1929 Ford Roadster Pickup – ROADSTER REVIVAL
Once an old car gets turned into a hot rod it rarely ends up in the scrap heap but that is not the case with this 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup. Most of the older hot rods are purchased by another hot rodder and get updated with new parts in the new owners desired style. This Ford roadster pickup was pretty famous in its day as it is believed that the original hot rodder built the car in the ‘60s. His name is Jim Jacobs, former co-owner of Pete & Jake’s Hot Rod Parts.
Thom Taylor, another famous rodder recognized what was left of the old car from a Facebook post. The current owner of the car, Tom Lawson, purchased the car in parts because he likes roadster pickups and it would be the perfect home for a hot 347ci Ford engine he just purchased from his friend, Doug Fraijo. Doug also owned the roadster pickup so Tom got a twofer. Tom is an Orange County hot rod enthusiast and has a nice stable of cars that includes a ’33 Ford Roadster, a hot rodded and Hemi powered ‘27 Chrysler Phaeton, a Model A coupe, a ’53 Corvette and a Sunbeam Tiger. Tom has been into cars since he was a kid and back in those days he was into Drag Racing. As a result, all of the cars he owns have hot engines and are and fast. This roadster pickup would be no exception.
The chassis the pickup came with was questionable, so Tom started looking for a new chassis. He found a fellow who had a TCI Model A chassis set up with an independent front suspension and a rear Jag suspension. The first trip was to Todd Walton’s hot rod shop where the parts were all fitted together. After that the fitted car was delivered to a friend of Tom where the car would be painted, detailed and completed. Tom was aware of the history of the car, but he wanted to make it all his own. When Tom was in college he purchased a Ferrari Dino that was painted Fly Yellow. He loved that color and thought that would be the perfect color for the pickup, and he turned out to be correct.
The pickup was all together when it arrived at his friends house so it had to be disassembled for bodywork and paint. The fenders were all new steel units so they were painted with primer to keep them from rusting. The body and bed were still wearing their ‘60s blue/green paint color so they were delivered to Ajax Sand Blasting in Van Nuys, CA. After the parts were sandblasted, what looked good wasn’t. The body needed patch panels and the rear of the cab was full of small dents. It would take weeks to repair the original sheet metal so a new rear cab panel was ordered and installed. Little by little the body was brought up to original specs.
The chassis was in good shape so it was disassembled for paint. The Jaguar rear suspension needed to be disassembled and chrome plated. The rear was disassembled, but to get it back in proper order after the parts were plated it was taken to Hamilton Automotive to get the hubs set up to specs. Meanwhile the chassis was sand blasted and then it was painted with primer and it was sanded to perfection. When it was ready, it was painted Ferrari Fly Yellow using PPG Concept paint. The Chassis was reassembled and then the body had to be prepared for paint. Painting and primer was done and after the body and bed were perfect they were painted Ferrari Fly Yellow using basecoat/clearcoat. Minor work was done to the fenders and then they were painted. In the case of this pickup the inside and bottom of the body and fenders were painted Fly yellow. Everything was yellow! When the parts were painted the body and bed were mounted on the chassis along with the Fenders.
The reason why this car was built was the 347ci Ford engine needed a home. The late model 302 engine was rebuilt and the cylinders were bored 0.030 and outfitted with Probe forged pistons. The engine was stroked to 347 cubic inches with a Scat crank and Scat high performance rods. The engine also features a Competition Cams roller camshaft, roller lifters and roller rockers. High horsepower comes from Edelbrock Performer aluminum heads that were polished for a nice appearance and were topped with a polished aluminum Edelbrock dual quad intake running a pair of Edelbrock Enduroshine 500 cfm carburetors. The engine was painted yellow and all of the parts were detailed to perfection The nasty Ford small block is hooked to a polished aluminum C4 automatic transmission with power delivered to the Jag rearend with a chrome plated driveshaft.
The Ford engine and unique engine mounts made it necessary to have custom headers made for the car. Tom also wanted full length headers for more power so the exhaust was done by Dream Cars in Simi Valley, CA. The headers were aluminum coated steel but the rest of the exhaust was made out of stainless steel that was polished to a high shine. Tom also had electronic open exhaust cut outs on the exhaust system so he can shake up the enthusiasts at the car shows. Even with the cut-outs closed the pickup sounds extremely nasty.
The car was finished off with a tan ultra leather interior stitched by Mike Ambrose. Mike had to make the seat cushions and made them to take up the least amount of space possible since the interior of a ’29 pickup is pretty small. The seats were stitched in a rolled and pleated design and the door panels were stitched to match. In keeping with how the car was painted, the dash remains yellow and it features the original dash panel. A Classic Instruments GPS speedometer replaces the original unit. Two auxiliary gages are used to calibrate the water temperature and fuel level.
A 12-gallon tank was mounted under the bed. Along with the excellent interior, Mike Ambrose also installed a tan top that features a 1-inch chop. Now that the car is finished Tom is enjoying the pickup and is going to many of the car events in Orange County.