John Toohey's 2E-"T"
Ford Model T Roadster owned and built by John Toohey of Eugene, Oregon.
Toohey started out building a couple of hobby cars in the 1950s. "Powered by Crosley and V8 60 engines, they looked like midget racers," his son, Fred told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2020. "He took up welding after taking a night class, and started making extra money doing small jobs for people and hobby projects." In about 1963 a fellow worker of Fred wanted someone to build a frame for a hot rod, "and I recommended my dad. Before he was through, he had built the frame, installed the running gear, mounted the body and engine and transmission. Dad fell in love with the project and was upset that the guy would not sell it to him. He got a lot of his ideas from observation and magazines, like Tex Smith's XR6 which is why he used a VW front suspension," Fred explained.
After attending the 1964 Portland Roadster Show, John got serious about building a show car for himself. He visited the show to see a Ford Model A Roadster Pick Up that Fred had painted chartreuse Metalflake for Gene Barett. That ignited a spark, and "next year he entered a Maroon roadster with a silver top," Fred recalled. "He used a Model T body he found in a brier patch and a donor car with a big Hemi and push-button automatic." It received a 1932 Ford grille shell and nerf bars. He called his first build the 2E-"T".
Sold to Michael Cocciolo
Michael Cocciolo bought the car from John in 1967. "I was 18," he told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in November of 2021. "I bought the car while I was living with my aunt in Eugene on River Road. It was very powerful with a Hemi 332 V8, at least that's what I believe, and a 2-speed DeSoto push-button transmission, rag top, and no seat belts. Way too much car for an 18-year-old kid," Michael recalled. "If you punched it, the front wheels would come off the ground." Michael was a rodder from the start right in 1964, when he got his license. "Cars were my passion, and I had a 56 Ford for my first car. Then a real car, a 1963 Chevy Biscayne 2-door 409 4 speed factory race car." After a summer of racing to show off the Chevy 409, they sold those cars to Chevy dealers. and Michael bought it from the son of one of those dealers. "What a car! Factory headers and a 4 barrel carb. Right around 350hp. White tuck and roll interior. Factory tach. What a car! Mag wheels!" Michael sold the Biscayne for $1000 to buy the bucket-t, and he recalled that he had trouble trying not to get into trouble with it because the cops kept an eye on it. "Also everyone with a hot car wanted to race me stoplight to stoplight. It also didn't have a license plate light, no windshield wiper, and was an inch too low. I got some warnings and trying to drive it to see my girl in Coquille on the weekends was getting old, so I decided to sell it."
Sold to a Kid in Cottage Grove
"There was a dragstrip out west 11th heading towards Veneta. The beltline was brand new, so I drove down River Road got on the beltline, and headed west. I wanted to blow the carbon out of it, so I punched it and really let it wind up. The plan was to get a pit pass, put a for sale sign on it run it down the drag strip a few times, and see if anyone was interested. So, I pulled in, bought the pit pass, and put it in gear to pull away, and the entire rear end broke loose from the frame and it skidded forward on the frame leaving everything on the ground behind the car! Five minutes before I was on the freeway going a hundred miles per hour. I never drove the car again." Michael had the car put back together again, and he sold it to a kid in Cottage Grove, "or actually traded it for a 1963 Pontiac Catalina hot rod, but that's another story."
Where is it now?
Fred Toohey is currently trying to locate his dad's old show rods. Do you know anything about the kid in Cottage Grove? Or do you know what happened to it after Michael sold it? Please get in touch with Kustomrama at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any info to share about the 2E-T.
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