to its bare minimum. Following disassembly, he set about building a custom frame. New rails were made and Dale fabbed a triangulated 4-link to support a Ford 9-inch rear along with a pair of Alden coilovers. Up front, he fit a Superbell axle with a split wishbone set up and added a Vega steering box. Brakes from a ’53 Ford F-100 were added up front as well.

Dale’s fabrication talents are on full display when it comes to the A’s body and proportions. Serious metal work including a 4-inch chop and a 4-inch channel over the custom tube chassis highlight the A’s exterior. While he was at it, the dash of a ’40 Ford was melded into the coupe.

Getting back to the part about having the right parts at the right time, when it came time for a driveline, there was no question – Pontiac power! The 389c.i. block was freshened up and the heads received a port, polish, and full cleaning before being bolted in place. On top, six Holley 94s feed the fuel through the rare Weiand intake with a straight linkage controlling each throttle plate. To get the power to the rear cheater slicks, a Muncie was pulled out from under the bench. It’s good to have inventory!

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At this point, it’s important to note that the vision of this rod was not accomplished in a matter of several months. This was one of those on again, off again projects that are squeezed between the real things in life such as starting a family and getting a business off the ground and rolling. Dale figures the 1929 Ford coupe was in the works for over eight years give or take. Many people would have given up far sooner.

Once Dale was set with the 1929 Ford coupe and the mechanical essentials, he was speaking to his friends Steve and Mark that run S&M Auto body. They performed the final body and paint base work with the solid paint colors. The little coupe already had the makings of a mid-sixties show car with the chop/channel and vintage engine components when another friend, Jerome Borris, thought it would be cool to lay out some lace, or panel paintworks and other high zootin’ tricks from the day.

Dale already knew he wanted something different so he told Jerome to go for it with only two guidelines: No flake and nothing could be symmetrical. And go for it he did. The base is a custom mix PPG of light blue metallic along with candy tints from the Vibrance catalog. The finished work has all the touches of the custom painting of yesteryear and above all, the coupe stands out in a crowd – just as Dale had wanted.

1929 Ford Model A hot rod Dale Spagenburg

Keeping with the ‘60s styling, inside the chop-top, you’ll find a pair of diamond pleated Mustang seats, a stern Hurst shifter to stir the Muncie and a Spencer Performance steering wheel that guides a pair of Halibrand Starburst wheels with Michelin tread. Out back are a set of polished kidney bean E-Ts. The trick looking headers with custom cut-outs were crafted by E&J Precision Welding and connect to 2.5-inch oval tubing that’s routed out back to keep things a little quieter until things get serious.

Now that the 1929 Ford coupe is complete, Dale readily to enjoys the cruise and enjoys the grunt of the Poncho’s torque as often as possible. Does having a completed rod mean he’s going to turn away any other good deals on parts and pieces? Of course not. He’s learned that you never know what you may need for another project down the road, so if you can pick something up at the right price at the right time, you better get it!

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Photos by John Jackson

Todd Ryden is first and foremost a car guy and admits to how lucky he is to have been able to build a career out of a hobby that he enjoys so much. He’s owned muscle cars and classics, raced a bit and has cruised across the country. With over 25 years in the industry from the manufacturing and marketing side to writing books and articles, he just gets it.