We have discussed most, if not all of these here in the past, but I started a thread on MTFCI forum to put all of these in one place and for others to add more if they have any.
This one is my favorite.
Please add any more period gow-job pictures you have in your photo collections
Looks like the hotrod was made out of a cut off touring car body. Lowered and cool pre-war rod.
I was in high school in the 50's and by that time the row of hotrods in our parking lot were mostly Ford V8 powered. It does look like the right bank V8 exhaust manifold is showing. V8-60?
Really neat photo.
Ken in Texas
I really wouldn't call it a "hot rod" Ken, and I'm pretty sure it's a "4-banger" as the dual carburetors are visible on the passenger side of the engine.
It appears to be a 4 Banger with two down draft Winfield's on it. Could be an A or B engine but I can't tell for sure. Some kind of overhead.
Check out this thread:
John, I agree with what you see, and the tall narrow cover on top of the head makes me think SOHC, but I don't know of any that had the intake ports on the passenger side.
I have decided my next project is going to be a low-budget gow-job using a cut-off Touring body rather than building a speedster at this time.
I'm likin it. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Derek I thought about the SOHC when I first saw the picture, but the cover seemed so narrow. I haven't seen that many, but those that I can think of had wider valve covers. Possible exception, a friend sent me pictures of a Green Engineering OHC conversion made for a Fronty a month ago that might have been that narrow but now I can't find the pictures. Very cool set up.
Like the dropped axle also.
Here's a Miller SOHC head for a Model A that looks very similar, but I don't think the car above has exhaust ports on the passenger side.
The car was built by R.Hodge of Orange County, California sometime in the 20's. The head was designed and cast by him. Apparently it had a dashboard adjustable variable timing feature. The give away was the radiator mounted under the body and the Buffalo wire wheels.The car still exists today and was featured in a 2003 issue of The Rodders Journal. I have some additional pictures I can post if there is an interest.
Yes Joe, I'd love to see more pictures!
Joe, please post any extra photos you have.
I have more, just need to look for them. Enjoy
Wow, incredible car!
The Hodge roadster has a Pease Bros head with a Hodge OHC attachment. Hodge worked for Pease Bros foundry. The Pease Bros head is very much like a BB Rajo.
Issue #22 of The Rodder's Journal had a feature article on this car, "R. Hodge’s Mid-‘20s Model T Hot Rod"
There appears to be a 4-banger buried in there. Model T I think.
Wills St. Claire crank, variable cam timing, dual Stutz Bearcat distributors .... There were two complete heads made by Mr. R. Hodge and he was credited with the entire effort.
If that's not one fine looking and historical Hot Rod, there's not a cow in Texas.
Apparently well known to the Hot Rodder's and a fellow named Bob Anderson owned it in 2005.
Ken in Texas
A few more, enjoy.
What a cool piece of history!!!!!!
More history from Jarvis Erickson..............
in the 70's, on one of Jarvis's trips to Turlock Swap he was given a lead on a hot rod. He can't remember the name of the town at the moment. The guy was named Tiny had a towing company. He was a great guy to talk to and take pictures.
The car was originally a touring. It was parted out and later Hodge reassembled. Tiny was great, Jarvis spent the whole afternoon there. It was in the room where he had an office. This is the best 6 pictures
More from Jarvis Erickson
More from Jarvis Erickson
More from Jarvis Erickson
Jarvis supplied the following article about the Touring Version. Very interesting reading. Bob Hodge & Clark Gable
Thanks Jarvis for the great photo's
The car in the 6:04 post appears to be a different car. The wheels and tires are similar, and the exhaust exits on the driver's side, but it's a totally different configuration. It's a different (Runabout) body for sure, since all the others are (part of) a Touring Car body. The Runabout also has full fenders, running boards, and splash shields, as does the Touring in the last pic. But the Runabout also has the top panels of the hood and a stock windshield.
It's interesting that the Touring in the last pic has many details of the race car, such as the wheels/tires, engine, under-car exhaust, windshield, and hand-operated fuel pressure pump, but has the full body and fenders. The caption on that pic says it's during the 30's, but the pics from the 20's and 70's show the car in very similar configurations which are different from the 30's pic. Apparently the car went through several incarnations through the years.
