This fantastic little racer started its life in Michigan, where an original Model A Ford was stripped down to be built into what is considered one of the most well-proportioned speedsters or racers. Built as a dual-purpose vehicle it was used in classic racing as well as on the street for parades and touring. Over time the car made its way to the UK before Bob found it and sent it to its new home in New Zealand.

Ergonomically, the interior layout is perfect with the custom seats in leather, the original Model A Ford steering wheel and the shortened gear lever all at good reach. The GMS fabricated dash and gauge panel is the icing on the cake though, in terms of style

Before we go on any further, we suggest you study the photos and digest the styling and proportions, not to mention the selection of really basic and simple components. Your dad or grandfather probably built something similar to race at Pukekohe Raceway or perhaps up the hill at Chamberlain Road? Perhaps you heard your dad or grandfather talk about similar cars of the past. You may even have or know of someone who has all the makings of a car similar to Lucky 17 that you can build to relive the past just as Bob Neville and his wife Julie do.

On display at the Kumeu Hot Rod & Classic Car Festival

GMS Hot Rods

While they cannot take the credit for the initial build, Auckland-based GMS Hot Rods have recently been doing extensive work to preserve, maintain and enhance the character of this car. Lucky 17 draws inspiration from early dirt-oval racing, early Indy cars and other similar forms of early motoring when specials were built with what was lying around to go racing. First thing up for GMS Hot Rods was to give the Ford’s suspension a tune up and correct the geometry, while improving overall driveability and handling characteristics.


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