Since the birth of the automobile in the late 1800s, car owners have sought to make cars go faster. This led to stripping away any unwanted weight including fenders, running boards, seats, etc. and increasing the engines performance. This quest for speed gave birth to what we know today as the Hot Rod. Fords were favored by many early Hot Rodders for their lightweight bodies and powerful Flathead V8 engines. These early cars set the bar for what are still considered today some of the coolest rides on the strip or street.
Today, many of those early Hot Rods still set themselves apart from the rest but with a more modern take. We caught up with avid Hot Rodder Dan Ruecker of Oakdale, Minnesota, at a recent car event and had to take a closer look at Dan’s unique take on this classic American ride. Originally this 1929 Model A Ford was Dan’s grandfather’s car, and after being owned by several family members, it made its way to him. At first glance, Dan’s 1929 Model A may resemble many other Hot Rods you’ve seen, but closer inspection reveals this iconic beast is powered by a 360 cubic inch MoPar engine with a high-rise manifold topped with two 4-bbl carbs. Behind that potent powerhouse is a 904 automatic transmission and an 8-3/4 MoPar rear axle with coil-over shocks and ladder-bar suspension.
True to Hot Rodder form, Ruecker modified a set of small block Chevy headers to give his ride a distinctive sound and laid on several coats of House of Kolor Tangerine Kandy to make certain you’d notice it. Getting his ride down in the weeds meant installing a 6-inch drop front axle paired with a set of front disc brakes to help keep everything under control. The steering was completed with a reversed Corvair gearbox, while CPP provided the power to the brakes.
Completing the look of an Early Hot Rod, Dan chose aircraft bomber-style seats to give his ride that nostalgic look. Even though this car had been in his family since it was new, Dan (with the help of a close friend) completed the rebirth of this great ride in roughly two years, although he admits this required many nights and weekends in the shop. If you see this great ride at a local show, be certain to say hello and take a moment to appreciate this awesome 1929 Model A two-door sedan.