95 Years Younger: Sizzling Rod Rick’s Ford Mannequin A

I’ve a fairly massive admission to make. Deep down, my automotive ardour lies with Americana.

I could also be identified amongst my friends for a love of blue and white roundels, three-pointed stars and Stuttgart crests, however the reality is that American muscle kicked the whole lot off within the first place. Neglect Brian’s Skyline. I at all times needed Dom’s Dodge Charger.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-4

So think about my intrigue, again in the dead of night days of 2019, after I heard {that a} buddy of some associates had determined to construct his very personal scorching rod at his dad’s velocity store in Wales. American steel has a really… middle-aged popularity about it right here within the UK. Youthful crowds are likely to combine in European and Japanese automotive circles, these autos being cheaper and extra accessible to most.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-42

Thankfully for Ricky Dunn, AKA ‘Sizzling Rod Rick’, scorching rodding runs in his blood. His mother and father Kelvin and Rebecca are not any strangers to it, having been into customs for as lengthy as Ricky can keep in mind. After years of their very own vehicles, constructing scorching rods for associates, and throwing some journal covers into the combo, we land at Flying A Speedshop – Kelvin’s personal storage – and the wild machine you’re taking a look at right now.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-3

“It began as a undertaking throughout our Covid lockdown,” Ricky informed me. “My dad already had the physique flat-packed at the back of the shed, so it made sense to make use of it.”

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-2

Although the physique sits on a 1928 Mannequin A chassis, that is removed from a ‘customary’ Ford Sedan. “It’s impressed by Bonneville Salt Flat vehicles of the ’50s which have heavy roof chops,” Ricky defined as we appeared over the automotive at Rollhard 2023. A nine-inch channel (dropping the physique ‘shell’ relative to the ground), five-inch chop high and four-inch entrance axle drop all contribute to the Ford’s aggressive, low stance.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-3

“I needed to maintain it pretty conventional to Forties/’50s hotrod styling with my very own contact of having fun with low vehicles, so I attempted to make it as little as I might,” Ricky added. What isn’t conventional is the signal writing adorning the patina-riddled physique.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-13

“One among my favorite particulars… most likely the patina on the automotive. It’s real patina from the mid-’60s, the place the automotive was used to promote a storage in just a little village referred to as Hazlet in Canada.” 

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-14

As is the best way with customized vehicles, there are attention-grabbing particulars in all places you look. These little holes alongside the tops of the home windows and roof? That’s the place the unique vinyl high could be mounted, nailed or stapled to the Mannequin A’s inside wood body again within the day.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-8

Beneath that, the weld line the place the roof pillars have been sectioned, left uncovered to ensure that rust to develop and tie in with the automotive’s pure patina. The taillights? They’re taken a ’59 Cadillac and recessed into the Mannequin A’s c-pillars. (Aspect notice: I’m proud to say I guessed the taillights appropriately. I gave myself an inside high-five.)

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-31

In every single place you look there are attractive colors, hidden tips and particulars which draw you additional and additional into the 95-year-old automotive.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-5

The true crown jewel of a scorching rod reminiscent of Ricky’s is the engine, which is sort of completely on present. The Ford runs a 327ci small-block Chevrolet engine, with Vortec cylinder heads, an Edelbrock consumption manifold, 650cfm carburettor and Crower camshaft to release some extra efficiency from the venerable V8.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-10

It’s an absolute murals, with immaculate particulars concurrently standing out towards – but working with – the colors and textures of the bodywork. Simply take a look at the high-polished, barely blue tinge of the aluminium rocker covers tying into the turquoise paint that’s stood the check of time. Or the hotter chrome steel straight-pipe headers, now turning into heat-stained gold, working with the copper brake traces and orange rust.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-12

A few of you might be pondering I’m speaking absolute bulls**t right here, however in case you are, take a second to essentially research the pictures and hopefully you’ll see what I imply. A sudden rainstorm through the shoot solely helped to make the whole lot that little bit extra stunning.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-20

Contained in the automotive you’ll discover not solely one of the ridiculous seating positions of all time (thank the channeled ground for that one), however the identical mixture of heritage and a focus to element as on the outside.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-18
Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-22

Virtually the whole lot is fabricated or crafted from scratch, together with the roof bars and reinforcements. But particulars such because the Mooneyes steering wheel and So-Cal Velocity Store sprint and gauges elevate the cabin.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-21

Ricky reckons the gauge encompass is from a classic piece of Fender music gear, although he’s not been capable of pin-point that one out but.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-19

Even the seats handle to be about so simple as you may get and completely stunning on the similar time.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-9

In the event you cut back it right down to a primary formulation, a lot of the ‘present vehicles’ you see today are very a lot fashionable scorching rods. A Mk2 Volkswagen Golf with a turbo VR6 engine on show in a shaved bay, customized inside and raised strut towers/narrowed rear beam is in spirit a scorching rod, even when it isn’t a ‘hotted-up roadster’. They simply lack a sure… charisma nowadays.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-25

Due to being dealt simply the precise playing cards and having the means, Sizzling Rod Rick’s Ford Mannequin A is a really recent method to a historic fashion of automotive modification. Seeing a correctly conventional scorching rod constructed by a younger proprietor, with fashionable affect and respect to the previous is improbable. Oh, and Ricky hasn’t simply constructed it within the fashion of previous salt flat racers…

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-35

“It took me three years to construct it. I set my deadline to race it at Pendine Sands for the 2023 occasion, for which I solely simply completed the automotive with two weeks spare to shake it down.”

Ricky constructed his scorching rod to go racing, and he did simply that at a venue with enormous significance for not solely scorching rods, however land-speed information and motorsport as an entire.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-17

How did he do in his freshly-built sedan, up towards seasoned veterans on the sand?

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-46

Properly, utilizing all of the grip the cross-ply tyres would give him, Ricky managed to set a finest velocity of 110.17mph (177.30km/h) – making him the youngest ever member of the ‘100 MPH Membership’ at Pendine.

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-45

Ricky is decided to return subsequent yr and do even higher. “I wish to attempt to beat my velocity on the seaside; who is aware of how I’m going to do that but! Perhaps I’ll swap up the gear ratios and tyre measurement to attempt to squeeze extra velocity out of it.”

Ricky Hot Rod SH MC-47

After ready almost 4 years to see the ultimate outcome and shoot Ricky’s ridiculous automotive, I’ve to say it might properly be my favorite automobile I’ve ever received behind the lens for.

This Mannequin A has jogged my memory of my love for previous Americana, and that’s concerning the greatest praise I can provide it.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn