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FOR SALE: 1930 Ford Tudor

by Dave on September 6, 2017


Hot rod guys, upon hearing the word customized, will conjure up images of tail fins, canted headlights, and frenched antennas. But custom work, even when ambitious, can be very subtle. “What’s going on here? Why’s that look so good?” Bob Achterberg’s Model A tudor falls into this second category.

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Bob has contributed more cars, motorcycles, parts and knowledge to the local scene than just about anyone. In the rambling shop behind his home this tudor shares space with a flathead-powered Deuce five window, a drop dead gorgeous ’47 Merc convertible, and an impressive pack of vintage motorcycles.

Bob does all his own work, including paint. This car is a good example. He started with the chop — 3 inches in back, 3 ½ in front — then filled the roof with the top from an early-60’s Chevy wagon. The real work came when he got to the windshield. Eliminating the Model A visor and blending in a ’34 frame and surround makes such a pleasing modification that you wonder why it’s not done more often. The answer is simple. It’s a shitload of work. Add a ’38 dash with functioning windshield crank-out hardware and you’ve got a real project on your hands.

Bob got it done — including nailing all the proportions — then shot the body in a Nason single stage urethane. Bob’s wife Lynne helped pick the color, it’s one of those cool shades of blue/green/grey that manage to look both vintage and hip at the same time.

Bob builds real hot rods and this one’s no exception. The motor is a big Chrysler Hemi, bored .125 over to 354 inches. It’s fully rebuilt including an Isky B-777 cam and features adjustable pushrods and a Chevy water pump conversion set-up from Hot Heads. The intake is a vintage 4×2 Weiand topped with four Stromberg 48’s. Spark comes courtesy of a Tom Cirello-built Vertex magneto and exhaust exits through headers and a stainless exhaust system Bob built himself.

The transmission, a ’37 Cadillac, couldn’t be more traditional. Coveted for its strength, it was the go-to transmission when OHV engines began delivering more horsepower and torque than Ford gearboxes could handle. The conversion was so popular that adapters became available in speed shops and mail order catalogs. While hard to find today, Bob scored one and combined it with a Caddy transmissions he had stashed up under his workbench. The result was a setup beefy enough to handle the big Hemi.

The rear end is a nine inch Ford with big bearing, 31-spline axles. The 3.00 ratio combines nicely with the gearing in the trans to make the car an enjoyable driver.

The frame rails are Model A with stock front and rear crossmembers. Bob boxed the rails, built his own middle crossmember, then had the entire chassis powdercoated.

Bob found a ’36 front axle that had been drilled, but unfortunately whoever did the work couldn’t find the centerline of the web. Bob saved it by incorporating the seemingly random set of holes into a pattern of machined slots. It’s located by a pair of SoCal hairpins and polished batwings, a reversed-eye Posies spring, and a Bob-built Panhard bar. Steering is through a Vega box, the tie rod and drag link are polished stainless.

The rear end is hung on a pair of coilovers mounted ahead of the axle. It’s located by split ’36 wishbones and a second Bob-built Panhard bar.

The front brakes combine ’39 Ford backing plates with ’41 Lincoln drums. Out back the brakes are two-inch Ford drums with parking brake. Wheels are from Circle Racing, 4 ½ x 15 inch in front and 7 x 15 inch in the rear. Bob had them bead blasted for a uniform finish. Tires are freeway-friendly radials.

Inside the car, Bob’s installed a ’38 Ford dash that he filled and redrilled for a set of Stewart Warner “Green Line” gauges. As noted, the windshield crank-out is fully operational and, behind the glove box door, there’s a cavernous glove compartment.

For a front seat Bob chose a ’37 Ford split bench, for the rear he chose a Model A. Both seats, along with the panels and headliner, are trimmed in a neutral-colored vinyl. Bob came across an entire roll of black Volvo wool carpet and had that installed on the floors. The front kick panels are chrome diamond plate, a gift from a local Bonneville veteran. The beveled glass rear window is a gift from a Santa Cruz artist that bought a roadster from Bob a few years back.

With all that torque and horsepower this little tudor is an absolute blast to drive. At the same time, it has the kind of road manners you’d expect from an experienced builder. There are no rattles, clanks or squeaks. The car shifts and brakes smoothly — and tracks without drift, straight down the highway, even at speed. Fully insulated, the interior is tight and comfortable; the only sound you really hear is the beautiful music coming out of that big Hemi. With just under a couple of thousand miles on the clock the car is fully sorted out and dialed in. It needs nothing except a new owner.

Asking $35K   Call Bob Achterberg at 831-999-0946


1930 Ford Tudor — Specifications


’30 Ford tudor, chopped 3 inches in back, 3 1/2” in front.

’34 Ford windshield and surround, modified Ford rear fenders

Original ’32 Ford grille shell, aftermarket insert

Arrow headlights

Modified ‘37 Ford tail lights, owner-fabricated stainless trim, modified ’32 Ford stands


Single stage urethane enamel, owner-applied


Fully insulated

’37 Ford front seat, Model A rear seat

Vinyl trim, Volvo wool carpet

Modified ’38 Ford dash, crank-out windshield

15” ’40 Ford style steering wheel, chrome column

Vintage Stewart Warner Green gauges


Ford Model A, boxed and powder coated

Model A front and rear cross members, owner-fabricated center cross member


’36 Ford front axle, drilled, undropped

SoCal hairpins and batwings, Posies reversed eye spring

’39 Ford spindles

 Owner-fabricated Panhard bar

Vega steering box


9 inch Ford rear end, 3.00 gears, big bearing 31-spline axles

Split ’36 wishbones, forward-mounted coil over’s, owner-fabricated Panhard bar


’39 Ford backing plates, ’41 Lincoln drums


2 inch Ford drum with parking brake


15 x 4 1/2 Circle Racing Gasser wheels, aluminum, unpolished

5 on 5 ½ bolt pattern

165/80R15 radial tires


15 x 7 Circle Racing Gasser wheels, aluminum, unpolished

5 on 5 ½ bolt pattern

235/70R15 radial tires


331 inch Chrysler Hemi, bored 0.125 over to 354 inches, fully rebuilt and balanced

Isky B-777 cam

Hot Heads adjustable pushrods

Vintage Weiand 4X2 intake manifold

Stromberg 48 carbs

Tom Cirello-built Vertex magneto

Electric fuel pump, Hot Heads Chevy water pump conversion

Owner-fabricated headers and stainless exhaust system


1937 Cadillac, vintage Cad-to-Hemi adapter


’32 Ford 4-cylinder radiator

’32 Ford gas tank, new

DynaBat compact battery, with quick-connect for battery tender

E-Z wiring harness









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