David Root’s 1928 Ford Model A Roadster
It’s no surprise when twin brothers grow up to have many similar traits and hobbies. David Root, the owner of this ’28 Model A roadster, shares the same passion for hot rods and Model As as his identical twin brother, Ryan. Not only do the Root Bros. both own vintage Fords, but they both graduated from the College of Creative Studies and are now working as designers in Detroit. But here’s where their paths diverged: David is a designer at Ford while Ryan is a designer with GM.
Regardless of where they work, after hours they meet in their garage to tinker, wrench, and build hot rods. Originally, the plan was for each of them to build a Model A, but budgets and time didn’t quite align for that plan and since David gave his first paycheck from Ford toward a Brookville body, the twins focused on his ’28 (they’ve since hatched a cool plan for Ryan’s ’29).
A Strunk Fabrication chassis was brought in and fitted with a Super Bell 4-inch drop axle capped with Halibrand brakes with a cowl steering setup based on an F100 box. A John’s Industries rearend was positioned out back while the wheels, based on an original Root Bros. design, were whittled by Curtis Speed.
David wanted to have a serious amount power at the tip of his right toes, so a 430-horsepower small-block Chevy was called in from Blueprint Engines. Lakes-style headers let you know you’re in a hot rod and a T5 transmission adds to the hair blowing fun of the roadster.
The brothers added some of their own touches to the body by grafting in a ’32 cowl vent and dash, modifying the wheel reveals, moving the gas filler behind the cockpit, poking a bunch of louvers in the deck lid and hood, and then adding a set of ’39 Ford taillights. After a shakedown run to the Hot Rod Hill Climb in Colorado, the Roots put up some Visqueen plastic in the garage, turned on a box fan, and sprayed on the PPG Malachite Green finish themselves.
The interior was kept tidy and simple with black vinyl across the seat and door panels trimmed with map pockets by Stewart Upholstery. There’s even a nifty tool kit stitched into the toe board area across the square weave carpet!
David’s car has taken the young brothers to Colorado, then the Grand National Roadster Show in 2022, and recently down to Nashville, where they became a Top Five finalist for the Tanks, Inc. Hot Rod of the Year. We can’t wait to see what they come up with for Ryan’s ’29.
Photos by John Jackson & Marc Gewertz