End of the Line ’29
Warren Herreid’s Model A is the Last Depot Hack in Chatham
Warren Herreid’s ’29 Ford Model A
In the Roaring Twenties, Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, was a popular summer resort area for well-heeled vacationers from the Northeast. After arriving by train from New York City, Boston, and other locations, travelers would be met at the depot and shuttled to their upscale hotels and lodges in spacious station wagons or depot hacks. Today, the area is still a destination, but the train stopped running there 80 years ago and there are no vintage depot hacks operating on the streets of town anymore—except for one.
Warren Herreid spends most of the year in Minnetrista, Minnesota, but in the summer he heads to Chatham. He wanted a street rod to drive when he’s there and his ’29 Ford Model A depot hack is the perfect choice.
He told us that he wanted a ’28 or ’29 Ford because he likes the distinct cowl and grille. He knew that finding an original version would be virtually impossible, and not really necessary since he intended the car to be modified to his preferences. Instead he purchased a ’29 Tudor sedan from Indiana to serve as the raw material for his project. The only parts used from that car were the windshield frame and the cowl with the VIN.
According to builder Jeff
Schwartz at Schwartz Performance in Woodstock, Illinois, the original Model A depot hacks consisted of coachbuilt bodies fabricated on a factory chassis. That’s essentially how he scratch-built Warren’s car, except that the chassis is custom fabricated as well.
Starting with that original cowl, Schwartz determined the right seat positions for Warren and his passengers, then built the floorpans accordingly. The framerails were custom built accordingly to match. The chassis is essentially the same Schwartz Performance G-Machine system designed for high-performance street machine applications. It features Schwartz sway bars and RideTech single-adjustable coilovers in the front and rear, upper and lower front A-arms, and a Maval power steering rack. The rear tri-link setup locates the Moser full-floating 9-inch rear with 4.11 gears and a Detroit Truetrac differential. Upgraded braking consists of Wilwood four-caliper 12-inch disc brakes with a Raybestos master cylinder and booster.
At 120 inches, the wheelbase is a lot longer than the 103.5 stock wheelbase, requiring scratchbuilt running boards and splash aprons— with reproduction front fenders and truck rear fenders. MAC’s Antique Auto Parts was the source for the grille and steel hood, headlights and LED taillights, outside mirrors, front and rear bumpers, and door handles. The entire rest of the body is completely custom, constructed using a vintage depot hack photograph as a reference. Dave Martin at New Old Wood in Brussels, Wisconsin, constructed the wood body from maple and mahogany. Black canvas covers the top and visor. Like all of Warren’s vehicles, the Model A is painted black, sprayed with PPG
products at Schwartz Performance.
Warren said that his depot hack was meant to look vintage without hot rod styling. That’s the reasoning behind the skinny tires and wire wheels. The tires are Excelsior Radials from Coker Tire, measuring 6.00R20 and rolling on 20x5.5 painted Dayton wire wheels. Knockoff caps finish the look.
Black interiors are another common characteristic of Warren’s rides, and Shane Cassin at Cassin Customizing in Woodstock has upholstered a few of them. The depot hack features more than the usual amount of seats, and Cassin covered the front and rear benches and middle buckets in black distressed leather. The view forward is clean and simple—a ’32 dash with a VHX-1016 elliptical analog gauge cluster from Dakota Digital mounted in the center. The Flaming River steering column supports a Model A wheel. The horn button operates an old-timey “ahooga” horn.
Warren likes powering his various Ford vehicles with Ford engines and continued the trend with the wagon. He considered a Coyote engine (like the ones in his ’52 Customline and ’52 F-1), but with limited space between the hood sides of the Model A he opted for a ’15 pushrod Ford Boss 302 with aluminum heads. Machining was done at Coil Racing Engines and came back to Jeff Schwartz for assembly. Diamond pistons with
Total Seal rings top the Eagle rods and crank. A Holley HP EFI system and K&N air cleaner top a Schwartz custom manifold, with spark delivered from an MSD ignition system and Taylor wires. Schwartz built the headers and exhaust pipes, corked with four SLP Loudmouth II stainless mufflers. A Spal fan, Be Cool radiator, and Edelbrock water pump keep cool water running through the 302. Schwartz has worked with Advantage Transmission on several projects and the woodie’s Lokarshifted 4R70W was built there as well.
The ’29 Model A depot hack made its public debut at the Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Back To
The 50’s show in 2017, followed by a successful appearance at the Heartland Nationals in Des Moines. Now that he’s had some fun with the wagon at street rod shows, Warren is planning to keep it for summertime trips to the beach, grocery store, dinner, or wherever he feels like driving it.
For the digital experience: https://bit.ly/2K8Vr1f