One of the oldest and most popular ways to go fast was to strip down a Model T Ford roadster to the bare essentials, fill it with a big V8, and hang on. This 1927 Ford Model T roadster is a 4-wheeled display of minimalism dedicated to just one thing: maximum speed.
We aren’t going to go into a lot of details about the bodywork, partly because there isn’t much and partly because it’s a hot rod, so form definitely follows function. There are still plenty of familiar styling cues, from the cut-down ’32 radiator shell to the “turtle” deck that was unique to the late Model T roadsters. Shaved, smoothed, and extensively modified, it’s just enough bodywork to make the wind slip around the car at triple-digit speeds. The windscreen is probably mandatory on a car that goes this fast, and the upright stanchions and lack of a header bar make for an old-school look that dates back to the earliest days of record-setting. The black paint is exceptionally glossy, but it makes this roadster easy to spot out on the prowl and that’s what matters. Open wheels are there simply to put the smallest possible cross-section into the wind, and the whole car seems hunkered down over its frame as if it’s crouching to attack. Some traditional pinstripe work, beautiful finish quality, and a minimum of frills make this one stand out.
The interior is beautifully finished with gray upholstery and a split bench that’s actually pretty good at holding you in place thanks to the wrap-around seat back. Gray carpets and matching door panels make this minimalist rod feel like it’s anything but simple, and you get that salt flats feel when you grab the oversized 3-spoke steering wheel. White-faced Dolphin gauges monitor all the vitals and yes, you’re seeing that correctly: this car has only 228 miles on it since it was finished. More custom pinstripes, a Lokar shifter, and not much else round out the interior appointments. The trunk is neatly finished and offers some decent storage for hitting the cruise nights, and the fuel cell is neatly tucked in there where it’s still easy to reach.
A stout Chevy 383 cubic inch stroker motor provides the power, and with so little weight and pretty decent aerodynamics, it’s extremely effective. The usual performance upgrades are all here, from the 4-barrel carburetor, a decent cam that’s happy on the street, and long-tube headers and side pipes, and it all works to push this ancient Model T to some truly astounding velocities. It proudly wears polished aluminum valve covers and a custom-painted Cadillac air cleaner, while a big aluminum radiator with electric fan has no problems keeping it cool on hot days. The transmission is a snappy TH350 3-speed automatic feeding a GM 10-bolt with 3.42 gears on a Posi. Out back there’s a heavily reinforced 9-inch rear end with super tall gearing designed to push the T to ever higher speeds. As tradition would dictate, it’s sitting on hairpins and an I-beam axle up front, tying it to its past, along with another set of hairpins and some coil-overs out back. Old-school looking Rocket Racing wheels are a great choice and wear staggered 175/70/15 front and 325/50/15 rear Hoosier radials.
No, this car isn’t for everybody, but if you’re the guy who knows what it is and what it’s designed to do, well, perhaps you’ve just found your next ride for Speed Week. Call now!
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