Auburn Fall

Auburn Auction Park
1 - 5 September 2020
Lot 6155

1929 Ford Roadster Hot Rod

The Bill Akin Collection


$38,500 USD | Sold

United States | Auburn, Indiana



Identification No.
  • Offered from the Bill Akin Collection
  • Original Henry Ford steel roadster body
  • Built on a custom, fully boxed frame fabricated by Bill Akin
  • Powered by a rare 1960s Ford Indianapolis four-cam racing engine
  • Modified for ease of use on the street, including Weber carburetors
  • Equipped with a Doug Nash five-speed transmission
  • Halibrand quick-change rear end with custom axle housings
  • Koni coil-over suspension; rides on custom knock-off wheels
  • Mechanically solid through never cosmetically finished
  • A superb canvas, ready to be finished to suit the new owner’s tastes

This custom hot rod was built using an original Henry Ford steel roadster body with subtle modifications and mounted on a one-off boxed and tapered channel section frame fabricated by Bill Akin. The engine is a rare normally aspirated Ford Indianapolis DOHC racing engine from the 1960s. In order to facilitate street use, the cylinder heads have been swapped side for side to place the intake ports on the top of the engine and the exhaust ports on the bottom. The compression was reduced to 9.5:1, and custom adaptors mount Weber carburetors in place of the fuel injection system originally used in race trim.

The transmission is a Doug Nash five-speed unit and the rear end uses a Halibrand quick-change with custom-made axle housings. The front suspension uses Koni coil-overs supporting a unique front axle Bill Akin fabricated from the center of a 1937 Ford tube axle with the dropped axle shaped ends cut from 1¾-inch plate and welded in place. A typical four bar set up locates everything. Bill machined his own designed wheel centers from aluminum billets and then added Weld Wheel rim halves. They are mounted to custom hubs and held in place by Corvette-style knock-offs.

Bill never cosmetically finished the car allowing the new owner an opportunity for paint, plating, interior, and detailing to their desired taste. It remains functional and has been driven to hot rod and custom car events in the past. Interestingly, several occurrences at those events caused Bill to park the car as-is and move on to other projects. It seems that the unique Indianapolis engine, which today is nearly unobtainable, proved its undoing. Despite the engine having “FORD” cast in plain sight on the cam covers, onlookers constantly frustrated Bill’s unique personality with the “who made that engine” query.