Pete met Cambra while he was building cars from his home shop and the “A” project relocated when Cambra opened the doors to Cambra Speed Shop in Orange, California. The starting point was a $400 1930 Model A coupe body Pete found behind a coffee roasting company’s alley in Hayward, California, and hauled south. At Cambra’s home shop he told Pete the coupe body was rusted junk and he needed to find something in better condition. The search led to Craigslist where Pete found a complete running 1930 Model A and swapped bodies. The running Swiss cheese Model A was flipped on Craigslist.
Ever since his early childhood, checking out competition-style coupes at the Oakland Roadster Show, Pete had in mind what the hot rod he’d own someday should look like. Years later it was at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California, where Pete spotted a coupe built by Pinkee’s Rod Shop and dug the profile of the frame.
You guessed it, the starting point was a custom-spec’d Deuce frame from Pinkee’s Rod Shop. On pinched rails the full chrome frontend is a Super Bell axle with SO-CAL spindles steered with a Vega box. SO-CAL shocks damp the front with SO-CAL Buick-style Alfin drums concealing Wilwood disc brakes. The full chrome rear suspension orbits around a Ford 9-inch differential by J&S Gear Co. packed with 4.11 gears and Truetrac limited slip. Aldan shocks and Ford 11-inch drum brakes occupy the outer extremities. Chrome and more chrome, Wheelsmith chrome reverse wheels all around—15×8 in the rear shod with 8.20×15 Radir pie-crust cheater slicks and 15×5 wheels up front shod with 5.60×15 VW Bug tires.
A big, ol’, hairy Hampton 6-71 blower carbureted with a triplet of Rochester two-barrel 2GCs feed the 383-inch Chevy built by John Hollins at Hollins Machine Shop. Induction air filtration is through three Lucky’s Speed Shop foghorns. A Scat crank adds the stroke and an octuplet of 7:1 J&E pistons with a roller Comp Cams blower grind cam does the dirty work. The cooling system behind a chopped Deuce shell with a Dan Fink grille is a U.S. Radiator brass and copper radiator with coolant circulated via a Weiand aluminum water pump. Those are Moon finned aluminum valve covers and there are no mufflers or tailpipes. Cambra Speed Shop fabricated the 4-into-2 headers. Ignition is provided with a PerTronix Flame Thrower dizzy and coil strung with Top Street Performance 8mm plug wires. Gasoline is held in an 11-gallon Moon tank.
What isn’t chromed is polished. The transmission is a fully polished Hurst-shifted Muncie alloy four-speed behind a chromed scatter shield housing a McLeod clutch and steel flywheel. The propeller shaft is from Driveline Inc.
The 4-1/2-inch chopped and channeled coupe’s styling cues are pure ’60s show-and-go, dialed right in with Deuce wheelwells grafted to match the exact radius of the cheater slicks. The floors and recessed firewall were fabricated by Ryan and Ronnie Cambra, respectively. The PPG custom paint really makes it tasty. Think a two-tone blackened sunburst Teisco Del Rey Japanese electric guitar with Candyapple red on the bottom and Candyapple red metalflake on the roof. Pete credited PPG big wigs Paul Stoll and Frank Ramos in addition to Cambra Speed Shop’s in-house magician, Hitoshi Umekage, for the coupe’s custom paint.
Sixties custom painters came up with some goofy paint tricks that can look pretty good. The graphics are step-shaded and fogged panels with big pearlescent gold blobs in the center, accomplished by pouring on the paint in a circular motion, traced with a blast of air from the gun, and oxygen-free acetylene smoke.
62cc Brush Cutter
Looking through custom auto glass by Eddie Kotto, the black with accenting gray tuck ’n’ roll Naugahyde upholstery is by Martin at T3 Custom Interiors. A wild custom dash is always a trick feature to have in a ’60s-style show car. A 1959 Chevy Impala gauge cluster packed with Classic Instruments faces front and center in between a Model A and Deuce dash top and bottom. The Covico-style black vinyl–dipped chrome three-spoke steering wheel is by Grant. The sparkly black carpet is re-popped 1959 Chrysler Imperial fare. Bent from 4130 chromoly steel tubing the four-point rollbar was done in-house at Cambra Speed Shop with comp-style seatbelts to complete the look.
The wiring as well as all stainless steel plumbing was done by Cambra’s Mike Swan. Everything about Pete’s show-and-go Model A comp coupe stands out, in particular the massive amounts of custom chrome plating and polishing by Jeff Agdeppa. And now after debuting at the 2019 Grand National Roadster Show, Pete, with 10 years of dedication and gobs of help from Cambra’s Speed Shop, was able to prove to his friends he really does own a hot rod.
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