About a decade ago, I found myself on a reliability run on the backroads of Melbourne Australia in a banger powered roadster. When I was assigned the car earlier in the day, I wasn’t all that excited. How did these Aussies expect me to keep up with all of the V8s (flatheads or otherwise) in the field with this little banger motor?
Man… Was I wrong…
Banger powered cars, especially when built with an eye towards weight reduction, are incredibly rewarding to drive. Done right, they actually feel torquier than your average flathead-8 and the sound? A simple symphony of mechanical grace.
The example you see here was owner built by a since retired professional hot rod builder. He started with a Model-A sport coupe that he converted into a roadster during a body-off restoration of sorts. Everything from the mechanical brakes to the stock suspension was completely rebuilt… but, the driveline is where this little coupe-turned-roadster really shines.
The hot rodded banger features new rabbit bearings, rebuilt rods, new Ross pistons, and was converted to use late model Chevrolet stainless valves, springs and retainers. A Bill Stipes cam was chosen and supported by new lifters, a new oil bump, and new aluminum timing gears. While he was at it, the owner also added a pressurized center and front main oiling system.
The heads and block were surfaced aiming for a compression ratio of 5.6:1. The rotating assembly was then entirely balanced with the new pressure plate and clutch in place. Final touches include an upgraded Model B ignition system with integral advance, an electric fuel pump, and a Holley Carb. It’s all complimented with Lakester style headers.
Did I mention that the tranny was gone through as well? It was… along with every other mechanical system on the car.
On top of all that, the owner did the paint, body, and interior himself as well. It’s all fresh, clean, and ready to exercise those brand new Excelsior tires mounted front and rear on ’35 Ford wheels.
Questions From The Jalopy Journal:
What’s the worst aspect of this roadster?
”It doesn’t have a top… I live in Arizona and shade would be nice at times.”
What’s the best aspect of this roadster?
”It’s fast. Driving it is just a blast.”
Thoughts From The Jalopy Journal:
The reserve on this car is absurdly low… Whoever wins this auction is going to have a bitchin’ roadster that’s built to run and looks nothing short of fantastic. Typically, I try to list a few things I’d change or do to the car to make it my own. With this one? I can’t… It’s perfect as is. I’d just drive the shit out of it.