Custom Model T Truck – Blasting Down the Boulevard
If you are going to build a Custom Model T Truck, you might find inspiration here. Only this Custom Model T Truck doesn’t have much Model T left. It’s a piece of art – an expression of a special man.
Michael Leeds has been doing this a long time. If his workshop was any indication, this is a guy with a clear and deliberate passion for what he does. Michael Leeds is more than just a proper gearhead, though, and it’s pretty clear straightaway the guy is an artist first and foremost.
Making up half of the Blastolene Brothers, you’re likely already familiar with Leeds’ work. Today we’d be taking out one of his less-known and more recent creations. It’s been eight years of tinkering for Leeds, but his latest build has just recently been deemed road-ready by the State of California.
Just going for a casual cruise, the car looks out of place everywhere you take it. Leeds says this is his favorite thing about it, just that it’s “so not normal.” The retro-futuristic feel of the car as it breathes fuel and spits out power around town is so intense; you can’t help but experience the thing as it rolls by you.
It’s powered by a small block Chevy making a conservative 350 horsepower. In a car this light and this cool, power output doesn’t really matter anyway. What matters more is how that tunnel ram intake with two Demon carburetors looks sitting atop the V8.
Inside the car all you have for support is a homemade foam pad and a bit of rubber covered up by quilts and scraps of antique Persian rugs. It’s not for everyone, but no one can accuse Michael of not being creative and building this car exactly as he wanted to.
Every square inch of the thing is deeply personal in some way; he’s owned the steering wheel since he was 17 years old, for example. The whole car just started out as metal tube and the project was completed with his two twin boys.
Leeds sees the car as fine folk art more than a vehicle. The car and the process is his connection to the material world where he’s just “a person” with tools in his hands. He says he’s “always been captivated by things on wheels that go,” and that building a car is a sort of “prosthesis.” The brake lines are an extension of his nervous system; when something is off with the car he can feel it.
With his mechanical prosthesis complete, we’re sure Michael will be turning heads with the build for thousands of miles to come.