Indy In­spi­ra­tion

DAVID MAL­COM’S AR­TIS­TI­CALLY IN­FLU­ENCED ’29 FORD RPU

Street Rodder - - Conents - BY ROB FORTIER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY MICHAEL CHRIS­TENSEN

David Mal­com’s ’29 Ford RPU

We’ve all heard the phrase “life im­i­tat­ing art,” but what about the ex­act op­po­site, art im­i­tat­ing life? That can be found in ev­ery­thing from mar­ket­ing graphic de­sign to mod­ern re­al­is­tic tat­toos. The im­i­ta­tion doesn’t stop there, as the art most def­i­nitely can and will fur­ther in­flu­ence real life. Brian Stinger is an In­di­anapo­lis-based hot rod builder/artist.

When you com­bine those el­e­ments of lo­ca­tion and vo­ca­tion, it’s easy to see where his in­spi­ra­tion comes from. Back in 2005, Stinger had sub­mit­ted a Dream Car of the Month to the un­for­tu­nately now-de­funct Rod & Cus­tom mag­a­zine. Ap­pro­pri­ately, he en­ti­tled his art im­i­tat­ing vi­sion­ary life “Brick­yard Hauler,” a ’29 Ford road­ster pickup that harkens back to the golden years of Indy 500 open-wheel rac­ing. Here’s an ex­cerpt of Stinger’s de­scrip­tion d’art:

“The Brick­yard Hauler has a ’32 cus­tom frame that rides on 17- and 19-inch lip-laced wheels sport­ing brass knock­offs with Indy-style drum brakes. It is pow­ered by a 270ci Of­fen­hauser, backed by a five-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion con­nected to a quick-change rearend with knee-ac­tion shocks. I made some alterations to the body by stretch­ing the doors 2 inches and the body 3 inches. The truck bed has been short­ened and raised to the top of the cab, and I added a roll bar to the back of the driver area. The ’29 has drilled split wish­bones, pol­ished alu­minum blis­ters, nerf bars, leather hood straps, riv­ets,

bell holes, chrome-plated frame and hood shelves, brass knock­offs, and side ex­haust—all to por­tray the vin­tage ’30s look. One of the last fea­tures added to the body is the split wind­screen, which I think fin­ishes off the look of the truck.”

Re­splen­dent in mus­tard yel­low with red and gold-leaf ac­cents, the road­ster pickup was more than just a pretty page filler for the mag­a­zine—it struck a se­ri­ous in­spi­ra­tional cord with an ex-racer turned hot rod builder out in New Mex­ico by the name of David Mal­com. Not long after it had been pub­lished, David con­tacted Stinger in re­gards to build­ing a full-scale ver­sion of his ren­der­ing. Of course Stinger was all for the idea of see­ing some of his con­cep­tual work com­ing to life, but David had to make a few con­ces­sions to the pro­posed project, most no­tably the Offy four-cylin­der, and he spent a con­sid­er­able amount of time search­ing for all the bits and pieces to turn a dream into re­al­ity.

By 2014, David was fi­nally ready to make things hap­pen. He con­tracted Moal Coach­builders for one of their T-Bar ’32 chas­sis with a few inches added for length’s sake—118 over­all—along with Moal’s con­tem­po­rary blend of tra­di­tional Ford sus­pen­sion com­po­nents, rack-and-pin­ion steer­ing, John­son’s Kin­mont-style brakes, and a Hot Rod Works re­worked Hal­i­brand V-8 quick-change. In lieu of the con­cep­tu­al­ized Offy, which David ac­tu­ally has (it’s stay­ing put in his ’47 Cur­tis Midget), his friend Brink Lil­ley helped con­vince the de­ci­sion to oc­cupy more of the stretched wheel­base with a Wayne 12-port in­line Chevy six-cylin­der. While just the top end re­mains of the orig­i­nal 235 that once pow­ered a ’38 Chevy coupe in com­pe­ti­tion at Myr­tle Beach, Statkus En­gines fed new life into the Wayne Man­u­fac­tur­ing piece of his­tory (which, de­pend­ing on date of man­u­fac­ture, could ei­ther be the last of the Horn­ing-Warner in­ven­tory or the first of Harry

Warner’s). Below the three Mark Bogue–ma­chined air breather cov­ers ex­ist a trio of Hil­born me­chan­i­cal throt­tle bod­ies that are now elec­tron­i­cally in­jected, while the iconic Wayne cast-iron ex­haust man­i­folds on the “wrong” side feed into a beau­ti­ful sin­gle lakes-style header fab­ri­cated by Moal. And just as it was back when Wayne Horn­ing was first tak­ing his 12-port de­signs from Lock­heed let­ter­head to the ma­chine shop and had en­listed Frank Veno­lia’s ser­vices to pro­duce the very first af­ter­mar­ket Chevy six pis­tons, David’s early 235 fea­tures Veno­lia 9.5:1 slugs.

As for the ex­ter­nal de­tails of the Brick­yard Hauler, David han­dled the met­al­work him­self: ex­tend cab, hand­made alu­minum hood, chopped and laid back wind­shield posts, and so on. To em­u­late Stinger’s con­cept that ini­tially got his pulse pump­ing, how­ever, he turned the project over to The Color Works’ Wayne Se­gura for fi­nal body­work and the RPU’s School Bus Yel­low and Coca-Cola Red paint, while Speed­way Graph­ics’

Joe Brox­ter­man took care of the gold leaf, let­ter­ing, and strip­ing. On the in­side of the ex­tended cock­pit are Moal-crafted, Jackie How­er­ton-pat­terned Indycar seats cov­ered in red leather by Gabe Lopez, who of course is re­spon­si­ble for all the in­te­rior leather work, from the pleated pan­el­ing to the wrapped Schroeder four-spoke steer­ing wheel. The gauges are Moal’s Bomber se­ries from Clas­sic In­stru­ments, com­plete with the road­ster’s moniker, along with their Road­champ pedal assem­bly.

With both the artis­tic and real-life ren­di­tions ow­ing their in­spi­ra­tion to a venue that lends its name to both, it seemed only ap­pro­pri­ate that David honor that by cre­at­ing a built-in dis­play in the Model A’s bed for an ac­tual Cul­ver Block Co. brick from the orig­i­nal In­di­anapo­lis Speed­way that was given to him by Bobby Unser many years ago.

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