THE RADSTER

Edition 23
1927 Roadster
Built By Karl Ebel

While Karl Ebel was moseying around the SA HotRod Street Festival in 2010, he came across John Jeffery from Miller Speed Shop. John had his new ’27 Roadster fibreglass bodies on display and was talking to people about how you can build a low budget Hot Rod from scratch.

Unlike the ‘32 Roadster that is made of multiple fibreglass panels, like doors and boot lid, the ‘27 is one solid piece of body, there is no roof or doors. It’s a car you kinda step over and clime into like a bathtub. 

Karl’s mind started to work over time and he just had to have one. Since then I have also acquired a body for a future project but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. When Karl told me he just finished his ‘27 Track T Roadster, I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. Karl tells us the story of how his first Miller Track T came to be.

From the outset it was always the plan to build this ’27 Roadster from Miller, incorporating a bit of race car engineering along with styling cues from those ‘track nosed’ Roadsters that tore apart the dry lakes in the 40s and 50s. This style blended with a few current rodding trends, resulted in the birth of the Radster, a real little beast of a Track T. 

The Low Down
Beginning with a custom CCR lattice style chassis for superior rigidity, the custom suspension was then added. The rear suspension is a four link with a panard rod and coil over shocks and a Chevy rear end. Up front is an adjustable custom CCR push rod in board suspension system. It was decided to go this route so that the Radster could benefit from a modern suspension setup while still retaining clean uncluttered lines around the Track nose. The front brakes are BMW spec ATEs with vented discs and big 
Chevy drums in the rear.

The open hood features none other than the classic 327 Chevy. This is the factory 250hp motor with a steel crank. Added to the Chevy is an Ignitor ignition system, MSD plug leads, a Holley Carb and a high torque starter. A standout feature of the motor has to be the “Millerspeed 2” belt drive that replaces the factory pulleys. The belt drive must be heard to be believed – it whines like a supercharger. The exhausts by Marius are also quite a conversation piece. The baffled Stainless Steel cones are perfect at idle and nuts in the higher RPM range. Backing the venerable 327 Chevy is a Th350 with a @B&M shift kit. 

From the outside
The Miller body was channelled over the CCR chassis to give the Radster a more aggressive stance. The Creativecarversions Customcarbuildersretro graphic was then shot in Ferrari red and midnight black by Exclusive Coachworks. The body features a custom windshield with billet street rod mirrors. The tail lights are Creative Carversions universal milled aluminium taillight kit with LEDs. The track nose features a modified grille from a well known car from yesteryear. A neat stainless fuel filler cap, makes putting in fuel a pleasure.
The interior is simple and features a neatly styled bench seat and door panels, in timeless black. The dash is a cut down and modified 1940 Chevy item with a ‘floating speedo’ and the usual complement of vintage gauges by Smiths. Shifting is carried out by a classic Hurst quarter stick and steering is via a classic CCR wheel.

Wheels are in the Torque thrust style from Stateside and measure 17” x 8” with 235 Firenzas in the rear and 215s in the front.
In the end, this lil’ beast turned out exactly as we planned. The Radster is a Hot Rod that is equally at home on the track, a country road or even urban commuting. It is an absolute blast where ever you may find yourself.