“Rebel A” – Gerry Kerna’s 1930 Model A Sedan

When Gerry Kerna bought her ’30 Model A sedan, she was looking for something different for her stable of specialty vehicles. She already had a restored ’71 GTO, a ’41 Willys street rod, a pro-touring ’62 Chevy II, and a custom ’67 C10 truck.

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom

Gerry reasoned that a Model A would add an early-style hot rod to the mix, and she knew where to find one. “A local garage was full of old Model As and parts,” Gerry says. “My eyes locked on the sedan with bullet holes! I wish they could talk!”

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom

Mark and Heather Giambalvo and their team at Creative Rod & Kustom helped Gerry develop a build plan for the “Rebel A” that would blend classic hot rod attitude with modern refinement. It started with a custom Roadster Shop chassis with ’32-style rails, a dropped beam front axle, Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop radius rods, and a 9-inch rearend on a four-link suspension. The front Kinmont Safety Stop brakes also came from Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop, while the custom 16×5- and 18×7-inch Dayton Wire Wheels were wrapped in 5.50-16 and 7.00-18 Excelsior tires.

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom


Taking a cue from early hot rods, a ’56 Cadillac 365c.i. V8 was selected for power and built by “Fast Eddie” Eckenrode using 390 heads, a trio of Autotrend EFI throttle bodies, MSD ignition, and custom headers. The CRK team dressed up the engine with a smoothed block, satin finishes, chrome-plated valve covers by Advanced Plating, and a custom-machined air cleaner. A Bowler-prepped Tremec TKO600 transmission backs up the burly V8.

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom

A lot of metalwork was performed on the Model A body, starting with the 4-inch top chop by Cornfield Customs, which incorporates hand-built panels that take design cues from a ’32 Ford, plus a removeable roof insert. The body also wears flush-fit doors, Deuce-style lower cowl panels, hood, and grille shell, custom floors, and a billet windshield frame. It’s finished in deep PPG Rebel Green hue that’s complemented by black wheels and bronze accents.

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom
Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom

Simple elegance describes the interior, which expands below a roof insert built from 90 pieces of black walnut wood layered and epoxied together. Bux Customs stitched the custom seats and side panels in classic brown leather, while the ’32 dash was fitted with a one-off bezel and Classic Instruments gauges. A custom wheel from Sparc Industries and Lokar pedals are among the many other details.

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom

“Rebel A” debuted at the SEMA Show last year and has been wowing crowds ever since. As Gerry says, “it’s not your typical Model A,” and it’s a great showcase for the capabilities of Creative Rod & Kustom.

Gerry Kerna 1930 Model A, Creative Rod & Kustom

Photos by Jason Lubkin & Todd Ryden

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.