Lady’s Choice – 1927 Touring Roadster from GNRS

Hot Rod Roadster from the Grand National Roadster Show

1927 Ford Model T touring roadster, hot rod, la roadster showWhen you compete for the biggest roadster prize there is, America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (the AMBR as it’s called) you’ve already won. When you’re the second woman in the Grand National Roadster Show’s 60 year history to compete, there’s got to be a story brewing for

I first noticed Kim Vranas’ 1927 Ford Touring Roadster resting quietly, not 30 feet away from the eventual AMBR winner  named “Hot Rod Special” built at Willet Specials. Owning a 1927 roadster myself, that is in fact a cut version of the very same Model T touring body Kim chose. Trouble is, two people barely fit in my “lakes style” modified roadster. That’s why, this uncut touring was easily one of my favorites at the show. It could be a “Family Hot Rod”!

hot rods, hot rod phaeton, GNRS hot rods

Following the GNRS, the roadster took a short ride into Los Angeles to accept an invitation of the Peterson Automotive Museum.  The So-Cal show in Pomona, CA marked the “outside” debut of Kim’s hot rod with her husband Chuck getting the chance to pour in some 108 octane and blue the finely chromed headers.  Chuck’s a hot rod journalist and photographer so we had alot to talk about besides the car.

Right outta the gate, Chuck pointed out, “This is Kim’s car.” After talking for a while, I started to understand what that meant.

Hot rod drawing, hot rod art
Concept drawing keeping things on track. Artist is Ben Hermance

Kim envisioned a hot rod that held true to the late 40’s post-war style. Style, as you can see was a key element to the car’s design. Kim studied every detail to make sure they all fit the image she had. This car, as Chuck said was, “A study in design.” It shows in this 8 year build.

The ’27 Touring body, once a clown’s car in the circus was found dusty, but not cancerous in the loft above an old hot rod shop. Body on hand, the style evolved piece by vintage piece. The E&J headlights lead back to the custom rolled firewall and Schroeder steering covered by a handmade, polished blister. Each part was hand selected to fit the era, vision and design in Kim’s head.

Buick nailhead,hot rod, roadster, touring, model TKim deviated only once from the 40’s build theme in choosing  the rare 1964 Super Wildcat 425ci Buick Nailhead V-8 (with factory dual quad’s, of course) to power her hot rod touring.  A matching Muncie M20 tranny, along with the nailhead, was a Christmas gift from husband Chuck… 10 years before the build began! I wonder what was in her stocking?

Nailheads are cool, but Kim choice more importantly fit the grand design. She skipped the often done Hemi or easily chosen flathead because the Nailhead would, “look right, not too tall or wide, not cartoon-like.” Chuck remembered. The detail and blinding shine of the old Buick mill clearly showed the AMBR heritage thanks.

Nice Car - 1927-touring-roadster at So-cal Pomona, hot rod

Kim’s vision, unchanged by the build years and aided by several trusted friends and craftsmen, stood proud wearing Planet Color’s Root Beer Brown metallic paint with Larry Hook pinstriping as what Chuck called, “The least expensive car in the most expensive neighborhood.” That neighborhood is the “Granddaddy of them all” the Grand National Roadster Show.

Chuck insisted on a few “thank you’s” to the folks who helped make Kim’s vision come true:

  • Steve Pierce of One-Off Technologies did the final fabrication, assembly, and interior.
  • Eli English did the paint, bodywork, and initial assembly
  • Reid’s Automotive built the engine
  • Xtreme Restorations helped dial in the final car and give it that gleaming shine for the show.

Chuck Vranas, hot rods

As I saw Chuck drive away from So-Cal, high-test burning, the Voodoo Doll 27 touring was where it belonged, on the street.  An 8 year build, a premier indoor show and a museum stint behind them, it was time to stretch the legs. Chucks smile said, “I got it made!” but I bet Kim grabs the keys first chance she gets.

Thanks for a great car and insight into the build. I gotta ask, what’s next? Kim, are you available for a consult?