Ken Parker says above that Bob Hodge made two of those heads. Maybe the Runabout has the other one?
Hodge kept both Mike. He machined one and it went on his touring. The other was an unmachined casting that his son has.
Hodge worked for the Pease Bros. machine shop in Orange, CA....and based his head on their existing OHV head. That roadster is most likely fitted with a stock Pease head.
Marks photo at 6:04 is the Pease Brothers car, not the Hodge car. Here is a photo of the exhaust side of my dual ignition Pease Bros head, compare it with the exhaust side of the Hodge roadster.
I am really enjoying this thread as it takes me back to the beginning of my T days and lots of nostalgia.. Long story but this is my T touring with a BB Rajo, Ruckstell, Bosch ignition...in 1953. Bought the Rajo from Lee's Speed Shop in Oakland, CA for $10.50 and it included a dual carb manifold. Had to add 2 97s. Total cost for this whole machine was about $50. That's all I had in high school
This is a great thread. These "gow jobs" are a fascinating part of America's automotive history.
John- I really like your T touring. I have a 26 roadster that I want to make a similar, "gow job" out of.
Thanks to all the above contributors for sharing all these great photos.
Speaking of neat "gow jobs,", does anyone remember the 26/27 roadster that Herb Bramley (a Long Beach Model T Club member) raced at the Shell Hill Climbs? I remember it being blue in color, maybe with a red chassis. I have been digging through my boxes of old photos but can't seem to find a picture of Herb's car. I wonder if it is still around? Herb was very active in the Long Beach Model T Club and was a fireman in long beach. I do not know if he is still with us.
Ron are you speaking of this car? Built by Art Gerrick in the 50's. Featured in the May 1951 Hot Rod magazine. Car still exists, bought by Speedy Bill at auction a few years back. Have more pictures, had more but loaned them to a hot rodder building a clone and never got them back, enjoy. Joe
Mike, Mike and Clayton
I thought twice about downloading the 06:04 picture because I also thought it was a Pease Bros and not an not Hodge OHC. In the end I decided to add it in for discussion. Some good information came out from that photo.
Here are some pics of the single spark Pease engine at Speedy Bills. I believe this engine was sold on ebay back in 2010 from Orange CA.
Museum of American Speed is well worth a look
Joe- No, that is not the Herb Bramley car I was referring to. The body of his car was channeled over the frame-it just covered the bottom of frame rails. It had 26/27 wire wheels, T frame with a rear kick-up, Ruckstell,suicide T front end, functional doors, chopped 26/27 windshield and a chopped T radiator and shell. I found a picture of it in an old Vintage Ford article about the black and white photo and my scanner isn't working at the moment.
The car you posted pictures of is a great looking car that I was not familiar with,thank you for posting those.
Yes, Art Gerrick's car (pics posted by Joe A.) is WAY cool! Looks like it was purpose-built for racing or running on the dry lakes -- single seat, push bar, no headlights, etc.
Jarvis sent on these photos he took in the late 70's, very early 80's of a Pease Bros single spark Head on a visit to La Rue Thomas
Looks like the Engine is mounted in a test frame.
Look's like he used BB Ford FE rockers.
A few more of the Art Gerrick car, one of my all time favorites. I've collected a great number of parts to recreate this car (less the Rajo head).
I believe Hodge worked for the Pease Bros. Shop and built his head in his spare time after hours.
He used the Pease Dual-Ignition 8-valve head as a base and built his own SOHC cam drive assembly (with variable cam timing), dual ignition, crank, intake, etc.
Ron, here's Herb's T when it was still owned by Bill Downs racing at a track in Brea Ca 1962.
(I don't know why this site won't let me upload larger pics as some others have done?)
More of Herb's T from The Mag News, Vintage Ford and the old 999.
Another shot from the Hill Climb, later used for the Flyer.
(Message edited by flyin-t on January 07, 2016)
And one more of LaRue Thomas's hill climb car. I can remember seeing this one run when I was a kid. Thomas owned Thomas Cadillac dealerships in so cal. Nice car and Vintage Ford did a feature on it back in the day.
Rich- Thanks for posting those photos. I wonder who owns Herb Bramley's car today? When the LBMTC held their swap meets at Cal State Long Beach, Herb had spaces near ours. I remember him parking the speedster in his space.
