Featured Vehicles / From the Summit Racing Catalog

Timeless: Mike Snode’s 1930 Ford Coupe

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From a straight-on view, hot rod tradition meets pure intimidation. Check out the 383’s unique twin intake scoops and the coupe’s increasingly rare un-chopped top. “I had the pillars marked with tape where we were going to make the cuts, but the guy who agreed to help me never showed up!” Snode said. “And I’m glad he didn’t, because I think it looks right like this.”

Another rare sight? Snode elected to keep the rumble seat out back (upholstered in the same tan and buckskin leather as the interior seats), rather than tucking a gas tank in that space. The fuel still goes in just north of the dashboard on this 1930 Model A, like Henry intended. What’s definitely not stock are the Billet Specialties wheels (Alterds up front, Vintecs in the rear) and BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW tires, which provide an aggressive rake and plenty of grip.

Right behind the coupe’s 1932 grille is where tradition takes a backseat to ingenuity. Here, Snode swapped the original timeworn four-banger for a one-of-a-kind Chevy 383. Pull your eyes away from the polish and chrome, and you’ll notice the towering intake setup, featuring a pair of 2GC Rochesters feeding a 750 cfm Edelbrock Performer. Valve covers emblazoned with “Father Time” give a nod to one of the car’s previous owners, a clock maker from Mike’s hometown.

Give yourself 10 points if you correctly identified the Sanderson Limefire headers, but these aren’t your garden variety pipes: inside each main tube is half of a glasspack muffler, which Snode “re-engineered” to fit snugly inside. The motor still has plenty of bark when you get on the gas, but the fiberglass insulation is enough to take out some of the bite when Snode buries the pedal deep into the plush stuff.

Drawing on his background in welding and fabrication, Snode was able to salvage the Model A’s rusted-out cab, but thanks to 70 years of Ohio weather, the chassis was too far gone to reuse. Mike sourced a new frame from Brookville Roadster to get the build back on track. Custom-mixed House of Kolor Candy Apple Gold paint applied by McCombe Body Shop in Columbus, OH highlights the coupe’s classic bodylines with modern flair. Black primer gives the paint added depth.

The Model A was never known for having a lavishly appointed interior, so don’t expect to find touch-screen navigation or massaging seats inside. Instead, Snode kept it sleek and straightforward with a Lokar Nostalgia Series double-bend shifter and Billet Specialties Chicayne steering wheel. Bob Evans of Zanesville, OH reupholstered the cockpit in a tan and buckskin leather, and swapped the original bench seat for Mustang buckets. The nitrous bottle tucked into the passenger foot well serves as a not-so-subtle hint of things to come.

 

Every hot rod build has its story: some are basket case barn finds, and others are passed down through the family.

But in the case of Mike Snode’s 1930 Ford coupe, it was just a matter of time. Fifty years to be exact.

“My dad drove me to school every day when I was a kid, and every day we’d pass by the local clock shop—a place called The Time Shop,” Snode said. “The owner always parked his Model A—this Model A—out front. And as we went by, I’d tell my dad ‘One day I’m gonna own that car.’”

Decades passed since Mike’s school days in Zanesville, OH, and the keys to the coupe changed hands several times, but when an opportunity to make good on his promise came knocking, he wasn’t about to let it slip away.

“A friend told me that he spotted the coupe for sale just outside of town, and I knew I had to see it for myself,” Snode said. “When the owner opened up his garage, it was like looking back in time! It was just how I remembered it, right down to the butterscotch and brown two-tone paint job. You don’t forget something like that.”

After agreeing on a price, Snode pushed the Model A onto his trailer and hauled it back to the garage, but not before scrawling “FATHER TIME” in spray paint down the side of the car as a tribute to Glendon Brown, owner of The Time Shop.

Not wasting any time, Snode separated the body from the frame, and it was apparent that the ravages of time and a half-dozen previous owners had taken their toll on the 70-year-old Ford.

“I’m pretty sure that the paint was the only thing holding it together,” Snode said. “It had at least nine coats! Black, white, red, yellow, brown…it took two gallons of aircraft stripper just to get it back down to bare metal!”

And with the sheetmetal exposed, sandblasting quickly revealed a lifetime of cosmetic and structural issues.

“It was obvious that any previous repair work had been done as cheaply as possible,” Snode said. “When I hit the cab with the sandblaster, the metal just disappeared. By the time I was done, you could wiggle and bend what was left with your bare hands.”

