Bob Bishel's 1931 Ford
1931 Ford Model A Roadster owned by Radical Valve Timers member Bob Bishel of Middletown, Connecticut. Bob bought the roadster in February 1955. After working on the car for two years, the roadster was registered and back on the road in 1957. This version of the roadster featured molded rear fenders, motorcycle type front fenders, a 1932 Ford grille shell, a removable plexiglass windshield, chevrolet taillights and a louvered deck lid. The car never had any upholstery, but Bob fitted it with a 1936 Ford dashboard, a boat steering wheel, a radical high shift lever and two sparse bucket seats. Power came from a Ford flathead V8 that had been hopped up featuring an Edelbrock intake, Edelbrock heads, four Stromberg 97's and a Harmon Collins dual coil distributor. The engine was hooked to a 1935 Ford truck transmission with Zephyr gears and a Model A rear end. Bob's roadster was built for the streets and strips, and in 1958 Bob was elected President of the Nutmeg State Timing Association. August 1958, Bob's roadster was shown at the 1st annual Rod & Custom World’s Fair in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bob raced his roadster at Orange Airport in Massachusetts, Charlestown Dragway in Rhode Island, and Connecticut Dragway in East Haddam.
July 2011, Bob's old roadster was advertised for sale on eBay.ca. It was located in Sanford, Maine at the time, and according to the listing, the old roadster had been found around 2005 in Weare, Massachusetts. The guy who found it believes the car had been in storage since the late 1960s when he found it. When he found the old hot rod, the molded rear fenders and the motorcycle front fenders were gone. Someone had filled the door openings, but the one on the drivers side had been opened again. The old roadster still had the removable plexi glass windshield, steel hood with scoop, louvered decklid and a 1932 Ford grille shell. The dropped axle was the same, but it had been stretched. After buying the car, it was kept in storage in a box trailer for about 6 more years. When the car was advertised for sale on eBay.ca in 2011, Bill's old engine was gone, and it had been fitted with a 1951 Ford flathead V8 with a manual transmission and a 9 inch Ford rear end. Dean Schimetschek of East Haddam, Connecticut found the ad on eBay. He called the guy right up, asked what he wanted for it, and struck a deal. Dean had heard about a 4-carb race flathead with history a couple of years earlier from a friend. The engine was owned by another friend that had held on to it for 25 years refusing to sell it. When Dean got the car, he decided to ask the guy about the engine, as it would fit the roadster perfect. The owner told Dean that the engine in fact was the original mill to Bob Bishel's roadster, and decided to sell it to Dean because of this.
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