Possibly Period: 1928 Ford Hot Rod

Hot Rod in garage

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This is one cool looking old hot rod. It’s a 1928 Ford roadster and it’s listed for sale here on craigslist in Prescott Valley, Arizona. According to the seller, this car has a real old time hot rod pedigree, though he does not give more than a brief descriptive history of the car. We don’t know where it was built or by whom, or how well it was built or taken care of through the years. But the seller does say that the car was originally built as a hot rod in 1960, when it was channeled and the firewall was recessed.

Then it was involved in a front end collision and parked next to a barn for 30 years. Was it covered? We do not know. But it must have been kept in fairly decent condition, as after all those years, the roadster was then resurrected and built into a gasser sometime in the 90’s. Then it was retired once more, this time for another 10 years.

The current owner purchased the car in 2008 and says it was totally rebuilt and returned to the 60’s configuration. But the description of the work done, while impressive, does not sound very much (at least to me) like a ’60s style rod. According to the ad listing, the car now has a new SuperBell dropped front axle and hairpins, new drum brakes with dual master cylinder, as well as a Vega steering box, a rebuilt 350 engine and a rebuilt 350 transmission. The roadster also features an Edelbrock intake and carb, roller rockers and timing chain, and new cam and timing gear. Its current differential is from a 1972 Ford LTD. The car also was given a new aluminum gas tank and a new radiator.

Hot rod interior

The new steely 40 Ford wheels definitely look period correct and come with Coker wide whites. It’s not described in the ad, but the quite tidy interior pictured also looks like it was redone as well.

The seller claims it’s a “bargain at $18,500,” and if the car is well done as it appears in the pictures, and if the body and frame are still in good shape, that price does appear quite realistic as older hot rods built back “in the day” have a special appeal to so many. Wish there were more pictures shown.

If you’re putting down that kind of money for a hot rod, it will be important to learn more about the history of your new old car. It looks like it’s wearing current California license plates now, so perhaps that tells us where it originally was built. Maybe once it is in circulation again, someone who knows more about the prior versions of this roadster will turn up?

It’s also quite possible that its new owner will want to restore the car to a truer standard, with a period drivetrain, either a hopped up flathead and a stick shift, or a 283 Chevy with a powerglide tranny. And maybe a tuck ‘n roll interior? What do you think you would you do with this sweet ride?

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  1. Donnie

    another 350 chevy how original

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  2. grant

    Yup another 350… but why replace it with a 283? Still a sbc, and just a smaller one. So why?

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    • Doug Towsley

      There are specific details of a 283 for those who know, The vent off the intake manifold (Tube sticking out) the Power pak heads (tell tale little diamonds, and no accy bolt holes) and the special location for the manual trans cross over shaft are all easy to spot. Ive owned a few,. and true enough, find yourself a 1970s Pickup truck heavy duty 350 for the ideal core engine (I have 5 of them stashed, cant help myself when i find them) Heavy duty blocks with 4 bolt mains,. hi nickel HD cranks, HD rods, and lots of meat. Seasoned, and ready for a rebuild. Check tolerances, deck, line bore, and blue print and you have a awesome foundation. Rebuild kits start at $158.99 But I really have a soft spot for a 283 for certain period rides. Some really cool builds back in the day. but even a 2 barrell stocker is one sweet motor. Had them in my Novas, impala, a few trucks, and just bought a core for one of my rat rods. Period finned Vette valve covers and period alloy finned oil pan, early edelbrock, its just COOL.

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  3. Bob

    Typical CL. Not enough pictures or description to formulate a decision. Agree about the Chevy motor.Great motors when they’re in a Chevy.

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  4. Mark S

    Nice solid looking build a lot better than the one from the other day. This car looks like they did a lot of things right. I have no desire to own one of these roadsters, but I did think about what it would take to do one right and my first thought was how fast you would be at 18K. So what if it has a 350 in it, it’s still a nice build or rebuild. I think that there is easily 18K in this car. Nice find.

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  5. Jim Mc

    I like this car a lot. It does – from ten feet – look like an old school rod. I’m good with all the new stuff, front axle, Vega box, LTD rear, all fine. But I’d most def want an old Ford flatty with dual or triple carb manifold and three-speed. The 350 doesn’t do it for me. Haggle for a little lower price so that you’ve got $ room to sell the 350 & trans and acquire a Ford (you’ll of course need a new radiator, too), swap that in there and cruise proudly.

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    • TBall

      I like the way you’re thinking Jim. Very nicely done car, would love to have it – with a motor/tranny swap. I really don’t get the cross pollination some folks think these cars must have. 350 bowtie in that rod not right in my book.

