1929 Ford 22 Jr. Tony Nancy (Buick-Powered) RoadsterSOLD

RM Auctions - Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction - August 16-18

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Estimate: $300,000-$400,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $154,000

Specifications: 450bhp, fuel-injected, OHV V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf spring, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf spring and quick-change rear end, two-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase (est): 106"

The unprecedented success of Tony Nancy ’ s blazingly quick, flathead-powered 1929 Model A roadster helped make his reputation. But by 1959, he ’ d gone as fast as he could with that setup.

Its successor kicked off Hot Rod Magazine for April 1960. Tony ’ s second HRM cover car, was a featherweight ’ 29 on a Kent Fuller-built tubular frame, with Halibrand wheels, and a C-T Automotive four-inch stroked 450 cubic inch Buick nailhead, set back 25 percent of the wheelbase for optimal weight distribution.

In essence, this show and go beauty was a short-wheelbase dragster with a roadster body. Noted digger expert, Kent Fuller, had a shop that was located close to Tony ’ s upholstery business, so it stood to reason that when hot rodding ’ s fastest trimmer wanted to go even faster, he ’ d mosey next door to see what could be done. There were basically two ways to run more quickly: a significantly lighter car, or considerably more horsepower. Naturally, the irrepressible Tony elected to try both at once.

Fuller fabricated an ultra-light, but immensely strong chassis from three inch, .080 chrome-moly tubing, with 1 3/4-inch .080 tubing for the roll bar braces and the hand-made front axle. The lightweight wheels were polished Halibrand, solid magnesium units running skinny front tires and fat drag slicks in back. A 1934 Ford supplied the front spindles; the rear center section was a Halibrand quick-change. Stripped for action, the car weighed just 1,550 pounds, a significant weight savings over its predecessor. The stunning, Ross center-steered, rig ran a bored and stroked (4 1/4-inch by 4-inch) ‘ Buford, ’ fed by a state-of- the-art, eight-stacked Hilborn fuel injection system, a Scintilla Vertex magneto, and an Iskenderian camshaft. C- T Automotive supplied the balanced stroker crank; Jahns did the lightweight alloy pistons. Finned Weiand valve covers, a set of gorgeous, plated headers, and an elegant fuel pump cover, machined from a solid piece of billet aluminum, were just a few of the engine ’ s highlights. The fuel was high-octane pump gas. The transmission was a 1953 Buick. A 1/4-inch thick steel shield protected the driver from a possible flywheel explosion. One set of brakes, in the rear only, were finned Buick aluminum drums.

To save weight, the hood, firewall, doors, floor pan and decklid were all fashioned from aluminum. There was no radiator, just a small, tubular water tank with a pressure cap. The chromed Model A grille shell sported a see- through fiberglass insert panel so spectators could peer in and admire this immaculate car ’ s trend-setting, professional construction. Dzus fasteners permitted quick removal of the complete hood assembly and the cowl, so Tony could tune the estimated 450 bhp+ V8 between runs. He ’ s pictured on HRM ’ s cover with a good-looking blonde (his wife Lillian). The grille shell insert sported Tony ’ s favorite insignia, a prancing seahorse.

The roadster ’ s cockpit was elegantly spartan, with a three-spoke Bell Auto Parts steering wheel, a fuel pressure pump and a fire extinguisher, scant instrumentation and a fiberglass bucket seat, trimmed in pleated black leather. The roll bar framework extended ahead of the driver, confidently framing him on either side. Although roadster accidents were uncommon, Tony took no chances. Besides, offering rollover protection, the tubing helped stiffen an already rigid chassis.

A tight-fitting white tonneau, (stitched by Nancy), smoothed-off, flush-fitting rear fenderwell inserts, and a filled, molded rear decklid, with a small access hatch for the rear-mounted Moon fuel tank, ensured Tony ’ s blazing orange brick was as streamlined as the stringent rules allowed. To no one ’ s surprise, the roadster began setting records right out of the box, eventually running 138 mph in the low 10-second range. Later, Tony fitted it with a 6-71 blower and an Enderle injector, and turned 144+ mph.

East Coast collector and Tony Nancy enthusiast, Dan LaCroix, found and restored both of the 22 Jr. Model A roadsters. The completed Buick-powered car won an AACA First Junior at Hershey in October, 1993, and took its First Senior, the following year. It also won the AACA Past Presidents Racing Cup. Its Hershey appearance resulted in a tip that led to the purchase of the flathead-powered, original 22 Jr. This car comes with 9 racing trophies and a custom-built, single-axle trailer (available FOB Massachusetts for a limited time after the sale). A handsome set of racing ‘ bookends, ’ unquestionably welcome at any historic event, the two 22 Jr roadsters can be purchased separately or together, but it would be a shame to separate them, wouldn ’ t it?

Reference Number 10093

as of 6/1/2007

Overview
Car 1929 Ford 22 Jr. Tony Nancy (Buick-Powered) Roadster
VIN 22JR0002 
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