GNRS-BOUND: THE MYSTERIOUS FRONT-END

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The one feature of our Model T that attracts more attention than just about any other – good, bad and otherwise – is the front-end. And believe us, we DIG that shit. Plenty of car guys and hot rod builders have stopped dead in their tracks when they see it and just about drop their tri-tip sandwiches or spill their Diet Coors.

Conder designed the front-end suspension into a trick torsion bar setup based on our aesthetic direction. We like frame horns. We don’t like the look of a suicide front-end. We wanted to incorporate Ford 9N tractor radius rods because 1) we grew up on them and 2) we like the way their I-beam design reflects the look of the front axle. We also share Conder’s love for mid-Sixties fuelers, which ran super-simple torsion bar suspension way up front.

All those things contributed to what you see here: a torsion bar suspension that incorporates everything we just mentioned. No ugly leaf springs, no compromises, no shit.

Now, once Conder willed the original torsion bar into existence and we lived with it for awhile, he decided that the car needed a new one: a splined-end deal that provides near-infinite adjustment as the car settles and the front-end figures out where its most comfortable with that heavy Hemi on its shoulders. So, it was off to the venerable Norm Rapp (“Zoom-Zoom!”) Racing in San Francisco’s Excelsior District for a splined torsion bar, usually sold to vintage sprint car builders.

Much as we love watching the faces as we stand on the front-end and bounce up and down on it, showing how the custom front-end works on the car, we love it even more when Conder noodles over it and makes improvements as we move along with the build. We’ve got plans to move the water pump off the front of the motor and locate the alternator to a remote location, too – all in an effort to focus as much attention to this jewel of the car as possible.

Sometimes, it takes a combination of willful departure from the baggage of more than half a century of unwritten rules and an innate sense of what looks good to come up with something unique in hotrodding…

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