1926 Ford Modified Competition Coupe – The Peat Bros T
We recently spotted this 1926 Ford Modified Competition Coupe – a tribute to the Peat Bros ‘T’ and had to take a closer look. That led to an impromptu photo shoot and a cool story about a way cool car. Rich Arnott’s all-custom, race-ready 1926 Ford out of Napa, California has been on the road for a few years now. Its beauty and stance pulled us in from 400 yards away. It’s no surprise Goodguys selected it as the Homebuilt Heaven award winner at the West Coast Nationals.
The other eye-catcher, of course, are those eight tall stacks coming out of the top of the motor. Once we looked closer, we quickly saw that it was using a fuel injection setup on a Chevy small block. When we tracked down Rich, he filled us in on the go fast goodies.
It is indeed a SBC — a 355cid motor fed by a Hilborn EFI system. From there the power goes through a T-5 five-speed, which is a great addition to the car, and finally out back to a Ford 8-inch rear end. We also noticed Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners of the car.
These changes certainly give this old Ford a new life; the reliability these parts bring make this competition coupe very drivable during the summer rodding months. And with all that dirt track style rubber out back (with vintage-look Firestones up front), this thing looks and acts the part. To help with the feel on the road (or track), the suspension has been completely gone through as well.
But when you build something like this, creature comforts are probably the last thing on your mind. This build just oozes style and does so in a way that doesn’t sacrifice function. The drilled steering wheel and upper surround, the beautifully TIG-welded headers, the disc-brake conversion, and more give it the resemblance of the original car from so long ago.
Then there’s the very well-executed, stripped down interior. While it’s lacking door panels and other items you would expect on a typical restoration, it still feels clean and polished. While we were peaking around inside we took note of the upgraded gauges as well as a cool shift knob. Back outside, some tastefully crafted door handles are also present.
The car has a very complete feel to it, as if it’s sitting there waiting, ready to go racing. Legend has it the original Peat Bros ‘T’ burned to the ground at a race in Alabama after two very dominating seasons in the 1960s. The brothers did go on to build at least two more racers, but the details after that get a bit murky.
Luckily, there’s nothing murky about this build — it hides nothing. All its guts are right there for you to see and everything has been meticulously thought through. A beautiful car that’s been built exactly as a race car would have been made fifty years ago if they had some of today’s technology. Lucky for us in 2017, we get to enjoy to best of both worlds. And of course, Rich gets to enjoy his masterpiece on the open roads and track.