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A Hint of Patina: Tim Rhode’s 1930 Ford Model A Pickup


Photos via Chad Truss Photography
The Ford Model A was the pinnacle of North American automotive perfection for the 4 years it was in production. When Greenfield, MN native Tim Rhode got wind that there was a 1930 Ford Model A shell lying around destined for scrap, he knew he had to rescue it and make it his own.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-001Working full-time in a laser cutting shop has plenty of advantages, namely the ability to create custom metalwork at the push of a button. Tim knew he’d have to use some of his talents to get this project complete, but little did he know how much more above and beyond he’d have to go.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-015Starting with the exterior, his first move was chopping 4″ off the top off of each support pillar and a 4″ channel cut down the middle of the car.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-013A complete motor overhaul was next on the to-do list. In went a beastly Chevy 350 with a massive 671 blower and dual Holley 600 carbs pushing nearly four times the horsepower of the stock engine.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-012Using his laser cutting knowledge, Tim sliced out many custom iron crosses and tacked them all over the car as a type of hide-and-seek adventure for casual observers.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-011Completely gutting the car allowed for a unique approach to customizing the interior. The seats were replaced with WW2 army tent wrapped benches, the dash swapped out to bare metal with cut outs for the gauges, and a unique chain link steering wheel finishes off the bare bones feeling he was after.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-008Wanting to make sure his new creation was firmly planted at all times, Tim dug up a set of 15×8″ front and 15×11″ rear Rocket Racing wheels with Mickey Thompson N50 tires.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-002When it came to bagging his ride, he knew he only had one way to go: custom. Tim fabricated a unique pair of mounts connected to a cam that rotates a torsion bar that connects to the front end which allowed for maximum travel when both driving high, and parking low.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-016The rear air ride is all centered around a custom frame made of 2×4″ tubing that dual serves as structural support and as an air tank. A single DC 5500 air compressor fills up the frame and is tied into a 10-switch switchbox in the front.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-014Looking back at his creation, Tim knew he had created a monster. This once modest Model A has been transformed into the kind of car that nightmares are made of, and I like it.1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-003In order to make his dreams come to life, Tim needed the help of one man in particular: Don Walsh at Laser 1 Tech in St. Paul, MN. With friends like him and Chad Truss for the photography, he knew he’d be all right in this project, and maybe even the next one…1930-ford-model-a-pickup-ratrod-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-airsociety-006

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