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One of the oldest and most popular ways to go fast was to strip down a Model T Ford roadster to the bare essentials, fill it with a big V8, and hang on. This 1927 Ford Model T roadster is known as the Salt Boss, a 4-wheeled display of minimalism dedicated to just one thing: maximum speed.
We aren't going to go into a lot of details about the bodywork, partly because there isn't much and partly because it's a race car, so form definitely follows function. There are still plenty of familiar styling cues, from the cut-down '32 radiator shell to the "turtle" deck that was unique to the late Model T roadsters. Shaved, smoothed, and extensively modified, it's just enough bodywork to make the wind slip around the car at triple-digit speeds. The windscreen is probably mandatory on a car that goes this fast and does it on a bed of sale, and the roll cage poking up from the bodywork is not only for safety, but also an old-school look that dates back to the earliest days of record-setting. The blue paint is, well, blue, but it makes this roadster easy to spot out on the flats and that's what matters. Fenders out back are probably a good idea, but the open front wheels are there simply to put the smallest possible cross-section into the wind. Out back, there's a parachute and once you experience this thing at speed, you'll never again wonder why such a thing might be necessary. It's not pretty, but it's a pretty effective tool.
The interior is race-grade, which means a single bucket seat and not much else. Once you're buckled in, you can't really see the gauges anyway, so there's not much more than an oversized tach and an ancient oil pressure gauge. The rest of the controls are designed to be used by feel, including the fire suppression system and switches for the water pump, ignition, and starter. Aluminum panels keep the driver safe inside the cage and the seat itself is neatly integrated into the design. Again, it's not built for show but as an effective way to go fast. There's technically a trunk, but it's full of fuel cell, ignition system wiring, batteries, and fire bottles, so don't plan on any road trips with this one.
A stout 1969 Boss 302 V8 provides the power, and with so little weight and pretty decent aerodynamics, it's extremely effective. The usual performance upgrades are all here, from the awesome Hilborn-style injection, lots of compression, a big cam that works at high RPM, and long-tube headers and side pipes, and it all works to push this ancient Model T to some truly astounding velocities. It proudly wears Ford Motorsport valve covers and is connected to a 3-speed manual transmission, which, on the salt flats, is plenty. Out back there's a heavily reinforced 9-inch rear end with super tall gearing designed to push the T to ever higher speeds. Shockingly, it's still sitting on hairpins and an I-beam axle up front, tying it to its past, which is a big part of this car's appeal. Race-grade Goodyears on all four corners are built for speed, with those in back being a bit taller to eke out a few extra MPH on the big end.
No, this car isn't for everybody, but if you're the guy who knows what it is and what it's designed to do, well, perhaps you've just found your next ride for Speed Week. Call now!
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