Metaphors in Motion

BELLA COSA

In 2013 on ebay I saw a rat rod for sale that I really liked. After doing some research I tracked down the shop that constructed it and contacted them. After some back and forth I hired them to help me out with the build. For full disclosure, the shop was "Sinners Hot Rods" and without getting into the problems that developed subsequently my car must have been one of the last they attempted. I use "attempted" because the supposed turn key was far from turn key. I spent a year and several thousand dollars rebuilding the shoddy work they did. I'll address some of that in the proceeding.

In any case, I wanted to build a Ford sedan and found a 1929 model "T" body in a hot rod shop that was closing and had sat around since the seventies.

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Img_0220_large The day the body arrived.

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In the end we chopped the body 7 inches and channeled 3 inches over the frame.

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Img_0274_large The roof perforations from the canvas top were smoothed. The rear taillights are cadillac lenses in cans frenched into the body. On the interior you will see we used a 57 chevy pickup dash positioning the gauge cluster in the middle and sectioned the dash with the ends attached to the doors.

The body had a great patina but I wanted to do white and black scheme using primer sealer instead of paint.

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In the end the car was 2 months late being delivered. After they finished the build some of the delay came from the photo shoot they did which is next and the fact that they had the BALLS to post my car on Ebay to see how much it would bring at auction using a 90K minimum.

Here are the photos from the shoot they did.

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In the end the design and stance was great but the details were sorely lacking. A quick list:

Drivers side door is poorly chopped (not yet attempted to fix) The rear suspension was buggy springs (instead of a 4-link) which buckled and bent dropping the drive shaft the first time I stomped on it. The after market carbs from china via Speedway motors leaked which was obvious getting the car off the trailer on deliver. Much of the front control arms and steering was put together with old school greased ball joints which were loose from spacers. Steering box was not secured with long enough bolts and the connecting joints were also not properly installed. The rear brakes which were self adjusting were not adjusted or installed correctly. The front end geometry was totally off. Used a stock torque converter which was not correct for the engine which I changed making the car much more responsive.

I could go on but again after a year of rebuilding and several thousands dollars the car is finally the turn key experience I thought I was getting.

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Img_0433_large The leaking carb problem was solved by returning the chinese knock-offs and buying Edelbrock's version of Stromberg 94's which perform beautifully. Further I changed out the Speedway velocity stacks with custom aluminum stacks turned on a lathe which look much better.

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Img_0478 After bending the buggy springs I installed Viking double adjustable coil-overs with custom traction bar, 4-link and a heavy duty custom drive shaft and u-joints. Now she has real suspension which can handle the engine torque and rides very well.

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Img_0518 The control arm and steering rods were all connected with old school greases ball joint that were very poorly installed - I changed all these connection with heavy duty Heim joints which took a lot of the sloppiness out of the front end as well as the repairs I made to the steering box and connecting joints. One of the last tasks I have is to paint the inside of the frame tubes white.

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Img_0520 I found an old school guy who was able to correct the geometry of the front end and I installed some 10 inch Viking double adjustable shocks on the front just behind the head lights which totally took the bounce out of the suspension and some what normalized the ride.

Img_0512 The laker headers just dumped out so I had a friend make me some extension tubes which look cool and keep some of the exhaust at bay.

Img_0583_large At a recent car show. Here in Daytona, there are car shows to attend, sometimes twice a week so there is no shortage of fun.