Eddie Dye's 1929 Ford

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Illustration by Jim Richards.
The Fuller car with the original Eddie Dye nose. The photos were taken in Don Fretwell's shop in Santa Barabara in 1983.
A photo of the Eddie Dye Roadster taken at East Bay Speed and Custom in January of 2018. Photo courtesy of East Bay Speed and Custom.
The restored iteration of Eddie Dye's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster made its first public appearance at the 2018 Grand National Roadster Show. The restoration was completed only hours before for the show. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble.
Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble.
Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble.

In the early 1950s, East Los Angeles Auto Butchers member Eddie Dye, owner of E.D.M. Lumber Company wanted a real tasteful roadster to drive. He gave the Ayala Brothers at Gil's Auto Body Works the task to build a beautiful roadster no matter what cost. Gil Ayala began with a 1932 Ford frame which he would put a seven inch channeled 1929 Ford body on. The doors were hammer welded shut and a full belly pan was molded-in. The wheel wells and cowl were filled-in. The seats were dropped between the frame rails due to the deep channel job, it was even lower than the Jaguar XK-120.[1] Whitey Clayton of Clayton Metal Shop hand formed the track nose hood sides and hood.[2] The roadster was fit with a DuVall Windshield and a custom bumper featuring a pair of AutoLamp 430 headlights. While all the body modifications were done, the engine was sent to Earl Evans at Evans Engineering for a rebuild.[1] Once the body was complete, it was painted a special color mixed by the Ayala Brothers called Cherry Orchid.[3] Berry's Custom Upholstery was responsible for the white leatherette interior. It took six months of labor and $3400 to complete the roadster.[1] Eddie competed at the 1951 Bonneville Nats, he palced 24th in "C" mod. roadster class.

In the 1980s Don Fretwell built a new car around the original nose from the Eddie Dye roadster. The nose was later replaced with a cut down 1932 Ford grille. Don Orosco used Fretwell's car as a model to copy, along with the nose that had been removed.


Owned by Tom Bobowski, the restored iteration of the Eddie Dye Roadster was debuted at the 2018 Grand National Roadster Show. The restoration was handled by Circle City Hot Rods.

Magazine Features

Hot Rod Magazine January 1952
Hop Up March 1952
Hop Up July 1953


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