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Mick's 1930 Model A Roadster Hot Rod

4/12/2021
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If you caught the feature on Mick Rau’s ’50 Merc, you saw a traditional radical custom that’s all about class and comfort. Sitting next to it in the garage is this Model A roadster. It’s all about speed, minimalism, and waking up the neighbors.

Like the Merc, this was another abandoned project. This one Mick acquired from his cousin. It had started life as a coupe, but the top had been crudely removed at some point. Mick traded some work for an original ’32 chassis, Mor-Drop axle, and gennie ’32 shell. The hacked-up body was straightened out and stretched 6-inches to create more leg room for the road trips that Mick had planned. A 9-inch rear was hung from a Speedway Motors buggy spring and an S10 T-5 was chosen for its overdrive.

We have to talk about the 348. It’s a unique choice for a hot rod, but that’s only half of what’s going on here. This engine has been around the block and adds some serious old-time street (and strip) cred to Mick’s hot rod. Originally pulled from a ’58 Chevy by a pair of drag racers from Blair, Nebraska, it was dropped into a Tri-Five drag car. It was then promptly blown up at the ’63 Winternationals and sent to Jahns Pistons for some machine and head work. When it returned to Blair, our heroes had moved on and it sat until Mick rescued it in 2001. Mick also built the unique twin-megaphone exhaust from a couple Speedway Motors kits and we can confirm that the old 348 sounds plenty rowdy.

Mick’s Model A has been done for a while now. It was even featured in Rod & Custom several years ago. Though it’s missing some (all) of the creature comforts that he might enjoy in his other hot rods, Mick and his wife Joan aren’t afraid to hop in the car and hit the road. He compares an afternoon trip in the roadster to a ride on one of his Harleys. It’s a different experience than sitting in air-conditioned comfort, but Mick knows that’s not what hot rods are for. They’re for going fast and making a statement. This car does both very well.

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