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One of the things we truly love about the cars coming out of Conder Custom is that the shop’s owner, Tim Conder, embodies the best of both West Coast and East Coast hotrodding. And maybe that’s because he’s from Kentucky, which is neither the East Coast or the West Coast, but somewhere in between and staunchly, independently Southern. But when it comes to cars, it means that he knows how to combine the style-driven aesthetics of West Coast car culture with the brutal power focus of the East Coast custom car scene.

And all that tumult is coming together in the T project. The latest? Welp, let’s back up a little. The rearend of this car is a ’62 Olds built by none other than Chris Bocciocco – one of drag racing’s best fabricators. And we happily ditched the Ford 8″ we originally hung back there because that Olds is one of the rears that was used during the Golden Age of Drag Racing for its heft and durability. Plus, the center section is beautiful: perfectly round and it just looks bitchin’ back there.

Now, add to that, we’re using two pairs of 1939 Ford 9N tractor radius rods to locate both ends of the car because, well, we wanted a nod to our very earliest automotive love affair incorporated into the car and the “I-beam” style of those cast rods really matched the dropped axle up front. The problem with them is that they’re made for loping across fields at hours per mile, not hooking hard on the street.

Conder never batted an eye. He also found that another project in the shop – a wooly pro tour/can-am style Firebird – offered up an answer to the potential problem of having that big Olds rear coming loose and pole-vaulting the little T at speed: a torque arm. This thing helps locates the rearend and redirects the energy trying to break the rearend loose on launch up through its narrow framework and holds all that shit steady. On top of that, our custom torque arm solves another aesthetic problem by filling up the goofy triangular negative space between the body rockers and slicks when the car is viewed in perfect profile. Neat.

We’re collecting material now for this thing and stoked to see it come together. To us, it makes perfect sense and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. You can build a complete, brand-new Model T roadster with nothing but a credit card and a catalog – and in the Wal-Mart parking lot, it’ll really stand out, brother. But we submit that this car embodies more of the spirit of the original hotrodders and customizers by following absolutely no rules and making our own way. And there’s really no other choice for us.


  1. Steve says:

    I love the torque arm much cooler than a silly four link with a panhard like everyone else does. BTW I would venture a guess that Sonoma has more custom torque arms per capita than any other place in the world.

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