I certainly remember LaRue Thomas. He had a few different cars that he raced up "The Hill" over the years. I believe one year he was even crowned King of the Hill. I think that car was built for La Rue by Joe Gemsa.
Another name was Dick Bloomfield. He had a couple of nice "gow jobs" and was active with the Model T speed movement back in the 1970s. I still have some odds and ends in my parts pile that came from Dick including a narrowed Ruckstell rear end assembly.
The LBMTC Hill Climbs were certainly epic events. Thanks again for sharing these images.
Hey Ron- now that I think about it, the car I remember having a feature in Vintage Ford wasn't this roadster of Thomas's at all. The one I'm thinking of was the one with the over head cam RAJO, 'glass body and no fenders. It might have even had an auto trans in it....now I have to go through all my old #4 issues of Vintage Ford mags. Maybe it was also owned by Thomas, you remember that car?
Rich- Yes, the Rajo overhead cam car with no fenders was specially made for the Hill Climb. It was strictly a racing car purposely built to compete on The Hill.
La Rue raced it a few years and I believe captured King of the Hill at least once. It was very bare bones, just a bare fiberglass bucket body sitting on top of a very "hot" chassis.
The full-fendered roadster you have pictured above was his "driver" car that I am sure he tested on the hill as well. The full-fendered car had an overhead in it, but I don't remember what kind. It was a really clean looking car inside and out. La Rue lived in the San Pedro/Palos Verdes area and I remember seeing this car somewhat regularly in town and on LBMTC local tours.
La Rue and his family owned Thomas Cadillac which I believe was started by his father. It was located in downtown LA. At the dealership, they had a very large collection of cars-mainly Cadillacs from 1903 through the 1950s. Kruse auctioned the collection many years ago. La Rue liked the hot Model Ts better than the Cadillacs and kept his personal T collection separate. I do not know if Thomas Cadillac is still in business. I know La Rue had son(s) that were running the business after he retired.
A few interesting short articles about La Rue Thomas: http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/thomas-cadillac-inc
Here is an old Vintage Ford article showing La Rue's hill climb winner. The engine has a DOHC Gemsa head. I thought I remembered that Joe Gemsa built this for La Rue.
Thomas Cadillac got its start after the suicide of Tommy Lee, the son of Don Lee who sold Cadillacs and owned KHJ broadcasting. Don died in '34 and Tommy took over the empire. I've read that he was a genius at business and was instrumental in setting up TV stations in so cal. Of interest to hot rodders, he was a car guy too. His history with cars is covered in several dry lakes books. Maybe his most famous car is the Frank Curtis built, offy powered speedster.
Ron, I have those articles too but that's not the car I was thinking of, so I was wrong there.
I'll look tonight. It had a single over head cam on a rajo.
We bought two LaRue Thomas Gemsa engines from Fast Frank. Both have pushrod Gemsa heads and C4 automatics. I have been told that the C4 conversion was Thomas' work, not Gemsa's. It works well enough to vex the guys at FAST events shifting their model A's with stick trannies. Some of them hate getting beat by a model T, while most are great sportsmen and women. We run a 1964 head stamped "Built for LaRue Thomas" in our racer at these events. The other one is not stamped, but came from his estate. I would sure like to know what he ran either of these engines in. I am told that his bare bones D.O. Gemsa roadster set the fastest time ever at Signal Hill.
We also have Clem Sala's Gemsa that suffered a stuck valve on the hill. 1971, I think. It is for sale.
Say, this racing thing is expensive!
I don't know that La Rue Thomas actually did any of his own work. I believe he hired most of the work out. The C4 automatic transmission conversion may have been done by Orville Enyeart. He did alot of work for Thomas. He also did a fair amount of these transmission conversions for other people. Orville was also known for being the guy who came up with the Nash Metropolitan, four-wheel, hydraulic brake conversions for Model Ts. He sold lots of those back in the 1970s and early 1980s-probably until his source for Metropolitan brakes dried up. I have a speedster with his brake set-up. Humble Howard has them on his Lucky #7 speedster as well. There are a fair amount of cars floating around with his brakes. Orville and his wife Julia were also very active LBMTFC members. I believe he may have been King of the Hill as well.
