Right Side of the Tracks: Randy Perez’s 1927 Ford Model T Hot Rod
It’s hard to resist hot rods like Randy Perez’s 1927 Ford Model T Hot Rod. In the stance-is-everything game, Randy is an honor student. Read on.
Think back to your childhood for a brief moment. Were you interested in cars even at a young age? Did you have more Hot Wheels than your parents cared to step over on the floor? Did you “ooh and ahh” at the spectacle of anything with an engine and wheels? If any of this applies to you, then you could have been friends with Randy Perez.
There’s a lot to be said about Randy and his stable of custom vehicles, which he has dubbed “Randy’s Bomb Shop.” As a young boy, he found himself occupied with model cars, custom bicycles, and more.
Mechanical workings always fascinated him, and he pursued that knowledge throughout high school via auto shop, metal shop, electronics, and anything else related. Like many other auto enthusiasts, his passion for machines only grew as he did. However, his love affair with cars quickly surpassed the typical “weekend cruiser” lifestyle.
This is only our first story with Randy out of a larger series to come, so we’ll save the explanation of his collection for later. For now, we’d like to introduce you to his 1927 Model T hot rod.
This Model T is an eyeful, yet perfectly balanced. It presents itself traditionally in some ways, and in others, uniquely. Randy acquired the car in 2006 in an earlier, less complete form of what you see here. He had actually seen it around at various car shows, and always took note of it as one of his favorites. The choice of a six cylinder heart transplant and an extended, 127” wheelbase sweetened the deal.
After almost a year of his own searching, Randy saw this same Ford come up for sale. He knew he had to take the opportunity; as soon as the deal was made, he got to work customizing it.
“Once I bought the car,” he said, “I immediately changed the tires and wheels.” Not being a big fan of the radial tires and reverse dishes that came on the car, Randy opted for a custom made set of artillery wheels, powder coated in brilliant red. Custom is the key word here, as he needed the clearance to cover the rear disc brake conversion, which came from a Lincoln Versailles. In order for this combo to work, he staggered the wheels with the fronts at 15 x 6, and the rears at 15 x 7. For rubber, he went with 500/15 B.F. Goodrich Silvertowns with two inch white walls to wrap the front wheels with, and 890/15 Firestones with five inch white walls for the rears. To achieve that Hot Wheels character, he essentially went with the tallest and shortest setup he could find, simultaneously. Bigs and littles if you will.
Wheels and tires are certainly not the extent of Randy’s work into this build. In addition, he has taken on maintenance like tidying up the engine space and rerunning the brake and fuel lines. On the custom side, he changed the steering wheel, and the front grill (which was originally a Model T example) and swapped it out for a grill off of a 1940 Case SC tractor. The entire car has been painted satin black, and all of the beautiful pin striping was done by Alex of Fremont and Zeke Jaggers. The pin striping itself is a roller coaster for the eyes, and is one of the best parts about the car, in our opinion.
If you haven’t asked yourself this question already, we’ll ask it for you: Why not a V8? Well, it’s simple enough—not every car needs one. The Model T is fitted with a Chevy 250 out of a ’68 Camaro, mated to a 700 R 4 out of an ’86 Blazer. Randy’s preference of an inline six isn’t just for the sake of being different. Rather, it’s much simpler: the sound.
“Only a six cylinder engine with headers can make that sound,” he explained. “We call it a rap. It’s a distinctive sound made when you rev up the engine or decelerate down a hill. V8s can’t do that.”
While Randy can’t call himself much of a Ford fan, he attests that this specific car is an exception (speaking outside of the obvious Chevy power plant, of course). As previously mentioned, this T’s extended 127” wheelbase appealed to him for the aggressive personality he was looking for in his own hot rod. Those who are familiar with the style elements of traditional hot rods may notice the personal flair boasted by this build. Many of these cues come from Randy’s long history in the lowrider community. He has owned many over the years, inclusive to the present, and wanted to transfer some of those style points to a hot rod for a truly unique car.
“The red artillery wheels with beauty rings and white walls, the really low stance, the raccoon tail on the long antenna, the Corona accents, the pin striping—these are all subtle queues that you’d normally find in a lowrider or bomb style car.”
The wonderful part of all of this, in addition to the uniqueness and passion put into the car, is the fact that Randy truly lives and breathes custom cars. There is no element left untouched when it comes to his builds, even if it means giving a light touch up to what’s already there. He demonstrates the ability to dream up incredible looking cars, and exercises control and coordination in bringing them to life. An extensive amount of research goes into every project he takes on. More so, he is akin to an artist who is struck with his masterpiece of a concept.
“I like to buy nice cars and make them nicer, versus building a car completely from scratch. I can build one from scratch, but would rather find the right canvas and turn that into my vision.” There isn’t an unintentional part of his work to be found.
“Cars have always been my life,” he said. He reminisced on his days of youth, when he absolutely couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. He built custom bicycles and model cars. He worked hard in school and got a job at a machine shop, where he remained for ten years. He ultimately decided to pursue a career with the fire department, but don’t misunderstand this: his love of cars never faltered. He achieved automotive-life homeostasis in this way.
“The fire service schedule allowed me 20 days a month to work on my cars. I retired from the San Jose Fire Department after 28 years of service. It’s the reason I had the career I did, the home I own, and the woman I married. It all supports my passion.”
So, there you have it: the first of many upcoming stories with Randy and his collection of beautiful, custom cars. To round this off, Randy would like to thank his wife, Maddy, for “always supporting me in all of my crazy endeavors.”