Greatrace is almost here, and we can’t wait! We started running GR in 1999, and it’s been 5 years since we’ve been able to attend. We were able to run some VCRA events in the meantime, which we enjoyed tremendously. Thanks to Corky, Jeff, and the Coker crew for bringing back GR, and special thanks to Rex Gardner and VCRA for keeping our sport alive and healthy through tough times.
Attached are photos of our little Ford roadster as it looked on the 2006 GR, where we were lucky enough to finish 7th overall, and how it looks today in its ‘hot rod black’ paint. Our car is very traditional: a ’29 rumble seat roadster body sitting on a ’32 chassis, running a 24 stud flathead V8 mated to a genuine Zephyr transmission with Borg Warner overdrive, a shortened torque tube, and a ’36 rear axle. Brakes, steering, and wheels are ’40. Frank Currie identified the 4″ dropped front axle as an original Bell, and we run the earliest ’41 Edelbrock ‘slingshot’ intake with 2 ’97’s on progressive linkage. The 244 CI V8 sports a Schnieder cam, adjustable lifters, Offy 400 heads, and a Flatmotor Research crab distributor. It’s a classic California dry lakes style car, except that it came out of Minnesota!
Our ’29 Ford doesn’t stay in rally trim year ’round. Most of the time it’s a prewar hot rod the way the kids built them back in 1941. No top, cut down windshield, no spare. For Greatrace we add the taller stock windshield with electric wipers, a full Model A top, the spare tire hung out back, and Allison’s sunroof for her rumble seat adventure. Everything bolts on without having to drill holes in the original ’29 Ford body.
However, it’s not as if the body were some cherry survivor: it has its share of wrinkles, rust pitting, and patch panels. Those battle scars are appropriate for a rally car and we make no attempt to hide them. It’s a driver, and we like it that way. It was painted at home in the backyard, dust, bugs and all, just like the kids used to do it back in the day. We do all of our own work on the car.
We load the ’29 on the trailer on Friday for departure to Michigan on Saturday. Leaving from Los Angeles we have about a 7,000 mile round trip ahead of us. We’re making a side trip to Mt. Rushmore on the way in, and we’ll be leaving our truck and trailer in Dearborn. Thanks so much to our longtime GR family friends Len and Gloria Harpenau for loaning us some space in their support truck so that we can make this trip.
Hopefully the tow to Dearborn will be completely uneventful, unlike the year we ran the Land Rover and a diesel truck hit it in stop & go traffic! No major drama but I always breathe easier once the car gets to the start. We’ll post some trip updates on the way in.
Steve & Janet Hedke