When we asked Shyam for his ‘Concept Corner’ idea, we had absolutely no idea what to expect. He’s built the seriously tough VL on the cover of NZV8 Issue No. 122, a vehicle from a car scene more familiar with Japanese turbocharged sixes, but, during the photo shoot, he mentioned that he’d absolutely love a ’32 Ford coupe.
Well, as it turns out, none of the above is the answer, though the latter is closer to what Shyam would most like to build.
“I’d love a chopped, channelled, and sectioned 1928 Ford Model A that’s just low and in your face,” Shyam explains.
“To get the body proportions right, it’d need a bit of bodywork. This would start with a nine-inch roof chop, as well as a subtle shortening of the body by around three inches. The body would also have to be channelled over the chassis rails, to get the ride height looking right. Paint would be fully blacked out — it’s the kind of car that just looks bad; it needs to be black.
“I’d want it pretty much sitting on the ground, which means the chassis would also need to be custom, with a big kick up for the front and rear axles.
“To keep the ‘traditional’ look, the car would need a four-bar front end. For that, it’d be easiest just to grab off-the-shelf stuff — So-Cal I-beam drop axle, transverse leaf spring, that sort of stuff. Big, finned Buick drum brakes would be cool, but So-Cal also makes a disc brake kit that has a finned drum–style cover, so that’d probably be preferable. A Ford nine-inch on coilovers out back would get the job done.
“For wheels, I’d have to go with some Rally America wires, 18×4-inch up front and 20×5½-inch at the back — in black, of course. They’d still have that traditional look, but wouldn’t look too out of place, since the car’d be so chopped and low.
“I’d have to go with a Ford flathead for the engine. I like big power, but you can’t really put any other motor in this car. A built bottom end, decent cam, twin Stromberg 97s, and Lake-style headers would be all it needed — maybe an alternator and modern ignition system, too. It’d also need a manual gearbox; I’d go for something cheap and easy, like a BorgWarner T5, which should make it pretty fun to thrash.
“Inside would be nice and simple — some aluminium seats with black quilted leather cushioning, and bead-rolled sheet-metal trim on the floor and door cards. You don’t need anything else in one of these.”
As far as show-quality, street-driven cars go, Shyam’s looking from one extreme to the other. Hopefully, we’ll see his dream hot rod come to fruition — it’d be one bad mother.