Editors Note: This story originally appeared on SummitRacing.com on 4/30/2008.

Everyone knows the old saying about the apple not falling far from the tree. In the case of Buzz Sollers and his son Andy, it’s more like the rodder not falling far from the old iron tree (or something like that). Each has built an early Ford street rod that reflect their personal tastes, yet both cars have a timeless style that makes them more alike than a first glance would indicate. Let’s take a look.

front of a vintage ford hot rod
sbc v8 in a ford hot rod
interior shot of a vintage ford hotrod
rear view of a ford hot rod roadster
ford model a hot rod, side view
chevy v8 engine in a ford model a hot rod
interior of a vintage hot rod

From the hairpin radius rods and whitewall-shod steel wheels to the louvered hood and cool SCTA decal on the windshield, the Buzz Sollers' highboy has a solid ’50s California vibe.

Buzz went with a crate engine—the ever-popular GM Performance Parts ZZ4 350—and upgraded it with an Edelbrock Performer RPM dual quad manifold, a pair of Edelbrock Thunder Series 650 cfm carbs, a complete MSD ignition system, and blockhugger headers custom-built by good buddy Dennis Copley. Buzz went the DIY gear-shifting route with a Richmond Gear 5-speed transmission; it sends the ZZ4’s power output to a 3.25-geared Currie 9” Ford rear axle.

Classic looks and modern comfort best describe the roadster’s interior. A set of Stewart Warner Wings gauges sit in an engine-turned dash insert; even the pedals, banjo-style steering wheel, and owner-built shifter are true to the period-faithful look. The brown leather upholstery is way more comfortable than the mohair stuff Henry stuffed his seats with back in ’32, though. Mark and Gretchen at Portage Trim stitched up the bench seat and door panels.

The Currie 9” Ford rear axle is hung by a 1940 Ford leaf spring and a pair of Pete and Jakes ladder bars with SO-CAL Speed Shop shocks. The ’32 rolls on vintage style BFGoodrich Silvertown radial whitewalls wrapped around red-painted Wheel Vintiques steel wheels.

Shortly after his father started his roadster, Andy Sollers decided to build a hot rod, too. He liked Buzz’s ’32, but liked the looks of the Model A better. Another plus for the A-bone was affordability. As Andy says, “they only made ’32s for one year, while they made Model As for four, so they’re easier to find and usually cheaper.” He went the trad-rod route, complete with flat black paint, blackwall rubber, and minimal shiny stuff.

While Henry Ford would approve of the black paint, he probably wouldn’t like the Chevrolet powerplant in Andy’s Model A. Andy rescued the 350 from the demolition derby circuit and treated it to a .030” overbore, a Summit hydraulic cam, an Edelbrock Performer intake and 600 cfm Performer carburetor, a Mallory sparking system, and another set of Dennis Copley-built blockhugger headers. A GM 200-R4 4-speed automatic backs the small block.

Andy opted for the old-school hot rod look with the interior, complete with a hand-crafted Indian blanket seat cover and a dashboard that’s bare save for a set of Stewart-Warner Wings gauges. Dig the sprint car style 4-spoke steering wheel.

Buzz’s 1932 Ford

Like a lot of guys who got into cars back in the 1950s, Buzz Sollers couldn’t really afford to build the car he really wanted. But he waited patiently for the proverbial planets to align, which they did about eight years ago. Buzz began collecting all the parts for his car—a body from here, a frame from there, a crate engine from someplace else.

“I just kept getting parts until I had everything I wanted, and then I put it together just the way I wanted it,” he said.

You gotta admit, Buzz’s roadster is one classy machine. The Glasurit Deep Black is glossy and deep. The chrome bits shine like the sun. The brown leather interior is rich and soft. Under the hood you’ll find a serious performance package—a GM Performance Parts ZZ4 350 with performance goodies from Edelbrock and MSD, March pulleys, and a Mooneyes air cleaner. When asked how fast the ’32 is, Buzz simply says, “It’s fast—it’s definitely the car I’ve been waiting for all these years.”

Andy’s Model A

Andy Sollers wanted to build a hot Ford just like his dad Buzz did back in the day. “I grew up admiring those homemade, primer-painted cars, and I wanted one of my own,” he said. “So I sold off my custom Jeep to a neighbor and started planning (my Model A).”

After Andy bought the ’31, he drove it around for six months in stock form before tearing it apart. Under the hood is an overbored Chevy 350 bought from a buddy; he had used it as a demolition derby engine, swapping it from car to car as the bodies were totaled.

“It was built to take lots of abuse, so I was pretty sure it was a dependable engine,” Andy said.

While the 350 looks good in its Edelbrock-urged glory, the first thing about the A-bone that grabs you is the timeless hot rod styling. From the Andy-crafted Indian blanket upholstery to the red-painted steelies with caps ’n rings to the flat black paint job, the Ford spells traditional with a capital T.

