The Wanderer

This 1930 Ford Model “A” 2-door sedan is owned by Richard Rossi, Port Orange, Florida. He has owned it since 1966 but his tale goes back even farther than that! He started down this road when he was 12 - his older brother having owned a gas station at the time - so he hung around doing small jobs. His brother gave him a ‘55 Chevy at 12 and he was hooked! He later bartered some paint/body-work for another car (a ‘56), of which he used all the drive train to update his 55. He was becoming very good at body-work and mechanicals so he was definitely getting the experience he needed.

He managed to acquire a ‘34 Ford at 13 years old but when his brother closed the garage sometime later, he lost it as it was parked in that garage and everything went! His Dad was feeling pretty bad over all this and so “loaned” him $350 to purchase this ‘30 Sedan. Richard had a paper route and worked hard to pay it all off very quickly. Richard was the SECOND OWNER! It had 99k miles on it, with all the receipts even and many of his uncles encouraged him to keep it stock - NOT what Richard wanted to hear.

Richard wanted a Hot Rod but started off doing the car over, keeping it all stock for 13 years. Then in 1983 - he had enough! He and his brother went about chopping the top, throwing on another set of wheels. Richard was lucky, his whole family was involved in some way or another with a body shop and cars. This is where he learned the trade, working at it full-time for about 4 years. The first Chopped top was a 3 and a half inch shop. This didn’t last long as they soon took another 1.5 inches out and this is how the car rolled - four cylinder and all - for a few more years.

1985 rolled along and Richard had decided he was going to completely upgrade the car with a new owner-built chassis. He sold the old chassis complete - to keep it all intact for someone looking to restore another original car. Several partial frames were lying around Dad’s backyard so he built a chassis out of them, using old wishbones as cross members, boxing it all for strength and even adding a Kugel Front End in ‘86 ($3500 alone at this time). A Corvette rear was added too, as well as an engine out of a friends old chevy; a 400 small block with a 400 Turbo Trans. A Power rack and pinion from a Dodge Omni and four wheel disc brakes (JFZ calipers - 4 piston- came with the Kugel front end) were added also at this time. 

Just when he was getting it all going - a lady broadsided him in 1988! His skill as a body man was put to good use and he got it all fixed up and in primer- even adding some flames to spruce it up a bit he says. Life’s journey took its turn and the car, although a driver, sat in red primer for a long time - so long in fact that it all came back into style (aka rat rod) so it’s still left this way he says because HE likes it. The interior is a blended appointment of new/old and this and that - including a 55 Buick speedometer and telescopic steering wheel/column out of an old Caddy. NO A/C, No power windows but its an all real “old” steel, runs and drives great and it’s “Wandered” everywhere he says. How many can say they’ve owned a neat ride for 50 years! We definitely are digging it Richard - cool ride! 

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