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Homegrown Hauler

28.4.06. Forgive us if it seems as though is devoting too much time to the products of Home Grown Hot Rods – after all, stories about the machinery rolling out of the Southend company’s workshop seem to appear here on a regular basis.  The truth of the matter, though, is that HGHR is building so many stunning cars at the moment that it’s difficult for any self-respecting hot rodder to ignore them.  

A case in point is this lovely Model B pick-up “promotional vehicle”, which only recently made its debut.  In truth, HGHR boss, Jon Golding, has owned the car for over 10 years, and always promised himself that it would be his retirement project.  The fact that it’s now finished might lead one to surmise that Jon is about to hang up his welding torch and goggles for good, but existing customers will be pleased to know this is not the case.  Let’s just say that, in this particular case, Jon’s enthusiasm got the better of him, and in between building customer cars, he somehow managed to squeeze in time to build the ultimate company car!

Providing the all-important foundation for the HGHR pick-up are the original factory rails, which have been boxed and strengthened in readiness for serious horsepower.  Up front, there’s a dropped I-beam axle equipped with finned Buick drum brakes, while at the rear, there’s a 9-inch Ford axle fitted with standard drums.

Under the bonnet, however, the scene is anything but standard, motivation being provided by a ZZ4 Chevy crate motor equipped with hi-performance cam and valve gear, the combination purportedly delivering 425hp.  Check out what that equates to in terms of visual spectacle by clicking here.  Power is fed through a B&M three-speed automatic transmission – a tried and tested solution used in many of Jon’s creations.

As for the cab of this particular Model B, Andy Barry, body and paint man at HGHR, started work on it nine years ago, but only recently got the nod to complete the refurbishment.  Needless to say, the body is flawless, and yet another example of Andy’s extraordinary metal-working skills.  As for the rest of the panels, Jon was in no hurry to complete the car, so it was simply a matter of waiting and accumulating the right parts as they came along.  As ever, though, the real knack was bolting them together and making sure they all aligned perfectly – and again, that’s down to Andy.

Additional fabrication work involved relocating the fuel tank from the original location under the driver’s seat (imagine that now!) to a position under the pick-up bed, using a ’32 coupe tank design.  Filling up with fuel is now accomplished via a filler neck built flush into the pick-up bed – talking of which, the load area was painstakingly refurbished in American Oak by Jon.

For the exterior colour, a subtle shade of solid blue is augmented with some lovely gold-leaf lettering and accents by Neil Melliard’s Pro Sign outfit.  Warping the car back in time to the ‘60s is a chrome steel wheel and hubcap combination fitted with wide whitewall crossply tyres. Adding additional brightwork are the original ’32 bumpers front and rear, plus the equally stock lights and door handles.   

Interior chores were a “no-brainer” for Jon, expert stitcher, Neil Tadman, being called on to execute yet another of his high-quality upholstery jobs.  In this case, Jon went for saddle-coloured leather for the ‘Glide’ seat and door panels, complemented by matching carpet and headlining.  Jon was suitably impressed by the finished result – and that’s saying something, considering his standards.

Instrumentation consists of Vintage gauges set into an engine-turned oval panel, while further tasteful touches include SO-CAL switchgear and a reproduction 1940 Ford steering wheel.  As usual, it’s the detail touches that set Jon’s cars apart, a notable little gem being the machining of one of the art deco-style switches to allow it to pivot left and right in order to operate the indicators, thus eliminating the necessity for a clumsy column stalk. 

Under construction and sporting Halibrand wheels

The pick-up was built to promote Jon’s business, and initially at least, intended as a daily driver.  With so much time, effort and money invested in this high-class hauler, however, don’t be surprised if it only hits the road when the weather is set fair.

Story & photos:  Andy Kirk

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