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Oldest car made into a rod?


Amphicar BUYER
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There have been several rods made with 1909 Model T Ford reproduction touring car bodies, fenders and hoods. I can find the issue of Rod & Custom if you need to see a photo and feature article. A Ford 289 will fit under a stock 1909 Ford hood. As you might guess with the large flat windshield and open fronts these cars are not the best suited for interstate highway use.

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Two days ago I looked at a 1911 Mercer that had been rodded in the late '40s. It had a '31 Pierce Arrow engine and a different front axle with mechanical brakes on all four wheels. May have been a Mercer body on a Pierce frame. Had all the Mercer brass including knock-off hubs on smaller wire wheels. Even had the hand pumps for oil and gas pressure although they led to nothing. Little has been done to the car since the rodding, except for installation of some sealed beam headlight to compliment the original acetelene brass lights. Current owner's father did the rodding and it is now for sale for only $85,000!

Also have a photo of an early T-bucket body on an A-frame with a Marmon 16 engine. Rodding was in 1947.

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I had a touch of sarcasm with the "only". I had been told that the car had a race history, but alas, there was none. It would make an interesting period hot rod for the new AACA class, so I was going to offer just a few thousand. My prospective offer was so far off of the owner's inflated view of value, I did not make an offer. Cleaned up and detailed, it could be a fun car, but not at that price.

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About 7 or 8 years ago there was an odd roadster for sale in Hemmings for a long time, I forget the make, Pierce Arrow maybe but it had 2 engines joined together making the longest hood I've ever seen,it was unrestored and supposedly done in the '20's, anyone remember this?

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I remember seeing that car advertized, not too pleasing to look at. I don't know a thing about the Mercer Ronbarn was looking at, but we may be drifting off the Hot Rod topic and into cars modified for racing. Years ago I had a panoramic photo of race cars taken on the starting line in Pottsville, Pa. in 1921. One car was a 1908 Gran Prix Mercedes, that was fitted with a Hispano-Suiza V8 aircraft engine from WWI. Hot Rod or Race Car?????? The car stayed like this up till two years ago, today it is in Germany under restoration to its 1908 factory finish.

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Now that I'm back I'll repost what was the first reply to the original post. There were several 1909 Model T touring cars built as street rods in the 1970's. All the parts used were reproduction. A 298 Ford V8 will fit under a 1909-15 T hood without any problem.

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The car with two engines I believe is a Chalmers, It has two circa 1909 Chalmers 30 engines joined together. They say it doesn't perform that well. I think it lives in Idaho. The body is not Chalmers, Its hard to say what it is.

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Yeah! That's it, a Chalmers, now I remember, a frightening thing with a hood a mile long with a small canvas top. I recall it being in Hemmings several times, each time with a higher price and and a new owner! did it ever run at all for any extended period?

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