Our whistle stop garage tour in Hampshire at the beginning of the year, saw us squeezing in one more visit before heading home. Our last port of call was to Mark Grant’s house somewhere near the M27, couldn’t tell you where as it was dark, but it had an odd name. Mark is also a Rolling Bloke, but unlike most of the others, has so far resisted the call of the Flathead V8. He has however, turned out two very fine hot rods in recent years, both built by himself, and both still owned by him. He also has a new project on the go, so three cars to check out, tying in nicely with our ‘hat trick’ title……
Hard to believe when looking at it, but Mark probably finished his zonking yellow highboy Roadster about 10 years ago. We know that because we wrote the feature for Custom Car magazine, and that was published in May 2006. The Roadster followed a flamed Model A Sedan that Mark also built, and all, including the black ’34, have been magazine feature cars.
The Roadster is a Rodline body, but is unique in that it has a Duvall-style front screen, and that unusual one-off hard top, actually a ’33 Ford top that was specially made and supplied by Wescott in the USA. It was tricky to get photo’s in the confines of Mark’s double garage, but the ’32 also features a cool ’40 Ford dash, and a Tadman red leather interior. The car was constructed on one of the first of So-Cal’s step-boxed chassis’s and with its I-beam front end and transverse rear spring, features lots of traditional hot rod features. If you want to read more, check out the CC feature, and even though I wrote it nine years ago, it’s still rather good, even if I say so myself….
Squeezed in next to the ’32 is Mark’s cool ’34 three-window Coupe, this mean-looking chopped and fenderless hot rod stands out by virtue of Mark’s engine choice, a gen-yoo-wine 392ci Chrysler Hemi that Mark scored on a visit to Bonneville with the rest of the Rolling Blokes. This build was always going to be a high horsepower traditional build, and Mark certainly has all the right parts in place. Chrome split wishbones, cowl steering, and a Winters quick change with ’40 Ford bells all go into the mix, with a Model A spring on an original crossmember for good measure.
With the keys for two killer hot rods at his disposal, Mark has moved on to something different for his current project, and is going ‘late model’ with a full ground up rebuild of a ’57 Chevy 2 door post. Mark had recently assembled the chassis when we visited, with a new fully disc- braked independent front suspension assembly, with low profile rubber in each corner, this car is going to sit lo-ooow.
The body was sitting on the other side of the garage on a dolly, as you can see it looks like its been freshly painted but this may or may not be the final colour, we’ll have to wait and see. Judging by his other builds, it’ll be worth waiting for.
Thanks to Mark for the impromptu tour, he had about 30 minutes notice before we all piled round, but trooper that he is, we were rewarded with a mug of tea as it absolutely freezing in his garage!