Jim Cooper's 1931 Ford

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The Cockroach at the 2010 Dallas Autorama[1]




1931 Ford Model A Roadster built by Jim Cooper between 1959 and 1965. The car is also known as "The Cockroach". The windshield-frame on the roadster was chopped 4 inches, and the body was channeled 8 inches over a chromed and modified 1932 Ford frame. The firewall and the whole underbody were chromed, and the car was fit with a filled 1932 Ford grille-shell that was sectioned 4.5". The front suspension consisted of a chromed and dropped I beam axle. The eye-springs were reversed, and the wishbones were custom fabricated. These components, and the steering box were also chrome plated. Once the bodywork was done, the car was painted with 78 coats of Candy Copper Lacquer with fogged Candy Gold Custom graphics. The car was painted in 1965 by Ed Lepold. Jim fit the roadster with custom fabricated bench seats that were upholstered by Dickie Wright in black diamond tuck upholstery. A 1932 Ford dashboard fit with a Hollywood accessory panel and 8 Stewart-Warner gauges replaced the stock dashboard. The steering column was chromed and fit with a Cal Custom steering wheel. A removable roll bar was also made for the car. The car was powered by a 425 Buick Nailhead engine fit with a Weiand Drag Star intake with 6 chromed Stromberg 97's carburetors. The engine was hooked to a Turbo 400 transmission and a chromed 1955 Chevrolet rear end with positraction. The rear end was held in place by a chromed Ford transverse spring with custom fabricated, chromed wishbones. The headers were custom fabricated, and both the headers and the exhaust were chromed.[3]

After Jim passed away the var remained in a Midwestern garage for many years. In 2006 the car was resurrected by the Giacalone family. Today the car is owned by Chris Ito. [3]



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