To reverse all those years of neglect, Snode welded up the see-through sheetmetal, swapped the rotten roof rails for fresh pressure-treated lumber (sourced from the scrap pile in his garage), and exchanged the worn-out wooden floor for stamped steel. Instead of lowering the refreshed cab back onto the original frame, Snode stepped up to a pre-fabbed chassis from Brookville Roadster. Finally, a mile-deep coat of custom-blended House of Kolor Candy Apple Gold was applied to give the coupe’s classic shape a modern finish

With the bodywork perfected, Snode turned his focus to the jewel that’s now tucked neatly behind the coupe’s ’32 grille, taking a good ol’ small block Chevy and elevating it into something else entirely with the sort of engineering, ingenuity, and craftsmanship that’s usually reserved for a fine Swiss timepiece.

Most hot rodders would be content with the 383’s SCAT forged stroker crank, TRW forged flat top pistons, World Products S/R Torquer heads, and COMP Cams Thumpr bump stick, but it’s the one-of-a-kind intake setup that puts this motor over the top…literally. Peeking above the coupe’s hood line (if it had a hood) is a pair of polished intake scoops, feeding dual 2GC Rochesters, plumbed to—wait for it—another carburetor; this time a 750 cfm Edelbrock Performer.

“I wanted to do something unique, and I think we found it,” Mike said, who credits fellow hot rodder Dave Lynn for dreaming up and constructing the coupe’s incredible intake. “We’ve still got a little bit of tinkering to do before it’s perfect, but Dave’s wheels are always turning,” he says.

Snode is hesitant to divulge any specifics on exactly how his stacked carburetor setup works, but rest assured, it does, pumping enough power through the TH-400 tranny and shortened Ford 9-inch rear end to keep things interesting. “It’s mostly a cruiser, but if you need a little bit more, it’s got it,” he said.

The interior decorating was left to Bob Evans of Lancaster, OH, who wrapped the cockpit in a combination of tan and buckskin leather, exchanging the Model A’s original bench for a pair of buckets donated from a 1995 Mustang. Showing off his own fabrication and welding skills, Snode created the perfect home for the coupe’s Dolphin aqua gauges by grafting the lower half of a 1932 Ford dashboard to the ’30’s original upper. A Lokar Nostalgia Series double-bend shifter and Billet Specialties Chicayne steering wheel round out the amenities inside.

The result is a seamless blend of classic and cutting edge, combining traditional hot rod cues with one-of-a-kind details. And while Snode’s vision is a far cry from the butterscotch and brown Model A of his youth, there’s no denying—even after 50 years—that it all came together like clockwork.

FAST SPECS

Chassis

Frame: Custom-fabricated 4- x 2-inch frame by Brookville Roadster
Suspension: Brookville chrome-plated 4-link (front); Brookville stainless 4-link rear with chrome-plated Aldan Eagle coil-over shocks/springs
Rear Axle: Narrowed Ford 9″ rear end, Moser Engineering alloy axle shafts
Wheels and Tires: Billet Specialties Altered (front; 15 x 6), Billet Specialties Vintec  (rear; 1″ x 9 1/2); BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW tires (205/55R16 front, 285-60R18 rear)

Engine and Transmission

Engine Type: Chevy 383, painted House of Kolor Candy Apple Gold
Reciprocating Assembly: SCAT forged crankshaft, TRW forged flat top pistons, Eagle Specialty Products H-beam rods
Cylinder Heads: World Products S/R Torquer cylinder heads
Valvetrain: COMP Cams Thumpr camshaft, roller lifters, and valve springs; World Products stainless steel valves Induction: Edelbrock Performer 750 cfm carb with Endurashine finish, two Rochester 2GC 350 cfm carburetors, Edelbrock Performer intake manifold
Ignition: Mallory Unilite distributor and HyFire ignition box, Mallory Promaster coil, Taylor Pro Wire ignition wires Cooling: Griffin Street Rod radiator, Tuff Stuff Supercool polished aluminum water pump
Exhaust: Sanderson Limefire headers with custom glasspack muffler inserts
Transmission: GM TH-400 transmission, B&M Tork Master torque converter, Lokar Nostalgia Series double-bend shifter
Other Items: Ron Francis wiring harness, GM Performance Parts High-Torque starter, B&M deep transmission pan, March Performance accessory brackets

Body

Modifications: 1932 Ford grille shell, Pontiac Grand Am third brake light
Paint Color: House of Kolor Candy Apple Gold
Paint Work By: McCombe Body Shop, Columbus, OH
Interior Modifications: 1995 Ford Mustang seats, 1932 Ford lower dashboard, Billet Specialties Chicayne steering wheel, Dolphin Aqua gauges Upholstery: Tan/buckskin two-tone leather Upholstery By: Bob Evans, Lancaster, OH

Special Thanks My family, Dave Lynn, John Kackley, Mike Maxwell, Ron Harrison, and Anthony at McCombe Body Shop

Photography by: Maguire Photographics

 

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