Michael Lamm's 1930 Ford

From Kustomrama
Jump to: navigation, search
Mike found his hot rod as a roller in 1951 and bought an engine, transmission, Columbia axle and radiator at a local wrecking yard. He had the car up and running within a few months. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
Mike was working two jobs as well as attending school. This is a photo from his high-school yearbook. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
Fuel tank stood in the trunk. Mike had the Model A roadster body painted Texas Tan, added Pontiac tail lights and twin exhausts. The 1932 Ford frame had been zeed by the previous owner. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
Mike shaved the heads and added a Thickstun intake manifold with two Stromberg 97s. He could never afford aluminum heads nor headers. That’s the tach drive on the firewall and an oogah horn on the frame rail. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
Seat came out of a Ford Anglia, upholstered in tan-and-green plaid nylon, with green door and kick panels. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
Motorboat windshield used flat glass, and Mike soon replaced the cracked right side. Instruments and dash panel were from a 1940 Ford pickup, steering wheel was Nash. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
The pinion spline on the Columbia rear axle was worn, so the collar that connected the shortened driveshaft often rounded out. Mike could install a new collar in less than an hour. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
This is Mike’s best friend in high school, Mike Eaker. The two chummed around together in the hot rod and still kept in touch in 2018. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
A photo of Mike taken in 1953 or 1954 during his senior year in high school. After driving the hot rod for about 18 months, he stumbled onto a 1932 Cadillac V-16 sedan that he simply had to have. he bought the Cadillac for $90 and sold the hot rod for $450. Some kid in the next town bought it. From then until he went away to college in late 1954, the V-16 served as his daily driver. He has no idea what became of the hot rod. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.
For Mike’s 70th birthday, his middle son, Charlie, built a model of his hot rod, using the above photos for reference. Nothing could have warmed Mike’s heart more. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamm.

1930 Ford Model A roadster owned by Michael Lamm of La Feria, Texas. In 1951, when he was 15 years old, Mike came across what was left of a hot rod that somebody had started to build a few years earlier. In 2018 Mike told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that it was essentially a roller, "no engine, no transmission—but I could see great potential in it. So, with stars in my eyes and very little cash in my pocket, I bought the roller for $20—a lot of money back then, especially for a kid making 35 cents an hour working after school, weekends and summers."[1]


Deuce Rails

Mike had two jobs, "actually, one at Miller’s Garage and the other at Joe Machner’s Humble filling station. This was in my hometown, La Feria, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The weather in South Texas is a lot like Southern California’s, warm and sunny, so we could work outside on cars year around. The hot rod, such as it was, had a 1930 Ford Model A roadster body on 1932 Ford frame rails. The rear frame kickup had been Z'ed, which gave the car quite a nice stance. Other modifications included a 1940 Ford pickup instrument panel, steering column from a 1949 Nash, and a special pitman arm that was stouter and longer than normal, giving the car quicker steering than was usual in 1950s American cars." The windshield came from a motorboat.[1]


Texas Tan

A 1948 Mercury 59-AB V8 was soon bought from a local wrecking yard, "and also a 1939 Ford three-speed transmission. The fellow who ran the yard threw in a Columbia two-speed rear axle plus a radiator," Mike told Kustomrama. "I think the whole ensemble cost me less than $60. Before I put the thing together, I sanded the body and had it painted a Hudson color called Texas Tan. I brush-painted the 17-inch wire wheels a complementary Hudson hue, Boston Ivory. The frame and chassis got a coat of gloss black. The car had no seat when I got it, so I bought one out of a Ford Anglia and had it upholstered in a plaid nylon weave, with green diamond-tufted door and kick panels, which I made myself. But keep in mind, I was only a callow teenager, so my tastes ran to the bizarre. To my mind, here was a car that embodied total coolness and style." Mike also added Pontiac tail lights and twin exhausts.[1]

The Only Hot Rod Roadster in Town

Mike had the hot rod up and running within a couple of months, and he owned the only hot rod roadster in La Feria, "There were no clubs, of course, and the enthusiasm for hot rods and collectible cars hadn't really taken off in 1951, not in South Texas. There were a few kids in other towns who had hot rods and modified production cars, but it was all very grass roots and disorganized. Occasionally we'd get together at a drive-in in Harlingen or at the drag strip near Port Isabel, but mostly we were lone wolves. What brought us together, I think and inspired us was Hot Rod Magazine. I joined NHRA fairly early, but for several years it was only a sticker."[1]


School and Racing

The heads were shaved before Mike added a Thickstun intake manifold with two Stromberg 97s. He could never afford aluminum heads nor headers. "Meanwhile I was also buying and selling other cars on the side, sometimes making a dollar or two but mostly not. I drove the hot rod to school, did a lot of stop-light dragging and occasionally entered formal drag races which, at that time, were held at a decommissioned submarine base near Port Isabel, on the gulf coast. I didn’t do particularly well as a drag racer, but the car was great fun to drive and had lots of personality. I’ve owned dozens of open cars since then, and I think that in each one I’ve been trying to find and duplicate that wonderful combination of sophistication and crudeness that formed the hallmark of my hot rod."[1]


Replaced With a Cadillac

"After driving the hot rod for about 18 months, I stumbled onto a 1932 Cadillac V-16 sedan that I simply had to have. I bought the Cadillac for $90 and sold the hot rod for $450. Some kid in the next town bought it. From then until I went away to college in late 1954, the V-16 served as my daily driver. I have no idea what became of the hot rod and, as I say, I’ve been searching for a replacement ever since. Never really found one," Mike told Sondre 67 years later.[1]


References



Promote your shop, show or business on Kustomrama - This ad space can also be bought to promote cars for sale or to hunt down rare parts you're looking for. Click here for more info...

 

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.




Help Us Make This Article Better

If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about Michael Lamm's 1930 Ford, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: mail@kustomrama.com.


Personal tools
Please Help Kustomrama
facebook
Recommended reading