RAT MAD­NESS

NZV8 - - DAILY GRIND -

Some peo­ple may worry about the dig­i­tal age killing the Kiwi can-do at­ti­tude, but we reckon that it’s alive and well in the car scene, and guys like Raymond Schroder are why. Say hello to his 1930 Model A four-door that’s been bas­tardized into a two-door sedan. “That lit­tle model is what started it all — I knocked that up, and I’ve pretty much been copy­ing that. I’ve been work­ing on it for about three years now. It was meant to be a two-year project, but it spi­ralled a bit out of con­trol,” Raymond ex­plains. While there isn’t much orig­i­nal Model A left, Raymond ac­tu­ally started by buy­ing an en­tire, al­most-driv­ing, Model A, be­fore de­cid­ing to run wild with it. “I com­pletely built the chas­sis by my­self, to my own de­sign. The raked-up front is prob­a­bly unique — I’d looked at a lot of those Z’d chas­sis, and I didn’t see the point of do­ing it there, be­cause it leaves you no room for your en­gine and all that, so you might as well just slope it up,” he men­tions. “I like the way it looks bro­ken — like it’s snapped in half.” The long wheel­base and chopped roof def­i­nitely ex­ag­ger­ate the car’s car­toon­ish pro­file, and, by do­ing pretty much ev­ery­thing him­self, Raymond can en­sure that it looks ex­actly as he wants it to. The fin­ish is pretty much the way it will be, other than a bit of a clean-up, and the 1926 Chrysler grille has been pinched off one of Raymond’s other projects. The long wheel­base sees the front sus­pen­sion mounted far ahead of the ra­di­a­tor, utiliz­ing a trans­verse leaf spring and tra­di­tional fric­tion shocks. “I re­ally like vin­tage race cars — like from the 1920s — and I’d al­ways look at their sus­pen­sion set-ups. They are only sin­gle-ac­tion shocks, which is why I can get away with just a strap on them,” he tells us. Be­hind all that is a stock 454ci big block, Pow­er­glide auto, and Cur­rie nine-inch with long axle tubes for those skinny white­walls to clear the body. “Ev­ery­one says, ‘Mate, you won’t be able to touch the throt­tle; it’s go­ing to be out of con­trol!’ but that’s the point!” Raymond laughs. Raymond’s well into the build, which has al­ready dragged on longer than he’d have liked, and reck­ons that he should have it com­plete and on the road by Christ­mas. He’d like to thank Gra­ham Steel — whose own rat rod was fea­tured in NZV8 Is­sue No. 135 — and Su­per­saws for let­ting him build the thing in the work­shop.

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