From sunny California to the historic streets of Belgium, a custom hot rod build has made a long journey to its new owner.
BY: TONY AND CARMEN MATHEWS
1928 FORD MODEL A
StanceWorks, an automotive lifestyle blog created by car enthusiasts Mike Burroughs and Andrew Ritter from California, was founded in 2009 and is a place where people who are passionate about cars, share a love for pushing the boundaries of wheel fitment and stance. Their dream was to create and inspire an international community to be open-minded with their cars, to allow them to think freely and become super creative in the process. Their vision is to reach as many people as possible to liberate their minds of what a car should look like or what its purpose should be. I can truly relate to these two guys, as we are always on the lookout for cars that stand out from the crowd, and as you can see from this insane customised 1928 Ford A with BMW engine, we want to expose the most creative projects on the planet.
It has to be said that Mike, who is the proud builder of this hot rod, has a major love for BMW and this can be seen in his previous cars like a ’71 BMW E9 to the world famous ’89 325i called “Rusty”, a car that has taken many forms over the last five years. Its last look took Mike’s inspiration level to overdrive after it was partially destroyed in a garage fire, resulting in a rat-look masterpiece on gold Rotiform wheels, and it became an Internet sensation overnight. So why did Mike choose a rat rod as his next project? He was looking for a challenge and truly built a car from the ground up. With his “Rusty” project, he felt like he had mostly done a bolt-on job instead of a complete build. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it didn’t satisfy his hunger and what he was searching for was a car that would teach him in many ways – about cars, history, fabrication, and most importantly, about himself.
Mike had always been inspired by hot rods and started searching Craigslist for one, but he had little idea of what he wanted – only that it should be from the late ‘20s to early ‘30s. There were plenty available, but it needed to be exceptional for him to buy one. The car had to say “hot rod”, and after much searching, he came across a 1928 Ford Model A pickup, which was perfect, as it was a truck with a great history and it had all the elements for a ground-up build.
The old body sat atop the original frame with a complete driveline, with the original 3.3 litre engine, 3-speed manual gearbox and even the mechanical brakes. Although the body was almost completely intact, there was no interior, and hinges or latches with which to put it all back together. For the price tag of $3000 it was the perfect find, and even better after negotiating the price to $2200! So how hard would it be to build this piece into Mike’s vision? He took it back home from Pete’s Rod and Custom Shop to start the process. It was clear from the attempted roof chop that someone had started work on the old girl, but never finished, with all the parts either leaning against one another or bonded together with duct tape. Mike didn’t care as he finally felt like a hot rodder. Having had no experience with this type of truck, it was a trial and error build and he had to source information from the H.A.M.B forum. One of the main goals was to get it sitting as low as possible and seeing that he wanted to build the chassis from scratch, it meant that Mike had to think far ahead to ensure all the parts would fit perfectly together.
By how much would he channel the body and where would it sit in relation to the wheels and suspension were some of the many questions Mike had before the build. The sketches were drawn up and Mike went for it – ending up with a masterpiece – even adding some BMW essence with a BMW M60 engine, which was sourced from a ’95 BMW 740. The 4.0 litre overhead cam V8 pushes out around 300bph and 300lb-ft of torque, which in something that weighs 1500 pounds, makes for an adrenaline-pumping ride! This is a build experience that has made Mike realise what being a hot rodder is all about.