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Car of the Week: 1931 Ford Model A hot rod

The story of a hot rod that has made its way back to the family.

By: Guy Weintraub

Car of the Week 2020
32

It was 1962 in Tucumcari New Mexico that Rod Dickinson's father let him buy an old model A. 

Rod was 15 or 16 years old then.

The car was still sitting on its original 19" wheels with stock tires, but it was orange with an all over 1/4" pinstripe. The Tijuana tuck 'n roll interior was done in Clovis NM and it had chrome garnish moldings...Exactly what Rod wanted, a perfect start to a hot rod. His father loved him and did not want to take a chance at Rod getting hurt so he said no there would be V8 engine swap, and put an Oldsmobile insert in that flimsy wood top.

Left - Bob Tallman (PRCA Hall of Fame Rodeo announcer), my son Braeden, me (in the car) and my dad on the right.

Left - Bob Tallman (PRCA Hall of Fame Rodeo announcer), my son Braeden, me (in the car) and my dad on the right.

Rod drove the car for years that way. His father opened a Western wear store and used the Model A in parades.

Rod is now 74 years old and still lives in Tucumcari. Along the way, Rod had 2 kids and one of the kids ended up with this model A; he lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Unfortunately, this son of Rod had a wreck in his family's minivan and had to sell the family's little orange model A to fund the minivan repairs. This gets us up to 2017 in Phoenix where Daniel Shircliff steps in to the picture.

Rod at 15 with the Model A.

Rod at 15 with the Model A.

Daniel, who is a professional glass blower, musician and semi pro skateboarder who never got his drivers license until he was 39 years old. He also joined a Southern California hot rod club and a Phoenix area hot rod club to learn the history of rodding and how to disassemble and reassemble a car correctly. One of his club mates told Daniel about an orange Model A for sale. He went to look at the car and saw a ton of potential.

Daniel did not touch the body, but Rod's son told him Rod had always wanted a 265 Chevy with 3 deuces installed. So Daniel followed through with that early dream. He also built a boxed model A frame and did all the suspension and '40 Ford brake work. Always keeping in mind an early '60s build with 4 Moon polished and etched dishes it easily becomes a late 50 hot rod. 

With Moon dishes on all corners

With Moon dishes on all corners

Personally, I love the cheater slick with polished kidney bean wheels. It reminds me of a young kid that could not make up his mind what wheels he wanted to run on his Revell model car. I used to have a spare box of parts for my model cars, and I was always changing around the look.

A look at the Tijuana tuck 'n roll interior

A look at the Tijuana tuck 'n roll interior

Finally a V8 between the rails

Finally a V8 between the rails

This car is wonderful to drive, and Daniel built it to drive as it appears in the Youtube linked video racing at Santa Barbara 2019 Drags and then driving back to Phoenix. The orange Model A was the poster car for those super successful TROG Drags. The car can be seen at the 4:15 mark of the video.

Daniel sold me the car in late 2019 after he found out he and his wife were expecting their first child. 

This particular model A hot rod is so fun and great to drive it is really a super efficient little car and I am very proud to be its current keeper. 

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