Wayne Szepanowski(Zeppo) owns the '31 Roadster pictured here, and Wayne can been seen attending all the regional runs, shows and drive-ins, enjoying every minute of it. Another of Wayne's automotive interests is a supercharged '73 Falcon GT that he has owned for 15 years, so when the roadster came onto the market, Wayne was happy to take make it his own. Alan Evans had built the roadster in time for the 1995 Parklands Nationals, and sold it 3 years later. It had a few owners before Wayne bought just after the 2000 Nats, and after getting it home he added some distinctive features that make the car stand out in a crowd of red roadsters.

A 4" dropped axle gets Wayne's roadster down in the front, and tucks the wheels nicely inside the fenders, without clearance problems.

Note the V8 emblem that Karen designed into the seat back, visible just above the passenger side Harley Davidson peep mirror.

The flames give a hint of the fire breathing monster that lurks within - in this case the monster is a 351 Ford.

The Edelbrock Performer heads and intake manifold also give a clue as to the potential of this Hot Rod.

Classic gauges, mounted in a billet cluster, are both tasteful and functional.

All Ford roadsters have classic lines, and this all-Ford roadster is no exception.

This nature shot captures Wayne's '31 in an un-natural setting - parked.

In personalising the roadster, Wayne replaced the stock '31 grille shell with a new '32 unit, which is the starting point for the stylised flames that break up the slab sides of the Model A, lapping over the Rootlieb hood and on down the sides. The windscreen frame has been modified to give the appearance of a frameless screen, though Wayne has made a very discrete stainless steel top frame for the glass.

The headlamps are 7" quartz halogen units that throw a good beam, and are mounted on a dropped bar, just in front of the Desert Cooler radiator. The radiator is fitted with a 16" electric fan to keep the very healthy 351 Windsor cool. Wayne enlisted the expert help of Marty White (owner of an 800 hp '67 Mustang) and Phil, both from John White Racing Engines, to assemble the Canadian cast iron power plant. Well, mostly cast iron - the alloy heads are of the Edelbrock Performer variety, as is the intake manifold. The ported & polished heads contain roller rockers, hardened push rods and stainless steel valves, while the block contains shot peened rods, forged 10.5:1 compression ratio pistons, a Reed flat tappet cam, high volume oil pump, dual point Mallory distributor and the attention to detail that such pro engine builders bring to the table. Or dyno, which indicated 500+ hp when they first ran it.

They also balanced the whole reciprocating assembly, and mounted a Barry Grant Demon 750 cfm carb on top, and a High Energy oil pan underneath. Mickey Thompson valve covers hark back to the golden years, while the K & N air filter is an efficient contemporary accessory for any performance motor.

A Lokar shifter does the deed on the Bob Grant built C4, and Jeff Dell built the 3200 rpm stall speed torque converter. This little puppy has some torque to convert - in excess of 460 foot pounds.

Tll this high performance Ford motor sits just in front of the reversed '31 firewall - a neat '30 - '31 trick that allows motors to be set back a goodly amount without major surgery. The cowl tank has been made non-functional and the filler cap removed, and that is about the extent of the body modifications.

The front end is typical 4" dropped I-beam located by stainless steel 4-bars, on stainless steel batwings, with Falcon disc brakes on either end of the I-beam. Centreline Convo Pro wheels are on the car at the moment, but are slated to be replaced by another type in the near future. The new wheels will also be 15" x 8½" and 15" x 6", though the tyres will be different profiles.

A Camira rack is used and is connected to a Sigma steering column via various universal joints, and a neat little wood rimmed non-descript wheel tells the roadster where to head. The interior is all new, and Karen designed the neat V-8 logo that adorns the seat back. Peter Twidale stitched the interior out of black vinyl, and the theme is continued in the trunk. The car has a removable hardtop, but Wayne intends to replace that later with a genuine style folding top.

The mild steel headers dump into a 2½" stainless steel exhaust system that Wayne engineered to go over the 8½", 3.5:1 ratio Mustang drum-brake rear, and feed into SuperCat mufflers and resonators. The rear suspension uses a 4 link setup and coil-over shocks, while the tail lamps are '39 Ford blue dots - which are all that some people see of the car.

Ah, Queensland's roadster weather, beautiful one day, perfect the next. The Gateway bridge is an appropriate backdrop for this regularly driven Hot Rod.

Accreditation: The Editor
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