Photos and article by Etienne Fouche
Owner: Monty Booth
I love Johannesburg man!! It’s a melting pot of all types of people and is incredibly diverse.
There is the suit and tie busy bees whose lives revolve around making and closing the next elusive deal, the musicians, the artists, the Metro Police (sigh) etc. But every now and then, Jozie throws you a curve ball that hits the catcher’s mitt like a rocket and leaves you amazed.
Monty Booth is without a doubt, one of the most interesting and colourful people I have met. The man is a true Rodder and a perfectionist when it comes to his cars and how he wants them to look and perform. Now I’ve been in many workshops of all shapes and sizes but this workspace has got it going on. It’s the stuff guys like us dream of. I tried my best to swallow my jealousy but just could not stop my mouth from hanging open and letting the frequent swear word, motivated by sheer disbelief, roll off my tongue.
Strolling past a pair of Corvettes, a 454 Rat-powered Camaro, Supercharged 454 Willys Pro-street car with the biggest Mickey Thompsons I have ever seen in the back, did nothing to ease the envy attack one bit.
The final bomb dropped in the shape of a ‘32 Ford Roadster, parked in the corner of Monty’s shop as if it’s just been transferred off the glossy American pages of Street Rodder.
With a “yeah I know” grin, Monty fired her up and backed her out of her resting spot.
In the late afternoon sun the paint popped like yin/yang in contrast to the winter landscape. Monty custom mixed the paint himself, using yellow and red base coat, with gold pearl and a touch of micro red flake. The rod has six layers of clear coat. The first word that came to mind was “Tangerine Dream”.
What also struck me was the stance. It’s got a real mean rake and looks like it’s going to pounce any second. Rocking some big ass American Racing Torque Thrust II’s in 20 inch at the back and 17’s in the front, it looks the business. What contributes to the awesome stance at the back are the tyres, 305 / 50 / 20’s. That’s some serious rubber and trust me, you won’t find them anywhere local. Like ninety nine percent of this ride, they are imported from the States.
Front suspension is the Superide series from Heidts and uses a wishbone set up with coil-overs. The rear of the Roadster is kept in line and hooked to the road via an independent Jaguar sourced configuration mounted out of its cage, complimenting the super clean look of the car. This was custom-made by Eddie’s Rod Shop. Slowing this orange rocket down is left to a hidden Gearhead booster and master cylinder, sending hydraulic pressure to Wilwood disc brakes all round.
The interior is simplistic and tastefully balanced with the exterior and feel of the Rod. The dashboard is full custom and has no ignition switches or dials other than the Auto Meter Sport Comp gauges, mounted in a handmade back plate by Monty. Flaming River was chosen for the steering column with a custom column drop, radiator & ally oil cooler, all fabricated by Barry van Niekerk of Dezzo Customized Products in Walkerville. This hooks up with a Billet Specialties steering wheel with custom leather to match the full leather interior. Interior sub frames were done by Trevor and the upholstery by Paul. Gas and brake pedals are also Billet Specialties products. The whole interior of the car has been soundproofed and carpeted with thick pile house carpet.
Transmission is a TH350 auto rebuilt by Oom Nic Jansen van Rensburg and gears are selected via a Lokar shifter.
One of the nicest features of this Roadster must be the windshield. It’s a real Duvall, made from 100% solid cast brass. It’s the small details and signature touches that make this rod so unique. The Valley door and rear view mirrors, inner door handles and rear LED lights are all fashioned in an oval shape and work in partnership to extenuate the body shape and add to its’ personality. Front lights and indicators are minimalistic and incorporated to work as one unit.
Midway, this build took quite an interesting turn. A frame swap was done with Monty’s other ’32 Ford pick up project which he was running at the same time. Extensive modifications and fabrication followed, with a complete once-off custom frame as a result. This kind of undertaking can not be taken lightly and you need someone well worth their salt in experience and ability. The front section of the frame had to be pinched by approx. 3 inches. This was left in the capable hands of Eddie ”Chip” Finch with the help of Bern & Kyle from Eddies Rodshop in Primrose, Germiston.
What makes a Rod “hot” is not just the looks, it needs some serious power and this beauty packs a beast. Under the hood there’s a small block Chevy stroked to 383 cubic inches of “hold the hell on” with a 70’s vintage Erson camshaft keeping the beat. Edelbrock Performer Ally Heads receive the air/fuel mix from the 600cfm Edelbrock carb. Spent gas flows through a Sartor Bros ceramic coated, full tubular exhaust system custom built by TNT Exhausts and adds to the Jozie smog. This superb engine was built by Dave “The Master” Corbett. The wiring was done by Alwyn “Sparky” Nienaber.
This is a High Dollar Hotrod, built to extremely high standards and the end result speaks for itself. There is so much talent in this country and I hope that this amazing Roadster serves as inspiration and an eye opener to all.