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Courtesy of TMG Marketing:

Each year, the Detroit Preservation Award pays tribute to the machines that inspired all that came after them. Of these inspirational vehicles, one stands out from the rest for its historic importance to the sport and to the Detroit Autorama: the Frank Mack T, a 1927 Model T, which captured Best Rod and Best in Show at the very first Detroit Autorama in 1953.

Mack spent over 3,000 hours building his masterpiece, and in a November 1953 Hot Rod magazine feature, Mack’s masterpiece was dubbed “ImMACKulate T.”  Mack’s modifications included:

  • ’37 Ford tubular front axle
  • Narrowed ’34 Ford rear end, nerf bars (front, rear, side) fabricated from 7/8-inch seamless steel tubing
  • Track-style nose hand-formed from two ’41 Chevy fenders
  • Grille fashioned from steel strips
  • Three-piece hood fitted together with concealed ’36 Dodge latches
  • E & J accessory headlamps from a ’27 Jordan
  • ’37 Chevy taillights, a rear roll pan made from ’37 Ford sheet metal
  • Stewart Warner electric fuel pump
  • The lower half of a stock ’27 windshield and ’37 Ford dash with a ’23 T three-spoke steering wheel
  • 15-inch Steelies with ’47 Hudson hubcaps
  • Louvered belly pan beneath a channeled body
  • 235-ci 8CM flathead V8 (’49-’53 Mercury) with Edelbrock heads
  • Pontiac steering box
  • ’41 Ford hydraulic brakes
  • ’37 Ford master cylinder
  • Adapted Chevy 409 water pump.

After the win at the Detroit Autorama, the Model T received an invitation to Ford’s famous Rotunda Rod & Custom Show in 1956. Mack retained ownership of the T for 40 years. It is currently owned by Bruce Meyer, who showed it at the 50th Detroit Autorama in 2002.

The Frank Mack T has never been restored, just carefully preserved and maintained to ensure its historical integrity. Today it remains the ultimate example of automotive customization and preservation that we continue to encourage and recognize with the Detroit Autorama Preservation Award.

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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.