Home Run! Celebrating the 2021 Speedway Motors Traditional Homebuilt Heaven Winner
Hot rodding wasn’t born in high-end professional shops. It sprang from the garages of passionate enthusiasts who used their own hands, hard work, and energy to improve the performance and appearance of their cars. That do-it-yourself spirit is alive and well today and Goodguys and Speedway Motors celebrate it with the Homebuilt Heaven Special Parking Area, and awards, at all Goodguys events.
At the end of 2021 each Traditional Homebuilt Heaven event winner was placed on an online ballot to determine the yearend champions. The people voted, and the 2021 Traditional Homebuilt Heaven winner is a clean ’34 Ford cabriolet resto rod belonging to Jerry and Rosalind Payne that’s a back-to-basics driver.
We’d like to congratulate Jerry and Rosalind for their winning homebuilt ride! The Payne’s will receive a gift certificate, jacket, and more prize swag from Speedway Motors, in addition to the satisfaction of knowing that they’re helping to keep the homebuilt hot rodding spirit alive.
Traditional Homebuilt Heaven
Jerry & Rosalind Payne – San Angelo, TX – 1934 Ford Cabriolet
Jerry Payne tells us he’s reaching a milestone with his ’34 Ford cabriolet in 2022: three decades of ownership.
Jerry wasn’t really looking for drop-top street rod when he found the Ford in February of 1992. He’d actually been hunting for a ’32-’34 Ford three-window coupe. But something about this cabriolet just grabbed him. “I found this car and I thought, ‘this has really got the look!’” Jerry says.
“The look” was that of a clean, black, traditional-style street rod, which is certainly appealing. Jerry doesn’t know the full history on the car, but even back in 1992 he could tell it had been a street rod for a long time. The chassis was updated with an early-’50s Ford rear axle and a dropped front axle with a four-bar setup that used heim joints on the ends. That was a sure sign the original build predated the days of mail-order four-bar kits with urethane bushings.
Best of all, the car was a driver – something Jerry could work on and refine as he cruised and enjoyed it. He and his wife Rosalind have done just that. Jerry has made chassis improvements like new springs and shocks, though the car still uses the same dropped Super Bell axle and Ford rearend, which support 14- and 15-inch Wheel Vintiques wheels. The 350c.i. small-block Chevy and TH350 transmission have proven to be reliable, with a Walker radiator keeping things cool and an Edelbrock intake and carb mixing the fuel.
Through the years, Jerry has considered repainting the car, but the old black finish still shines nicely. Why mess with a good thing? “It kind of adds to that old school look,” Jerry says.
The same goes for the caramel-colored leather upholstery inside, which has enough age and wear to be really soft and comfortable. The dash is filled with Classic Instruments gauges, and Jerry says he has rewired the entire car using a harness from Painless Performance. “I learned a lot about wiring doing it,” he says.
“I’ve tried to make it reliable, and a good driver,” Jerry says, noting that he and Rosalind are regulars at Goodguys events in Fort Worth and have traveled to Nashville, Colorado, and other destinations through the years. They also enjoy attending local runs with fellow members of the Lone Star Street Rod Association.
“My wife really enjoys the car with me,” Jerry continues. “We like the Goodguys format. The romantic part about these shows is driving to them.”
Photos by Damon Lee & Todd Ryden