The saying “the right stuff” can be applied to practically any topic you throw at it, but when it comes to traditional hot rods, “the right stuff” isn’t always easy to come by … in execution as well as preparation (that being the initial collecting of the stuff). Anyone can build a Deuce roadster and call it traditional; but while the 1932 Ford may just be the most iconic hot rod of all time, it’s not the only fish in the traditional waters—not by a longshot.
For me, you can’t get much more right than a properly built Model A on Deuce ’rails—the good ol’ A-V8. Or can you? Tom Walsh has provided the right answer for that.
With the help of his family (son Justin and wife Cindy), NorCal restauranteur Tom Walsh has proven that a T-V8—a 1927 Ford Model T on Deuce ’rails—can indeed fit that abovementioned bill. And the Walsh T roadster definitely has all the right stuff. Purpose-built for Josh to drive to (and compete at) the West Coast edition of The Race of Gentleman this past year in Santa Barbara, the car not only had to have the look and be reliable enough to make the journey from their home in Danville, but it had to do so using entirely period-correct components. That meant no running gear newer than 1953, no wheels smaller than 15 inches in diameter, and no modern equipment, such as disc brakes and whatnot.
With the exception of the engine—a Flathead V-8 circa 1947 built by the late Ron Sterbenk—the chassis in its entirety is pre 1940: a drilled and Deuce-sprung 1937 Ford V8-60 axle leads off the 109-inch platform that also includes 1940 Ford brakes, steering, split wishbones, 1939 toploader, and Halibrand-equipped 1940 banjo rear. Rolling stock is minimum requisite 16-inch 1935 Ford wires wearing “non-whitewall” Firestone Deluxe Champion bias-plies sized in 500 and 890, respectively.
The roadster body, purchased back in the late ’90s from Jim Stroupe and resurrected by Jim Hendricks and Guy Ruchonnet, features a British Racing Green paintjob by my old buddy, Marcos Garcia, at Lucky 7 Customs in Antioch. Other exterior amenities include a full belly pan and custom-fabricated hood, chopped windshield, and custom tube rear bumper. Headlights are B-L-C, while the taillights are 1937 Ford.
The interior is what you’d expect from Sid Chavers—with a perfect traditional twist, that is! Chavers covered the rear hemisphere of the cockpit, bomber seat bases, and door panels in brown leather, while the flooring was done in a rather contrasting dimple-die’d aluminum paneling. Gauges are Stewart-Warner, steering wheel’s a flipped Model T item.
With all the right stuff, Tim, Justin, and Cindy Walsh successfully made their intended The Race of Gentleman trek and back—in true traditional (family) style!