Some cars are just destined for good things. This 1933 Ford project started life as a concept build for a television show, ended up being partially built by a NASCAR crew chief, and was finally finished and sorted by a lifelong paint and body man. Any one of those sources could have turned out an impressive car but the combination of all three resulted in something truly special. With a distinct focus on performance and driving experience, the final product offers timeless aesthetics, a rock-solid powertrain based around a 406ci V8, and a masterfully finished interior that lets you focus on enjoying the ride. If you’re considering adding a street rod to your fleet, why settle for something less when you can have this amazing roadster for a fraction of the build cost?
To answer your first question, the body is a fiberglass piece from Be Bop’s Glass Works. There aren’t exactly piles of Henry Ford steel bodies waiting to be cut up, so high quality alternatives like this are always a welcome site. As with any fiberglass body, considerable time was invested in straightening out the details, and that work shows throughout. The roadster’s subtle curves show well from all angles, uninterrupted by common flaws such as waves and misaligned panels. The top coat is split between a rich layer of black which covers the lower portions of the body, and a metallic silver that works from the belt line up. The two-tone is split by a clean red pin stripe that adds a splash of color to the classic color scheme. Walking around the car, it’s hard to find fault in either the color choices or execution. Just look through the images – there are crystal clear reflections visible in many of the shots.
Beyond the impressive paintwork there are plenty of high-end details to admire. The nose features a swept aluminum grille from Alumicraft that’s framed by a pair of deceptively simple round headlights. Take a closer look and you’ll see they offer both integrated parking lights and turn signals for full functionality. The windshield is another impressive piece – low slung, uniquely shaped, and color-matched, it suits the roadster’s style perfectly. The profile is devoid of anything that distracts from the paintwork: No door handles, corner markers, or trim of any sort. Follow the sloped trunk to find a rear outfitted with a nicely integrated LED brake light. Below, the license plate holder is framed by tidy turn signals that, like the license plate holder, can disappear with the flick of a switch. Overall, the car offers a clean high-end look that will impress anyone willing to stop and look.
With its NASCAR pedigree, it’s safe to expect some power on tap. Between those tapered fenders, a 406ci provides plenty of motivation for the lightweight roadster. The core is a GM 400 small block that’s been bored .30 over and filled with pieces like forged Speed Pro Pistons, a SCAT crank, SCAT I-beam rods, and a custom Crane hydraulic roller cam for a rock solid foundation. The visible hardware is equally nice. At the sides, aluminum heads reworked by Tri-State Cylinder Head frame a polished Weiand intake manifold while fuel delivery is handled by a single Holley Street Avenger carburetor. There is certainly no lack of polish here either – the valve covers, air cleaner assembly, and breathers are finned and polished, held in place by polished hardware. At the front of the engine, polished aluminum pulleys and brackets turn only the most basic accessories while, across the way, an aluminum radiator works alongside a single electric fan to keep the bay cool. An MSD ignition system gets things moving while spent gases are swept out through a ceramic coated exhaust system. Despite tight quarters, everything is within reach and the engine compartment shows just as well as the exterior.
The show continues underneath the car where more painted and polished pieces match the seriously high standards set up top. Behind the 406, a GM TH350 3-speed automatic is bolted in place, dressed with a finned aluminum pan and flywheel cover. Combined with the stainless oil pan, it’s an impressive view under the front half of the car. At either side, the aforementioned dual exhaust system spans most of the undercarriage, rounded out by Hushpower mufflers and polished stainless tips. Follow the polished driveshaft back to find a locking Ford differential packed with 3.50 gears. The cast bits are painted black while a polished Pete & Jake’s inspection cover completes the look. The rear end is located with a polished triangulated 4-link which is paired with polished coilovers for equal doses of good looks and performance. The front end is equally clean with a chrome drop axle and a second set of coilovers in place. The suspension’s supporting cast consists of a manual rack-and-pinion setup and Wilwood brakes with polished calipers and braided lines at all four corners. On the driver side, the polished brake booster and master cylinder are tucked neatly out sight. A combination of 18 and 20-inch Intro wheels wrapped in new general tires introduce the impressive chassis to the asphalt.
In a car like this roadster, experiencing the joys of open air driving is priority number one. That’s why you won’t find many distractions inside – just more tasteful design and high-level execution. At the ground level, black Mercedes Benz carpets cover the floors, protected by custom matching floor mats. A hand-built console rises from the middle, offering space for the Lokar shifter, ignition, and a pair of switches. While they look like simple power window switches, they actually control the power deck lid and license plate holder which can be tucked out of sight while the car is being shown. Seating is provided by a plush leather-wrapped bench seat which is surrounded by plainspoken leather-wrapped door panels and feature a simple design. In front of the driver, a polished Ididit tilt column offers a clean look topped by a leather-wrapped billet steering wheel. The dash remains as stylish as the rest of the car with nothing more than a set of Auto Meter gauges occupying its sleek silver surface. Under the dash, accessory controls are tucked neatly out of sight but remain within reach. Lighting controls sit just to the left of the column, while releasing the hood requires pulling one of the billet handles on either side of the car. Behind the seats, a surprisingly large trunk offers more black leather and upscale carpeting.
The sale of this Ford includes some helpful paperwork including component manuals and receipts that provide some insight into the build.
Hot small blocks, two-tone paint, and tasteful leather interiors are all classic pieces of street rodding tradition. While trends may come and go, this ’33 Ford is set up for graceful aging and a whole lot of fun on sunny weekends. If you’re ready for a street rod that doesn’t need 12 TV screens and yellow paint to catch your eye, take a second look at this subtle roadster – it might just be your new favorite cruising companion.