For many years, I have re-built and modified cars, doing engine swaps etc. but I have always wanted to build my own car, a Hotrod or a Cobra replica. The Hotrod is the favorite though and following the sale of a few of my treasured possessions, I have raised some funds to make a start.

The "Plan":-

1930 all steel coupe body, unchopped

Chev 350cu inch 2nd gen 240kW (320hp)

Turbo 700/R4 auto trans

Stainless independent front end

Ford 8" rear on stainless 4 bars

Billett "Thruster" wheels, 7 x 15 and 6 x 15

These pages and pictures are my attempt to show some of the intricacies of building a Hotrod. I have found that very few of the many small "projects" that culminate with a Hotrod are documented any where that I can find, even in the many "how to build a Hotrod" type texts. These pages then, are some snippets of my approach to building a rod and should be taken as a guide only. If you wish to use any of this material, do so, but be aware that they are my ideas only. As stated elsewhere, this is my first Rod and if you can contribute any ideas or see flaws in my ideas, please let me know!

Although I'm not generally a Ford fan, my favorite early car is the 1930/31 A model Ford Coupe.  After several years of looking and procrastination, on the 18th Feb 1998, I bought one! Actually, a rough outer body shell only, with a chassis, an 8" diff and front mudguards included in the deal.  The body and guards (fenders) need LOTS of repair work. This is the start of my dream hotrod.

They say that an "A" model Ford is one of the easiest Rods to build. This may be so, as many repro parts are available, but it's easy to underestimate the amount of work required on a steel car. Many repro parts are pretty poor quality and need work before they can be fitted.

The chassis was built at Vintage and Classic Garage in Melbourne (thanks Geoff and Ian {now at TCR}) as my expertise(?) lies more in the body work side of things. It has been boxed and stepped up at the rear by 2.75".  The chassis now has a central cross member different to the "K" member usually fitted to an A model Ford rod. I didn't want to be the same as everyone else, so my basic idea of a central 4"x 2" cross tube fitted with a pair of fore and aft 1.25" round tubes running from the brake pedal area, back to just in front of the rear axle, was executed brilliantly by Ian.

This is what I started with. A basic body shell, which had been imported from the USA in 1998, with a chassis and two battered front fenders. The chassis was badly damaged, along with the left fender. I later picked up another fender, rear fenders and hood from swap meets. Now, it's all steel!
To massage all that real steel into shape, I enrolled in a vehicle restoration course at a local college, which I attend once a week.

At the front right hand side, the brake pedal brackets have been incorporated and at the rear, the XA Falcon brake booster and master cylinder. A Wilwood proportioning valve is also fitted. On the left side of the chassis, at the rear, the battery container is incorporated into the tube work also. The battery will be a Mercedes Benz style (DIN 55) which is a low profile type, with recessed terminals. I dismantled the body panels for rust repairs and used a molasses bath to de-rust all the panels, rather than sandblasting, which is too harsh on old metal.

Engine is crate Chev 350, trans is T700.

Mid 1998

For more information on the restoration of the body and other details, click below.

These Rod pages are dedicated to my friend and Mother, Val, who passed away suddenly on May 7th 2000.

No guarantees are given or implied as to the suitability of this material for any purpose whatsoever.

Updated 13-Aug-2010

This page will constantly be under construction, as will the Rod !!!  

E-mail, especially if building a 30/31 coupe, or any Hotrod.

Due to spam, copy this address and remove the text in capitals first !

Please make sure you have a suitable subject matter on your email or I will NOT OPEN it, due to the threat of a VIRUS

also, Make sure you have a valid return address !!

I answer all mail, but some of you have invalid email address.

Glenn's Auto Home page

(My other stuff !)

Building a 1930 Ford coupe Hotrod Updated 13-Aug-2010

The Body

The Chassis

De rusting panels


T700 auto trans

Firewall, recessed

Body repairs

Bobbing Fenders

Door repairs

New floor frame

New floor

Rear panels

fitting a Sunroof

Making a Gas door

Steelout of body

s/s Exhaust system

Exhaust system more.

Making New gutters

Making a trunk lid

Making centre stoplight

Making gas tank

Making radiator rods

Making an overflow tank

Fitting screen wipers

Fitting heater / demister

Fitting steering column

Steering setup

Windscreen problems



some Mates rods

Body assembly

Making a Trans Shifter

Seat mounting

Making Trans cover

Making a new Hood top

Making new hood sides

Making door skins

Making front Valance panel

Hammer form Access


Side Project:- repairing a Cowl


The specifications

Mar 2001
Jan 2002 in Hi Fill
So, have a look around the various stages of my Rod buildup, by clicking on any item of interest, below.

Jan. 5th 2003, after some work modifying and mounting front fender brackets, to clear the IFS.

Sitting nice and low and starting to look like a Hotrod now !!

The hood has been made and fitted also. See pages to left.

Handbrake page is new and shows current progress. A master switch has been fitted in the area also. No pics. yet.

Progress made on access doors to the battery and master cylinder. Hammer forming access doors

Have now primed (undercoated) and fitted front fenders, headlight bar and working on front valance panel details. It seems that when you re fit parts thate were fine before, they don't quite fit the same again !

Repro running boards don't fit (nothing repro fits !)so Iresorted to slotting the (repro) bracket holes to lower the running boards slightly.

Feb 2007 building a stainless steel exhaust system. Pics here...

July 2010 Yes, I am still working on the car. Slowly, admittedly

I need to find a new engineer also, to do my car. It seems that there are not too many left now, who will do a Hotrod in Melbourne. Alternative is to go "Street Rod" reg here in Victoria.

Current work:-

Our trip to York, USA Hotrod Nationals

May 2004 On a business trip to the USA, I managed to visit Brookville Roadsters in OHIO. Thanks Bill & Rick.

What an incredible site seeing so many STEEL A Model and 32 Roadsters under construction. Pity I could not fit one into my suitcase to bring home for a new project LOL

the car on Christmas Day, 2004.


Click to view other body assembly items:-

Click to view other body assembly items:-