Featured in Street-Rodder magazine
1924 Ford Model T Hot Rod
Chassis no. T9788675
Looking like it's on its way to California's El Mirage dry lake for some SCTA speed runs in the late 1940s, this track roadster-style Ford was actually built in 1997 by North Carolina hot-rod ace Rich Oakley in his Retro Rides shop.
A student of the golden age of rodding, Oakley had only one choice to power the "L.A. Special," a Ford flathead V8 . It got all the period hop-ups: Jahn pistons, Isky camshaft, Offenhauser aluminum heads and manifold, twin Holley/Ford 94 carburetors running velocity stacks. Horsepower makes its way from the motor to the rear wheels via a '39 Ford three-speed transmission and banjo rear end.
Oakley fashioned his own frame from rectangular tubing, then just like the original hot-rod builders started attaching parts from various models. Hydraulic brakes came from a 1947 Ford, which also supplied the front spindles. A 1940 Ford gave up its shocks and rear spring. A 1939 Ford chipped in with a steering box and column. Ford 16-inch spoked wheels all-around, wearing period-correct Firestone tires.
For bodywork, Oakley started with a stock 1924 windshield cowl, then got out the sheetmetal and his hammers. Like the speed-crazy dry lakes runners back in the day, he even fabricated an aerodynamic belly pan for the car. Louvers came next, approximately 600 of 'em!
Street-Rodder magazine was so impressed with the car's old-school authenticity that it was showcased atop the June, 1998 cover and given a three-page spread inside. "It may not be from the City of Angels, but it is something special," wrote the editors.
Now residing in Southern California, the '24 T has benefitted from constant fettling. Alloy air scoops for the front brakes are recent additions, as are the zoomy Indy-inspired side pipes. The current owner has concentrated on making the car as road-worthy as possible. Dry lakes run, anyone?