The two Fords have been finished since early 2007. Buzz reserves his ride mostly for shows and cruise-ins, but Andy’s been known to drive his Ford to work and make some passes at the track. Both say they’re mostly done with the cars, and Buzz is already thinking about his next one.

“I’m thinking about restoring an old pickup,” he said, “and I think I’m gonna paint it flat black!”

FAST SPECS: Buzz Sollers’ 1932 Ford

Frame: SO-CAL Speed Shop mild steel box frame with tubular crossmembers
Rear End: Currie Ford 9-inch with 3.25 ring and pinion gears and Track-Loc differential
Front Suspension: Drilled and chromed straight axle, chrome leaf spring, SO-CAL chrome shocks, polished stainless steel hairpin rods
Rear Suspension: Pete & Jake’s polished ladder bars with 1940 Ford leaf spring and
SO-CAL chrome shocks
Brakes: SO-CAL 11-inch front discs with polished Buick drum covers, Ford 11-inch rear police drums
Wheels and Tires: Wheel Vintiques steel wheels (15 x 6 front,15 x 10 rear), BFGoodrich Silvertown whitewall tires (165/70-15 front, P285/75-R15 rear)

Engine and Transmission
Engine: Chevrolet Performance Parts ZZ4 350 crate engine
Induction: Edelbrock Performer RPM dual-quad intake, Edelbrock Thunder Series 650 cfm carburetors
Exhaust: Blockhugger headers with Jet-Hot coating, 2 1/2-inch dual exhaust with polished stainless steel mufflers—exhaust built by Dennis Copley
Ignition: MSD Pro-Billet distributor, Digital 6 ignition box, and Blaster coil
Transmission: Richmond 5-speed with McLeod clutch disc, RAM pressure plate, and Lakewood bellhousing
Other Items: 100-amp Powermaster alternator, chrome Powermaster starter, March pulleys, Weiand water pump, Mooneyes air cleaner and valve covers

Paint and Body
Body Modifications: Smoothed doors, filled cowl vent
Paint: Glasurit Deep Black
Body Work and Paint: Harvey Sollers

Upholstery: Brown leather seats, black wool carpet
Dashboard: stock with Stewart Warner Wings gauges
Shifter: Hand-built by owner
Upholstery Work By: Mark and Gretchen at Portage Trim

Special Thanks to
My wife Nancy, son Harvey, good friend Dennis Copley, and Todd Fisher for all the powdercoating

FAST SPECS: Andy Sollers’ 1931 Model A

Frame: TCI Chassis custom frame, powdercoated black
Rear End: Narrowed Currie 9-inch Ford with 3.70 ring and pinion gears
Front Suspension: Super Bell 4-inch dropped chrome I-beam with monoleaf spring, split wishbones
Rear Suspension: Four-link with QA1 coil-over shocks
Brakes: 11-inch Wilwood front discs with 4-piston calipers, 11-inch truck rear drums
Wheels and Tires: Wheel Vintiques steel wheels (14 x 5 front, 15 x 8 rear), BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires (P185/70R14 front, P285/70R15 rear)

Engine and Transmission
Type: Chevy 350, .030-inch overbore with Summit hypereutectic pistons
Valvetrain: Summit hydraulic camshaft and lifters, Summit pushrods
Induction: Edelbrock Performer intake and Performer 600 cfm carburetor
Exhaust: Custom-built block-hugger headers, 2 1/2-inch dual exhaust with Smithy’s mufflers
Ignition: Mallory Unilite distributor, Mallory coil, and Mallory ignition wires
Transmission: GM 200-4R transmission
Other Items: Aluminum valve covers, 16-gallon aluminum fuel tank, 95-amp chrome alternator, Stellings & Hellings 10 1/2-inch air cleaner
Engine Work: Gables Machine Shop
Transmission Work: Jim Campbell

Paint and Body
Modifications: 1932 Ford grille shell, rear roll pan
Paint Color: R-M single-stage Flat Black
Body Work: Andy Sollers, Harvey Sollers, and Dennis Copley
Paint: Harvey Sollers

Upholstery: Indian blanket seat cover by owner
Dashboard: 1932 Ford with Stewart Warner Wings gauges
Shifter: Gennie Shifter

Special Thanks to
Harvey Sollers, Dennis Copley, Northeast Coatings, Chuck Wright, and Bob Watts

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Author: Alan Rebescher

Editor, author, PR man—Alan Rebescher has done it all in a 25 year career in the high performance industry. He has written and photographed many feature stories and tech articles for Summit Racing and various magazines including Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding, and edited Summit Racing’s Street & Strip magazine in the 1990s. His garage is currently occupied by a 1965 Ford Mustang.