Two Passions One Radical Tribute Rod

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Phil Erby 33 Ford Model-A Indian Motorcycle tribute car

It takes a true artist and craftsman to combine two passions seamlessly into one vision.   We saw this gem at the Grand Daddy Drive-In at the Grand National Roadster Show and in a show full of standouts, this ride stole the spotlight.  It is a masterful combination of the owner Phil Erby’s two loves, Indian Motorcycles and Hot Rodding.  The fruit of Phil’s labor is a tribute Hot Rod that would make the staunchest 2 wheeled warrior long for 4 wide whites. And to top it all off, it is completely fabricated out of aluminum.

This Indian Tribute ’33 Rod started with an Andy Glause body. Andy’s fabrication skills are many and are abundantly clear.  His all aluminum ’33 reproduction body was the perfect foundation for this tribute build.  Glause remained very true to the original ’33 with one exception, the size. Glause accommodated Phil’s request for more room by adding 6 inches to the cowl and door, 3 inches to the overall width. However, 3 inches were removed when he chopped the top.

At first glance, the final finish on the Tribute ’33 may look like paint but it ain’t.  After seeing the finished body, Phil made up his mind not to paint the ’33.   He wanted to highlight Andy’s expertise and the craftsmanship that went into the building of the all aluminum body.  This baby’s only coat is clear, and there’s no filler hiding on this ’33.  Quite the metal magician in his own right, Phil took the body from Andy and spent over a year grinding and finishing the weld seams.  He then polished the the moldings and scuffed the body with Scotchbrite pads.  And if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Erby also fabricated the fenders and grille shell. 

A rebuilt 50’s era Mercury flathead bored to 276 ci with aluminum heads and a Holley four barrel carb, mated to a 5 speed GM tranny with an aluminum case gets this sliver streak down the road.  If you couldn’t tell, everything that could possible be aluminum on this ride is.  The driveshaft, heads, intake, you get the picture.   Phil even hand fabricated the full aluminum chassis.  It rolls with a Jaguar rearend with 4.11 gears and a Heidts independent suspension with disc brakes.  All said and done, this historical hot rod hybrid comes in at 2250 pounds.

Indian motorcycles accessories were integrated throughout the build.  The stellar leather trimmed interior was crafted by Auto Weave. The tribute door panels with custom Indian head embroidery are from Horndawg Leathers.

Long live Indian Motorcycles and Hot Rodding.

Thank you to Harold Camp of Appraisal Specialties of Colorado for the background info on this heritage hot rod.

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Till the next time – Keep on Kruzin.