By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

At a quick glance, this Ford Spring Car on BringaTrailer.com is pretty legit. It has streamlined bodywork, transverse leaf springs, period-correct rubber and friction shocks to help make its case. Harkening back to the early days of American motorsport, this “big car” looks like a hoot to drive, and the commenters love what they’re seeing.

But in reality, this car is actually a nicely crafted tribute car, executed in a resourceful fashion that even you could copy at home. Let’s dive in and I’ll show you what I’m on about.

This car is based largely on Ford Model A chassis components, and that’s what gives it that period-correct appearance. A four-link beam axle up front is suspended by a singular, transverse leaf spring, while a transverse spring and solid axle are used out back. The frame rails are Model A as well, along with the wheels.

I’ll assume, like me, you don’t have a Model A chassis laying out back to base a project like this on. No matter though, as all these parts can be sourced new if you’re so inclined. Take these frame sections from Speedway Motors for instance. At $499.00, they offer a nice savings for those who’d rather tackle the cross braces and other parts at home to save a buck. Speedway also stocks a couple Model A front end kits, priced at $469.99 and $599.99, which will get you that signature Model A stance with all new parts.

Things get a little more difficult at the rear axle though, as the Model A’s rear axle is not used as commonly as the front. You could locate these parts at a swap meet or at a recycler, or use a fancy quick-change unit as well, but I’d argue that the transverse leaf spring is really the important bit. And guess what, that’s also available from Speedway Motors for around $289.99. With this part in place, you could use a more common 9-inch axle and devise the spring perches I’d imagine.

Your options are really wide open under the hood though, and that’s where the builder of this car on BringaTrailer.com got really creative. A 2.3-liter GM Quad 4 powers the Ford tribute, which is an interesting choice on its own. The peppy DOHC four-cylinder featured four valves per cylinder and was likely lifted from an Oldsmobile, Pontiac or Buick of the late ’80s or early ’90s. The engines produced between 150 and 190 hp, but they’re appreciated in the hobby for their throwback dual-cam-cover look, which does mimic a little Offenhuaser in this application as some commenters have suggested. Hooked to a GM S-10 truck transmission, this is a resourceful install and should supply spry performance.

But you could get a whole lot simpler than that as well, and I’ve always maintained that a classic pickup truck would be a great donor for a project like this. Take my first truck for instance, a classic Ford with a 240 ci inline-six and an New Process 435 transmission. The performance would be a bit clunky and truck-like, but I’d say more accurate than not. And these drivelines are a dime-a-dozen, and can likely be had for cheap or free.

But now let’s address the elephant in the room — the bodywork. You’ll have get crafty here, as I don’t have a quick and easy solution, but some of these sections should be fairly simple to form in metal. If not, whip up a quick buck out of wood and filler and make the complex sections out of fiberglass.

At the end of the day, or the auction in this instance, this Ford tribute will probably sell for a nice little chunk of money, but there’s really no reason you couldn’t build one at home. And if you do, be sure to tell us about it.

See the car here on BringaTrailer.com.