Rich Turner, that first picture you posted looks very much like a picture that was in an old issue of Hot Rod magazine. It was in an article titled "Flat Trackin' The T's" as I recall. The same article had picture of a very young Bruce McCalley reworking coils. One of my favorite articles when I was a 13 year old kid just starting to get the T fever! Dave
Here is a set of the casting to adapt the C4. I bought an engine from Andy Mounce years ago that Orville Enyeart built and if I recall correctly Larue Thomas supplied the castings. Sold these a few years ago. Still have the engine, it has a Model B crank in it and Andy had won the Newport Hill Climb with the engine years ago. Enjoy
I'm pretty sure the single stick Rajo you guys were discussing above was built by Ellis Gray and ran in a '24 roadster at Long Beach.
If you check the Northwest Vintage Speedster website, you find two articles on homemade SOHC Rajo conversions. One is by Ellis Gray and the other is by Chuck Condron. I am lusting after both! Here are the links to the NWVS website for the articles. Both articles came from Vintage Ford.
Joe, that is the same stuff used on our engines for the C4 trams. Now we know a bit more about them, thanks.
Erik, part of me wishes I kept the castings but I didn't see myself putting a C4 behind a T engine. Thanks, Joe
Joe, agreed that this conversion is not something you would want in most cars. We use it in an unlimited class race car to eliminate time lost in shifting, full throttle all the way with this thing. It would not be good for a model T transmission. We are using a high stall speed converter to help with the launch at the starting line. The Gemsa engine doesn't really work at less than 2500 RPM. We are shifting at 4800.
Is this the Ellis Gray Single Cam Rajo you are talking about. Photos from Jarvis.
And a pic of the engine, Dan. Someone has done a lot of work on this car. Photo from Jarvis
And a pic of the engine, Dan. Someone has done a lot of work on this car. Photo from Jarvis
Sorry, double up there.
Does anyone know anything about this set of Single Cam Fronty repro castings from a swap in the same area, of the same era. some of the machine work completed. Photo from Jarvis.
In the photo posted above by Joe A., I was at that swap meet at Vintage Ford in Stanton. It rained pretty good that day.
At one time, my friend Leonard in Monrovia was a partner with Clyde Sturdy in Associated Gear in L.A., next to the original Los Angeles Ford assembly plant. According to Leonard, they cut the timing gears for one of LaRue Thomas' hill climbers. Not sure which one though. As stated above, I don't think LaRue did any of the work on his cars himself. All he did was drive them.
In regards to Don Lee's broadcasting empire, Don Lee not only was the Western U.S. distributor of Cadillac automobiles, he was the FIRST to operate a television broadcast station on the West Coast. It began in December, 1931 having their television broadcast facilities located at Seventh and Bixel in L.A. Don Lee was the second to start an F.C.C. commercially licensed radio station on the West Coast (KHJ), only months behind Earl C. Anthony, (KFI) in 1926. Anthony being the West Coast Packard Distributor and the man who brought Neon lighting to the United States from France to use as lighted advertising for his Packard Dealership.
The F.C.C. assigned their experimental call letters to Lee as W6XAO and broadcast at 44.5 megacycles. Klaus Landsberg, claiming to be the first television station on the West Coast, (W6XYZ, later KTLA)wouldn't be granted an experimental television broadcast license for another eight years and wouldn't actually broadcast video signals until 1948.
However, the most significant television milestone is rarely attributed to Don Lee and W6XAO. It was recently discovered that W6XAO broadcast THE FIRST live news event on television.
For many years, it was thought that NBC/RCA, while broadcasting the 1939 World Series from Yankee Stadium, broadcast the first live news event on television when an apartment fire broke out in a building that could be seen from inside the stadium. When they noticed the fire, they simply swung their cameras towards the fire and put the images on the air to be seen by the approximately 100-200 television owners in the greater Tri-State area.
This is was what was known, until recently when photographic stills were discovered of the television monitor at W6XAO showing live video broadcast pictures of the destruction from the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake. This pre-dates the New York apartment fire by a full 6 years.
What became of W6XYZ you may ask? It's still around. It's now called KCBS channel 2.
And now, we return you to your regularly scheduled forum topic.