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    It’s really cool but it’s gotta have a flathead for me. When I’m at a car show and I see any car with a 350 I walk away. It’s so boring and whoever put it in took the cheap way out.

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    • don clar

      I do the same thing. I usually congratulate the owner if he used a Ford engine !

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  7. jeff6599

    That car is so SWEET.Got a notion.

    When is the next flight to Prescott?

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  8. Sam

    I agree with the comments about a Chevy engine in a Ford rod. Been done to death, and it’s just not right by me. But, for a lot of folks, it’s fine. Have fun with it, and cruise.

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  9. robert

    ……….. short version, in the early 90’s when no one was into early rods, our first t- bucket we built (49 cadillac block, 59 heads, 55 2x4s, 82 buick lifters, howards cam, etc) we got the frame and body from a guy who was going to make an “old school” rod, he said that the t bucket came with some “old crappy flathead engine and some la sally 3 speed and weird airplane heads” that he sold to another guy for $300.00 ! sounds like he sold the best set up you can find for early rods (merc motor with Arden OHV with a la salle 3 speed)….He was going to put a 350 w a turbo HD !…. you know “old school”….no comment we just took the car, next rod we built was a 29 that was being used as a planter. as in for a garden….. RIP Anthony Castaneda and Stuart Hilborn, my Friends forever. You can find Anthonys 29 here, its the green one : http://customrodder.forumactif.org/t2761p30-sixties-show-rods-custom-rods

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    • Doug Towsley

      Those are some seriously cool cars on that link, thanks for posting it. Not my style and I wouldnt build them that way, but i totally get how innovative and cool many of those cars are. For those who want period hot rod material like that or enjoy seeing a true time capsule, I do have some old magazines. Most of my collections are 70s and 1980s stuff, And i am sorting thru them but Heres a few 1950s Car craft magazines. I kept them to reproduce some of the ads and artwork for man cave reproductions. (used to print and frame these and sell at events) I DO NOT like to see nice quality period materials cut up and sold page by page like some sellers do. Not much I can when out of my hands but I would prefer to sell these to someone who would keep them intact. Control freak? Im also a bit CDO, thats just like OCD except CDO is in proper order as it should be.
      So, Dec. 1957 features quarter midget buyers guide, ’52-54 Mercurys, restyling ’49-’52 Chevrolet.
      Feb 1959 features car club of the year, and a big feature on “Candy Colors” materials needed, mixing formulas, and how to apply!
      July 1958 Features ready to install custom grilles, Nations top gas rail crowds 160 mph, Valley custom styles, and 1/4 midgets Vegas championship.
      I want $10 each. Now, spoiler alert. you can probably find them on Amazon or Feebay. But you could support a fellow enthusiast on here and once again. 15% of any sales goes to the Barnfinds website so ping me if serious. I ship anywhere in the US, and most countries overseas.

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  10. Al K

    Y-block with 3×2’s and white tuck n’roll

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  11. Rod Davis

    If this roadster was actually built in 1960 it is exactly how I would have done it. Flattys were a dime a dozen, $25 in any junkyard…SBC’s were a rarity and a very desirable powerplant for a rod…I put a 265 in my ’40 delux coupe in ’59. Up till that point we had built Caddy powered Ford pickups and my ’46 coupe I used a ’52 Olds/’49 Hydro/’49 4.10 diff on coil springs. My only flatty was my 8BA in my ’49 Merc. Like I said, all any of us wanted was the SBC. Don’t judge those early rods by what is considered PC today ’cause, that is NOT the way it was back then.——–Having just written all that, my current rod is a ’23 T with an H&H ’53 Ford engine. So sue me. LOL

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  12. robert

    Hi all, FYI these that link was NEW builds, yes there are younger guys in our 40’s who where makin that stuff since our 20’s and yes SBC’s were rare untill the 60’s, however not as much power as a factory Olds or Caddy, Tommy Baker would use to (now this was in the 50’s) take a shoebox ford and whack a Caddy or Olds engine in it and get big bucks from the Hollywood poser crowd who wanted to be Jimmy D ! Now the koolest ever is Kevan Sledge’s 48 CADILLAC flathead Rod, check it out: http://www.hotrod.com/cars/featured/0902sr-1936-ford-coupe-1932-ford-highboy-roadster/

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    • robert

      Oh and PS Rod Davis, very kool and thanks for keeping it real, this forum is to educate and be cool to one another and its much appreciated. Personally Im not into hot rods anymore, however almost all things “cars” are in my sights, except 10K super thumper stereos, that I have never really understood…. its easy for people to criticize and have their favorites, 350 or not, its a nice car and will make someone very happy :) Ok back to work on my projects

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