’28 TUDOR SPECIAL – SCOTT WHIDDETT MODEL A FORD

There are many reasons why we call certain cars within our hobby ‘special’. Be it an heirloom passed down from grandfather to father now to son, or built by a team of influential top gun designers, or that elusive barn find with history attached, the list goes on. Then sometimes it’s just as simple as it ticks all the right boxes, like this wholesome little A Ford. A perfect mix of all the right ingredients that extends from the Fenton headers to the clock faced rear-view mirror. A clever blend of original, new and repro’ parts producing a timeless tudor for new owner Scott Whiddett. Now I say new, because when I squeezed the trigger on my Nikon to capture these images to share with ya-all, Scott had only possessed the keys for about a week and was still getting use to his new wheels. 

See Scott is the owner of the ’34 Chevy under construction at Evolution Custom Industries back in issue #137 and it was here that he got to know Paul McKinnon and his crew. With the sedan in for the long haul, Scott purchased the ’28 to tide him over until the early bowtie was ready. 

Scott is the sort of guy that most of us petrol heads can relate to. At the impressionable age of 13 he had his first taste of freedom with his hands firmly gripped around the handlebars of a motorbike feeling as nervous as hell. With his feet outta reach of solid ground his Uncle steadied him for his maiden ride whilst coaching all the way. “Right… Hold the clutch in and rev the bike… Now ease the clutch and off you’ll go!” Scott can still recall his Uncle’s unprecedented laughter as he launched into the air on the back wheel and careered out of control into a fence. Ahhh, remember those days? 

When Scott finally mastered the two wheeled demon there was no looking back and the only downside from his independent revolution was constant newspaper clippings of ‘motorcycle death notices’ accompanying his breakfast bowl. Mums do have a right to be worried though… it comes with the job!

Back to the future (I just love that line) and Scott’s all grown up with kids of his own, an understanding wife and a trail of two wheeled machines numbering more than I’m prepared to count.

From one of his many treks around our great and vast land Scott spent time with Rod Hadfield checking his museum of hot rods and race cars. I can only imagine that the initial spark to pursue early iron with four wheels was ignited by that visit and Ebay became his global swap meet. As mentioned earlier the Chevy was purchased and this Model A is the stop gap, so lets move on and see if mum would approve of his new ride?

The tidy tudor was imported to Sydney’s Northern Beaches by Bill McNamara back in 2009 complete with its 3 1/2”chopped roofline. He was also responsible for getting the car sorted to pass local rego requirements when Scott became aware of its availability he seized the moment. “I thought we could cruise as a family in style rather than alone on my Harley Springer until the Chev is roadworthy,” he says. 

The original rails were boxed up front and Z’d in the rear, just to get that oh-so-right stance, a hot rod fundamental. The stock four banger was ditched and replaced with a 8BA flathead of ’47 Ford vintage punched out to 276ci. A trio of Ford OEM Holley 94’s now feed the sidevalve through a vintage Edelbrock intake flanked by finned alloy heads from Sharp. The late model block (for a ’28 anyway) was outfitted with a host of go fast goodies including 4” Mercury crank, Ross forged pistons, Isky cam, ARP heads studs and Mallory ignition. Those increasingly sort after Fenton headers exit through dual pipes with a note sweeter than an ice cream sunday. All of that overseas vintage artistry is snapped into gear via a home grown Commodore five speed transferred to a Ford 8” diff. 

To find a Super Bell dropped I beam with transverse springs and wishbones front and rear should come as no surprise to rodders familiar with traditional suspension components but the inclusion of a Unisteer rack and pinion may be an exception. Scott thanks Evolution Custom Industries for sorting out the road handling behaviour of the tricky tudor. Mustang front discs and stock Ford drums coupled with tube shocks make for a safe and sustainable ride.

Inside the petite cabin, the original seats have been replaced by a pair of ’67-era Mustang buckets allowing easy access to the stock rear now covered in black vinyl. The back to basics interior is complete with chicken wire overhead and real floorboards underfoot and Scott admits it’s much easier to get second gear with bare feet. The ’32 dash houses a collage of cool items from ’49 Mercury gauges, period correct knobs and interesting curios. From the new parts box we find repro’ handles, winders and a’40 style steering wheel atop a Limeworks column, which fit just nicely thank you. 

Although the Tudor looks like the barn find of the century, a considerable amount of work has gone into the resurrection of this period piece and the entire body was stripped to bare metal before a fresh respray of PPG black over blue could be toned down with flattened clear. The West Texas A was nearly rust free before being sliced by an unknown swordsman in Oregan and the only new sheet metal items are the splash apron, grill surround and running boards. The majority of the work was originally completed by Florida Jim who acquired the car as a languishing resto and started from the ground up to surpass its former glory and create an enduring hot rod. 

As Scott states he is fully aware of the time involved to complete the ’34 Chevy to the standard of his own requirements and appease state rego laws at the same time. He also believes in the faith that ‘Patina is king’ (which the Chev has in spades) and street rod rego may not be an option. It’s a shame really as knowing the quality of workmanship performed to bring it to fruition, this will be one safe and well-engineered rod, albeit with a weathered existing exterior. Character costs I guess! For now life is neat cruising the street in his ’28 tudor special.

BY DALE HABERFIELD, PHOTOS DALE HABERFIELD. FULL FEATURE CRUZIN #156, OCTOBER 2013.
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