Mel Thurber's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

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Clean Gene had just started working on his dad’s 34 Ford sedan in 1951 when Thurber showed up with a beautiful modified 29 Ford roadster that he had purchased in LA. "It was black, fender wells filled, custom 32 grille, 21 stud block, Aluminum heads, 2 pot manifold, most parts chrome plated, not just polished." Richard Peters snapped this photo of the roadster at an outdoor event in April of 1952, Gene’s Senior year in High School. "Mel had to fabricate fenders to comply with new California law requiring fenders. It was scary as a passenger, fenders kept vibrating until the flat steel stock would break. Added reinforcements did not help," Gene recalled. Photo from The Clean Gene Sadoian Photo Collection.
Dick Dooley later purchased Thurber's roadster and tore it up. "In high school, Dooley had a primered 34 Ford three-window, solid hood sides, heads, and 2 pot manifold. Dooley was a tough guy, he ended up as a "Mob enforcer" serving time at Terminal Island. He is the one giving Mel the nickname "Thumper." Photo from The Clean Gene Sadoian Photo Collection.


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