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The Graduate

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Foreground, 1929 Model A, Owner Grant Kroft, Background, Model T Roadster, Owner Randy Kroft

Behind every hot rodder there’s a story. Ask any car junkie what does it for them and the answer might surprise you. If you think about how Speedway Motors evolved, it started with one man’s passion for the industry. It’s that same kind of passion that developed early on for Grant Kroft. His Model A came to life with two goals in mind; he knew that he wanted a traditional style Hot Rod, but above all, he wanted to be able to drive it.

Hot Rod fever came for Grant like it did a lot of us… watching his Father and helping out around the shop. It wasn’t long until his schooling in the garage matured into something of its own. Shortly after High School, he used his graduation money to score his first project. “This thing is basically built out your catalog,” Kroft tells us. But more importantly, this Coupe was family built. Grant, his Father, Randy Kroft, and Cousin, Emil Kouba, all took part working from their shop, Randy’s Rods and Restorations, in Bellwood, Nebraska. For Grant and a lot of us, this hobby is just as much about the comradery we find as it is the addiction itself.

The Build

Grant’s project began when he found an ad on Des Moines’ Craigslist, “within hours of it being listed, I immediately called the guy and said I’d be there,” Grant begins. The body was fairly rusted and had been the victim of its previous owner(s). The doors and trunk fitment were also in need of serious help, so after some careful attention, Grant and his Father completely reworked the body.

With an additional 2-inch chop and 4-inch channel, the unique stance was achieved with Speedway’s dropped I-beam front axle kit. It’s fitted with radius rods front and rear, a superglide front spring, and Speedway’s medium arch rear spring. The bright orange metallic paint was sprayed by Grant’s cousin, Emil Kouba. Everything was dynamatted before Grant installed the crystal white, diamond stitched interior, which beautifully contrasts the paint scheme.

Grant knew he wanted a solid driver, so he opted for a small block Chevy mated to a TH-350 automatic. He used a Ford 7.5-inch rearend with a 3.50 ratio making a perfect combo for the big rear slicks going down the road. For braking performance, he upgraded to Speedway’s 11-inch disc brake conversion and retained the original 9-inch drum brakes in the rear.

The crescendo moment came when Grant debuted his project. He wanted to show the car at the Goodguys Nationals in Loveland, Colorado. But like any project deadline, there never seems to be a surplus of time. After summer, the Coupe had been pushed aside for some higher priority shop projects. But by September, after some late nights, and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, Grant made the 8-hour drive west to show the completed car for the first time.

What continues to shine through is Grant’s resilience to finish what he started. If you’re passionate enough about something, nothing can stop you from achieving your goal. When it comes to the future of Hot Rodding, it’s a step in the right direction knowing a new generation of builders remain on the horizon.

Check out the build list for a full list of Speedway parts on Grant's Model A.

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