1931 Ford Roadster – Neil Siermachesky’s Bare Metal Beauty
Neil Siermachesky’s 1931 Ford Roadster should quiet the screaming graybeards who are convinced hot rodding is dying. Based in Port Alberni BC, the 37 year old Siermachesky has a deep connection to Model A roadsters, a family connection to be exact.
You might remember this Hot Rod Magazine story about Neil’s parents Maurice and Joan and their ’28 Ford Model A roadster built to run across country (It was driven from sea to sea in their native Canada) to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. Their granddaughter Marley had brain surgery at 5 years old so they took their freshly-built roadster on a mission to raise funds and awareness as well as make a wish come true. It worked!
Neil did all the fab work and welding on that ’28 roadster proving his skills as an up and coming young hot rod craftsman. Six years in the making, his latest hot rod roadster, displayed here in bare metal, shows how his skills have evolved.
Selected as the Fuel Curve Pick at the Goodguys 31st Pacific Northwest Nationals in Puyallup, Neil’s 1931 Ford Roadster had our hearts from the start of the event. Not only because it’s so bitchin’, but Neil is a young hot rodder and craftsman on the rise. When we see someone under 40 driving a righteous, traditionally styled hot rod roadster, one with a shiny hemi no less, we take notice.
Not only is the roadster on the money in terms of stance and style, its driven in the elements. If you know anything about Vancouver Island, damp, overcast days are the norm eight to nine months out of the year. You’re going to encounter some hairy situations in an open car and Neil has already had such an experience. “I got caught in a 45 minute torrential downpour over a mountain pass,” he recalled. That alone earns any roadster rider street cred from the legends of hot rodding.
This car is proof that not every 20 or 30 something kid out there builds street machines and trucks. Some build lakes-influenced “hair blowers” as our old dad Gray Baskerville used to call them and Neil’s roadster checks all the right boxes.
Let’s start with the crown jewel of the build – a 1957 Chrysler Hemi with immaculate factory-chromed “Chrysler Fire Power” valve covers. To get it to fit properly, Neil made up some motor mounts from scratch. The hemi performs flawlessly thanks to a complete freshening along with a pair of 500cfm Edlebrock carbs. The Sanderson Lakester headers are a perfect compliment to the engine. The ol’ iron 392 sounds the part too thanks to Flowmaster Hushpower mufflers at the end of its heat-wrapped 2 ½” exhaust.
A low riding hi-boy car, there is science behind the stance. Neil made his own chassis using deuce rails, plenty of custom tubing and a So-Cal 4-inch dropped axle with ’36 Ford wishbones. A So-Cal Speed shop disc brake setup is stashed inside finned drums for time-tested curb appeal. The ass end is shored up with a 4-link, coilovers and a Ford 9” pulled from a ’74 Ford Bronco. Of course, the 16-inch steelies with ’41 Ford hubcaps and blackwalls are spot on. When Neil tires of rolling the blackwalls, we’re sure a set of Firestone wide whites would look equally as good.
Looking at the car from a ¾ front perspective, your eyes drift towards the grill – a gennie ’32 Ford Pines Winterfront scored from a family friend. It’s the perfect compliment to the A’s low-slung, flowing lines.
Model A roadster aficionados will pick up on Neil’s subtle body mods which include a one-inch extended cowl rolling into the dash, a Duvall windshield with filled posts as well as the flush-mounted fuel filler.
Peering over the doors, the interior is as pleasing as the exterior. Neil made the floor, door panels and tunnel giving it a steam punk feel. We dig it! The seats are home made and the gauge cluster housing So-Cal gauges seamlessly ties it all together. But what about that shifter knob! Is that the coolest knob you have ever seen? It is for us!
As veterans of the rod & custom event scene, we have seen it all. When strolling a show, we sometimes walk right by deuces, Mercs and Tri-Fives, but there are certain cars that still stop us in our tracks. Neil’s roadster is one of those due to his choice of grille, engine and style. When you start looking closer, see the details, the road rash then meet an under 40 owner who built the car in his garage, our hope for hot rodding’s future is fulfilled.
Neil understands the importance of building and preserving early hot rods. He also understands perhaps hot rodding’s most important rallying cry “Drive your stuff!” Not only does he bomb around Vancouver Island dodging rain drops, he crosses the border every summer to attend Goodguys Puyallup.
Neil, his family and his hot rod are truly a gift from our Maple Leaf neighbors to the north. By now, the American border crossing guards surely know Neil and his righteous 1931 Ford roadster. We bet they smile wide watching it drive away.