Dan Shea’s 1929 Model A Pickup Built by Riggs Fabrication
When a custom car or truck owner has a specific concept for their ride, it’s important to find a builder who shares that vision. That’s what Dan Shea found when he connected with Jay Riggs at Riggs Fabrication on this retro-style 1929 Model A pickup. Dan had the vision for a ’60s-flavored rod and did some of the work on the truck but gives credit to Riggs for “the majority of bringing it to fruition.”
The truck started life as a Model AA 1.5-ton flatbed, which has the same cab as the smaller Model A, but a larger and heavier frame and different fenders. That frame was ultimately kicked up 3-inches in the front and 8-inches in the rear for the desired stance, then fitted with a Speedway Motors 4-inch dropped front axle and a RideTech triangulated four-link to locate the 9-inch rearend. It got rolling on 15×6- and 15×8-inch Cragar Supreme wheels wrapped in Coker wide whitewalls.
The 401c.i. Buick Nailhead was central to the ’60s theme. Built by Republic Custom Engine, the well-dressed mill has a Martin intake topped with a quartet of Stromberg carbs and breathes out through Sanderson Lakester headers. A contemporary 4L60E transmission makes for highway-friendly rpms.
A starting point for the body was raising the bed so the top rail was in line with the beltline on the door. The Riggs Fabrication team also sectioned the splash aprons, cut down a ’32 Ford grille shell to fit, built custom running boards, louvered the visor, widened the rear fenders, recessed the license plate in the tailgate, and installed ’54 Chevy taillights. They saved the best for last, though, covering all the custom metalwork with a brilliant House of Kolor finish that included Pagan Gold Candy over Ice Pearl and metalflake. It’s a truly stunning color.
An abundance of white marine tuck ’n roll vinyl stitched by Tim Rein and Sewdupokie complements the gleaming gold finish, covering the running boards, the medical seats inside, and the door panels. A ’32 Ford dash incorporates a custom switch panel, while Classic Instruments are positioned in a custom overhead panel. A gold metalflake steering wheel makes for a perfect finishing touch.
Dan says work was done in four phases over seven-plus years, which included a couple years of driving the pickup in primer. Finished earlier this year, the 1929 Model A pickup captures that ’60s show rod vibe he was after, from the four-carb Nailhead to the custom bedside tailpipes with fishtail tips. It’s a great example of owner and builder seeing a shared vision through to completion.
Photos by Steven Bunker