The stanced car scene — dedicated to those rolling experiments of how close you can drop a vehicle to the Earth without touching — has always been polarizing, with some traditional hot rodders seeing it as little more than an exercise in vehicular trolling. But the more astute critics will find some solace in the newest project by Mike Burroughs, the head of StanceWorks, who spent much of the past two years combining a junked 1928 Ford Model A pickup with a modern BMW V-8 to produce his first "classic" hot rod. Then again, it still rides less than 2 inches off the ground.
Burroughs explains his process in a post at StanceWorks, saying he wanted to build something for fun in a traditional vein, even though he didn't know much about Model As or any other vehicle from the '20s. A bit of Craigslist searching revealed a '29 Ford Model A pickup which Burroughs paid $2,200 for — and would eventually be all but fully rebuilt from the frame up as a self-taught project in metal forming:
I started the project never having laid a weld on anything that mattered before. My welding experience tallied up to a couple of hours spent playing with the machine in my high-school shop class one afternoon when the professor let me stick pieces of scrap steel together. But I knew I had the hang of it, and understood the basic mechanics behind it. After some practice and the "okay" given by a fellow welding friend, I started cutting, grinding, and welding my way to a completed truck frame. Within a couple of days, I had something that loosely resembled a bent ladder. It also loosely resembled a truck chassis, which was the direction I was heading in! ... It felt good. Really good. I felt like I was mere months away from bolting everything together and having a finished truck, and I was only a few weeks in.
Ten months later, Burroughs was only halfway there. The rest of his story, including the choice of a 300-hp BMW V-8 from a 1995 740, will sound familar to anyone who's ever started a project without knowing exactly how they would finish it. It's not the kind of car that will grace a magazine cover, and despite the rust Burroughs rejects the label of "rat rod." But it's a unique effort, and there's nothing more traditional in hot rodding than being proud of doing things your own way.