When the first legal drag race in the Detroit area took place in Livonia in 1953, the Michigan Hot Rod Association began making plans for the construction of a drag strip. MHRA was started as a partnership of local hot rod clubs. As part of their fundraising strategy for the strip, they put on a hot rod show, the Detroit Autorama, in an arena at the University of Detroit.
Dave and Al Tarkanyi belonged to the Downriver Modified Car Club, one of the clubs making up the MHRA. The brothers drove a chopped and channeled 1932 Ford three-window coupe with a hopped-up Flathead engine. The car was at the 1953 Livonia race. Five years later, when the Motor City Dragway in New Baltimore held its first race, the car was there too. It also continued to show up at the annual Detroit Autorama
Vintage racing has been growing rapidly in our area, and Iron Trap Garage is finally going to be joining in with the fun! E.J Kowalski and Bill Rowe are hosting a weekend of vintage drags at the Allentown Fairgrounds on the old circle track. The track was open from 1915 until 1969 and saw the likes of Mario Andretti, Aj Foyt, and Parnelli Jones. The dirt track has since been replaced with cinders, and the grandstands mostly used for concerts during the summer. It is amazing to be apart of such an amazing event on a track with so much history. Join us as we take the Pagoda City Coupe out for a day of trashing!!!
Took a couple of days off work and with a huge amount of help from my friend Simon of Simon’s Autos and despite the shocking efforts of Parcelforce and HM Customs (parts held for over 3 weeks despite taking 2 days to get to the UK from Bert’s Model A Center in Colorado) we achieved quite a bit :
Front Tube Shock Absorber Conversion
Fitted the bracket kit from Bert’s and the Gabriel shocks sourced from US Automotive here in the UK. Pretty much a bolt on apart from drilling the front axle in two places. I have a new rear spring and tube shock absorber brackets for the rear to do in the summer.
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Rear Brake Grease Boxes
Those of you that read the blog will know that the car had hydraulic brakes when I purchased it, the conversion was quite badly done in parts so it was upgraded to 1948 parts. I was short of a couple of grease boxes for the rears which I got from the States via eBay for a reasonable price. These were nicely fitted by Simon
Engine Oil Leak
After I changed the sump gasket in the process of cleaning out the years of sludge, I ended up with quite a bad oil leak near the timing gear inspection cover using a combination of gaskets and black RTV. Fingers crossed as it’s OK so far.
Clutch Pedal Modification
Due to my height, (6’4″), and the fact that I have a dropped foot it’s difficult to drive a standard Model Coupe. We came up with a few modifications to help me drive, these are working out quite well so far, still have a bit more to do as the clutch is dragging when hot despite slowing the idle as much as possible making the selection of 1st gear difficult. But it’s a great improvement. I think we’ll still need to design a new thinner seat back to give me a few more inches of room. The modification is done with wood so far to see how it goes. Makes life a easier for me!
John Cochran kindly pointed out that my “A” has a “B” carburettor, so I treated it to a K&N filter which I think looks OK, car’s not original anyway so 🙂
Transmission & Rear End Oil Change
Thanks to Simon’s space heater and heavy duty pump we managed to get the Morris Lubricants SAE 250 Golden Film gear oil into the gearbox and axle, no mean feat as this is some seriously thick stuff, I can only imagine how thick the 600W spec oil from back in the day actually is!!
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