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Ebony Special TROG Racer

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Ebony Special TROG Racer

By Joe Lockwood

The initial message from Joe Lockwood was simple enough: “I am wondering if you guys might be interested in putting my 1930 Model A Coupe that I raced in the 2015 and 2016 Race of Gentlemen. I built this car for the race back in August of 2015.” We said yes and he did the rest. – Alan Mayes

Eight years ago, I was out scouting the back roads for any old cars and stumbled onto an old forgotten salvage yard way up in the woods in Windsor, New York. The gentleman that owned it was a very pleasant guy with whom I had become good friends over the years.

Most of the stuff in the yard was in rough shape and mainly from the 1940s-1950s, with a handful of stuff from the ‘30s. All of them were in need of lower panels. But I remember spotting the Model A coupe and with excitement I had asked him if it was for sale and he politely said “no,” that he has had the car since 1962 and still was puttering with it and that someday he would like to get it back on the road. So that day I ended up buying a clapped out 1930 Model A truck cab.

As the years went by, I continued to go to his yard to buy stuff and trade parts with him, asking him every now and then if he was ready to let the coupe go. He always politely declined. Then about five years ago, he asked me if I would help him to find parts for the coupe. I helped him to get a better stock “banger” for it, and other pieces here and there. Then he and I both got busy with our personal lives and he wasn’t able to put forth the effort into the coupe. Eventually, he moved it out of the woods and over to his stone quarry, where it sat until February of 2014. I thought that maybe he would be interested in trading for a car that he could work on and that was in way nicer condition. So I called him up and offered to trade him my 1931 Chevy 2-door sedan that came out of Montana. He came down to the house and looked the sedan over and we made the deal.

He asked me was what I was going to do with the coupe and I told him I was going to chop it and put a flathead Ford V8 in it, so he said he would like to have the original Model A 4-banger. He gave me a 59AB flattie that was sitting 100 feet away from the coupe on a pallet. He said he had started the engine and let it run every now and then on the pallet, so he knew it was good.

Later in the year I took my 1939 Ford to the first Customs by the Sea show in Wildwood, New Jersey, held in conjunction with the 2014 Race of Gentlemen. After watching my buddies and fellow club member out on the beach beating the hell out of their hot rods, I was hooked.

As soon as I got home, I decided that I would make my Model A coupe into a TROG race car. I chopped it seven inches, moved the engine back five inches, built all new floors and redid the lower patch panels. With my two middle boys, who are 14 and 12 years old, we hand made an aluminum louvered hood.

I then decided to brush paint the entire car with black enamel and letter it up with a traditional feel, and added the Felix art on the roof insert to pay homage the Navy Tomcatters, being that my great-grandfather had been in the US Navy during WWII and always talked about them. The “#425” on the doors was my 16-year-old son’s idea and I decided to name the car the “Ebony Special” after my youngest daughter, who is 6-years-old, and who fell in love with the coupe the day I brought it home.

Tech Sheet

Owner/Builder: Joe Lockwood

Occupation: Artist

Location: Binghamton, NY

Vehicle: 1930 Ford Model A coupe

Chop: 7”

Hood: Handmade louvered aluminum

Grille: 1932 Ford, custom aluminum insert

Paint: Black enamel

Custom Graphics: Lettered by owner

Engine: 1946 Ford 59AB flathead (bored .040” over) making it a 245 C.I. set back 5 inches

Tranny: 1939 Ford 3-spd. top loader

Intake & Carbs: Weiand 2×2 intake w/Holley 94 carbs

Heads: Weiand

Ignition: 1950 Ford 8BA distributor

Exhaust: Custom open race headers

Rear End: 1946 Ford

Brakes: 1946 Ford drums

Wheels: 1940 Ford 16” w/1940 Ford caps & rings

Tires: F- 5.50-16 Coker/Firestone ribbed bias-ply; R- 7.50-16 bias-ply

Seats: 1949 Willys Jeep wagon buckets

Upholstery: Black vinyl (by Imogene Lockwood)

Dashboard: Eelco 3-gauge cluster (oil, temp, voltage)

Car Club: Villains

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