CHARI-T: HANDMADE ROADSTER RAFFLED FOR GOOD CAUSE
Nine years ago, hot rod builder Doug Siemen met hot rodding promoter John Wells at a swap meet. The two immediately hit it off, and Siemen told Wells that if he ever needed help with any of his events, he would be more than happy to lend a hand. Siemen soon found himself working the front gate at the first Vintage Torquefest. He wound up helping at all of Wells’ hot rod shows, including the Retro Rewind in Dubuque, Iowa, and the Iron Invasion show in Woodstock, Illinois.
Wells’ shows benefit the Helping Hannah’s Heart foundation, a charity created by the Wells family to assist families in need who are dealing with a child with Critical Aortic Stenosis or a related congenital heart defect. Their own daughter and the foundation’s namesake, Hannah, suffers from the condition, and the Wells family saw firsthand the hardships that families endure when dealing with an affliction of this magnitude.
A few years ago, a gentleman came up with an idea to build a hot rod to auction for the charity. This struck a chord with Siemen, who saw it as the perfect opportunity to construct a hot rod to raise money for HHH. He approached Wells about building a car for the upcoming 10th anniversary Vintage Torquefest.
While Siemen’s initial plan was to use a fiberglass body, he decided that a fully handmade, custom metal body would be more appropriate. He built the T-inspired body to flow with the lines of a ’32 styled frame, throwing in custom touches along the way.
A healthy 283, built with forged flattop pistons and a 350hp/327 cam, sends power via a 700R4 transmission to a Ford 8-inch rear with 3.55 gears. A Limeworks column shifter gets the roadster into gear. The wheels are 16x4 steelies shod with 5.50-16 and 7.0016 Excelsior Stahl Sport Radials.
The styling follows the lines of early dry lakes rides. A cutdown ’32 grille sits in front of a sliced and diced Model A hood. Paint was handled by Siemen, who also stitched the custom interior on his ’46 Singer sewing machine!
It took nine months to complete this beautiful, Model T-inspired hot rod. Siemen would like to thank several organizations and people who helped along the way, including Speedway Motors, Quick Performance, Jerry Eckert (engine builder), Gentry Restorations and Customs, Ron Day, Jeff Bries, and good friend RC Scott.
The trick little roadster came to the Hot Rod Hill Climb this year, garnering ample attention while parked in town. Siemen even took it out for the reliability run through the hills, where she proved flawless.
For your chance to win this roadster, visit helpinghannahsheart.org or vintagetorquefest. com. The $20 donation gets you a raffle ticket and a custom poster. The raffle will take place May 4, 2019, and you need not be present to win.
PICS: SCOTTY LACHENAUER FRAMEDFRAMED: The ’32-style frame is shortened 22 ⁄ inches and14 kicked up out back. A Model A crossmember is up front, a Model T piece in the rear, and a tubular X-member between the rails. The ladder-bar rear suspension uses ’46 radius rods. A So-cal Speed Shop 4-inch drop axle brings the nose down.
HEAD-TURNER: The Chari-t was at the Hot Rod Hill Climb this year, where constant crowds around it made it tough to get a good shot of the car. HEADTURNER
IN THE OFFICE: The dash is a trimmed-down ’35 Ford, and it’s fabbed together with a ’51 Ford gauge cluster. IN THE OFFICE