The Petersen Automotive Museum Auction | Lot 171
1927 Ford Model T Track-Nose Roadster by Jack Thompson
$145,600 USD | Sold
| Los Angeles, California
8 December 2018
- An authentic and period-correct early SoCal custom
- Originally built and then restored by the who’s-who of hot rodding
- Presented at the finest custom shows and concours d’elegance
- An exceptional award-winning Track T
If you’re looking for a period-perfect historic hot rod, this is it: Jack Thompson’s ’27 track-nose Model T roadster.
It was featured in a four-page article in the August 1958 issue of Hot Rod Magazine, photographed by the incomparable Eric Rickman. A photo of the racy two-seater even appeared on the magazine’s front cover. The later T’s slender body was the basis for many record-setting Southern California dry lakes competitors. For street use, knowledgeable hot rodders emulated the functionally pretty race-car look with streamlined track noses and louvered hoods. The ’27 T already had the perfect combination of a snug cockpit, and a tapered turtle-deck. All it needed was a low-slung chassis and a full belly pan to optimize aerodynamics and complete the look.
Hailing from Woodland Hills, California, Thompson’s classic Track T roadster was one of the best of the early feature cars. Its sharp black body rested on boxed early Essex rails – a favorite with hot rodders half a century ago. It was built in 1954 by an all-star cast. Streamlining was thanks to a Claude Hampson (Kurtis-Kraft Racing) custom-built track nose. Finishing touches included a chopped windshield, louvered side panels, and ’39 Ford teardrop taillights. Race car-inspired nerf bars, front and rear, echoed the car’s well-executed circle track theme. Authentic Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels, early Ford hydraulic brakes, and a tubular front axle provided the right running gear. A three-speed ’39 Ford gearbox, with a curved floor shifter, was fitted with a ’42 Lincoln-Zephyr close-ratio first and second gear cluster. The legendary Tony Nancy did the upholstery, and Art Summers was responsible for the pinstriping. The dual exhaust tips subtly protruded from hand-built rings under the rear nerf bar.
The engine, a modified Ford flathead, of course, was stuffed with the best speed equipment of the period. A ’37 Lincoln radiator was cut four inches, mounted at a 45-degree angle, and topped with a high point header tank. Inside the cockpit, there was a banjo steering wheel from a 356 Porsche and a full set of Stewart-Warner gauges on an engine-turned dash panel.
Restored by Gary Schroeder (of Schroeder Steering fame) and Rick Cresse (Tri-C Engineering), the modified T won the coveted Bruce Meyer Preservation Perpetual Trophy, the “Von Dutch” Award for the best pinstriping (this time by Tom “Itchy” Otis), and the trophy for the Best Altered T at the Grand National Roadster Show in 1997. It also participated in the first Historic Hot Rod Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, later that same year.
George Gray (Van Nuys) did the repaint in PPG Deltron Black acrylic enamel, and Dan Miller (Westlake Village) re-did the interior in Carmine Red Naugahyde. The original steering column was replaced with a Tri-C Super Slim four-position column for easier access. In 2007, this car won the “Excellence in Design” Award at the Art Center School of Design show in Pasadena.
In the mid-1950s, there was nothing more classic in hot rod terms than a modified Model T roadster, and very few have survived in virtually the same condition that they were originally built. This award-winning T is the perfect way to experience the early days of hot rodding.
It is period perfect, authentic, and, most importantly, quick.