Words: Eddie “T-Bird” Donato;Photos: Mike Basso; Model: Darby Fox
Keeping his eyes open, scouring swap meets and do-it-yourself fabrication were the keys to Steve Edwards building his 1927 roadster. Virtually every component of the roadster was given to him or he worked out a great deal.
Having built hot rods since he was 15 years old, Steve decided to build a roadster about seven years ago. The first step was when he found the ’27 body in a friend-of-a-friend’s back yard.
“This guy had owned the body since the early ‘70s, but he never did anything with it,” Steve said.
Numerous times, Steve would ask the owner of the body if he was going to finish it or let it rot away in the back yard. One day, Steve was visiting and the owner told him that if he wanted it so bad, then back up his pickup right then and take it.
Once he had the body home, Steve put out the word that he needed frame rails. One morning he was surprised to find a set of frame rails on his front lawn. It took about a week before he found out who dropped the component off.
Years before finding the body, Steve was cruising Lake Havasu City when he spotted a ’51 Ford pickup, obviously not running, sitting beside a building. He told the owner he wanted the 364 Buick Nailhead mill out of the truck. The owner agreed, if Steve could make the truck disappear, too.
After getting the pickup home and pulling the Buick mill and getting it on an engine stand, he found some good news. The engine had been beefed up with a Crane cam. But it had spun a bearing. Steve resurrected the engine and set it aside. The pickup went to a scrap yard.
Steve grabbed the tranny out of a wrecking yard ’66 Buick Riviera. The ’57 Chevy posi rear-end was a freebie from a friend. Like the motor, Steve set aside the rear-end until the ’27 body came along.
With no intake manifold Steve searched swap meets until he came across a six two-barrel Crower-U-Fab. Visiting a local VW dune buggy shop, Steve scored a crate of 14 used Dellorto carbs for $60. Out of the 14, he got six working. Figuring that the six singles would be the right CFM for the Buick mill, he converted the intake from six doubles to six singles by fabbing an adapter out of sheet aluminum. Linkage was made so all six Dellortos run full time.
Odds and ends
Steve put the body on sawhorses behind his house and painted it himself with ’56 Ford Meadow Mist Green. Gauges came from swap meets. The ’32 Ford grille shell came off a friend’s car while the insert is from a ’32 Chevy. He gave the frame a six-inch kick in the back and all the chassis tubing was bent with equipment in his home garage and boxed in.
The knock-off wheels were made by Steve using Ford steel wheels and adding midget race car hubs that he found at a swap meet. The ’56 Ford steering column and steering wheel are used items from a buddy’s garage. King Bee headlights were found in a box under his dad’s house.
To create the rear bumper Steve used handrail parts. Rear bumper endcaps came from a fencing company. The caps were welded on and ground down until they were flush.
Over the years, Steve learned to do upholstery from several friends in the business. For this build, his friend Murry McLaughlin sewed the upholstery for the interior and trunk. Steve laid it out and installed it himself.
As a member of the Lucky Few CC, Steve said if you see a member’s car on a trailer it’s either broke down or stolen.
“That’s part of the deal with our car club,” he said. “You have to build your own hot rod and you have to drive it – not trailer it.”
Owner/Builder: Steven Edwards
Occupation: Powder coater & sandblaster
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Vehicle: 1927 Ford Model T roadster
Grille: 1932 Ford w/Chevy insert
Paint: 1956 Ford Meadow Mist Green DuPont single stage
Engine: 1961 Buick 364 Nailhead
Transmission: 1966 Buick Super Turbine 400 (switch pitch)
Intake & Carb: Crower-U–Fab w/custom top side, (6) Dellorto carbs
Exhaust: Custom lakes style
Rear End: 1957 Chevy w/posi
Suspension: F- 4” dropped Super Bell w/split wishbones, transverse spring; R- 1941Ford front spring & split rear wishbone
Brakes: F- 1939 Ford w/Buick 90 fin drums; R- 1957 Chevy
Wheels: F- 15×5 steel; R- 15×7 steel
Tires: F- 165R15; R- 235/75R15
Seats: Custom bench
Upholstery: Tan vinyl
Dashboard: 1932 Ford cut to fit T
Steering Column: Cutdown 1956 Ford pickup
Steering Wheel: 3-bar sprint style
Taillights: 1941 Chevy
Club Affiliation: Lucky Few Car Club, AZ