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A torsion-bar, track-nose, tube chassis, T-roadster

by Dave on March 26, 2012

A few years back, a couple of talented guys, Ron Attebury and Dick Jones, teamed up on a high tech T-roadster they hoped to offer as a kit. The car combined a space frame tube chassis and torsion bar suspension with a svelte, track-nosed fiberglass T-roadster body. Three of the kits were produced. One was nicely finished with a 4.3 liter V6 and made it into the feature pages of the 12/93 issue of Rod & Custom. A second is somewhere in the wind, its parts scattered after the owner passed away. The third eventually made its way to the garage of our friend Mason Peters.

Mason’s car had visited a number of shops over the years and each, for better or for worse, contributed to the progress of the project. Mason inherited it all. He brought the roadster into us to correct some cock-eyed fabrication problems and, hopefully, to make a little positive progress.

The four-link front end features a pair of cantilevered torsion bars and is located laterally by a roller device trapped between two rigid uprights. It all worked, except that the roller had been welded on nearly 3/8ths of an inch off center. Dimensionally and visually it threw off the entire front end. We corrected the issue, then went on to fabricate a pair of upper front shock mounts. Between them we added a threaded bung that will serve as a radiator mount.

At some point, the chassis was fitted with a hoop just under the nose for mounting the headlights. Unfortunately it was out of plumb both vertically and horizontally. While the problematic hoop was hidden by the body, the resulting asymmetrical headlight position gave the car a subtle case of Lazy Eye. We cut off the hoop and brought it back into square.

Mason had bought a set of rough cast bronze windshield posts and mocked them up on the cowl. Mason has a good eye, and had worked up a couple of windshield patterns that complimented the car’s low, slippery silhouette. We chopped the posts to his marks, then filled and ground the bases to fit the contour of the cowl. The lowered windshield made a world of difference in the look and by the end of the week this exotic little roadster was beginning to grow on us.

Once completed, we rolled Mason’s roadster up to Bill Evan’s coupe for a photo. For a couple of straight axle/skinny tire/vintage engine guys we really appreciate the fabrication work we get to do on these highly technical hot rods.

From → Past Projects

  1. Guys,

    Very nice work! Let’s get some more photos of it online so we can see the details!

  2. Lee "Hank" Tinder permalink

    …looks like a definite “show winner” and a welcome addition to the Caffeine Cruiser’s cruise-in….

  3. Jim Vail permalink

    I stopped by Mason’s place a few weeks ago. When I saw your photos I knew it was his car. Hope he gets it on the road in the next year or so. Your help should help move the project along!

  4. Nice work! That’s a badass ride. Great job.

  5. Lynn pew permalink

    Nice work guys. i love the fabrication of the one-off stuff.

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