Boyds 29 Model A… The Silver Bullet.
The late Boyd Coddington was a machinist at Disneyland in the early 1970s. A promising hot rod builder, he was searching for a style all his own and a personal statement. Boyd’s first hot rods were heavily influenced by his friend, “’Lil” John Buttera, who was the first hot rodder to use CNC’S to create and ‘sculpt’ custom engines and suspension parts from solid billet aluminum.
Coddington admired a ’27 Model T Ford sedan that Butera had built, and he responded with a similar ’26 T. Butera’s next project was an ultra-modern ’29 Ford Model A roadster, which in turn motivated Coddington to create a counter-car that would become known as the “Silver Bullet.” The car is a remarkable blend of traditional styling and contemporary innovation.” For the “Bullet,” Buttera shaped a frame that added to the contours of the classic Model A roadster body. Boyd filled all the body seams, leveled the rear fender wells, and built an independent rear end using a Corvette center section and J&J hub carriers.
Custom Boyd Coddington Wheels with center hubs, handmade hairpin wishbones, a beautifully crafted dropped front axle, a “Bulldog” style abbreviated front, and functional lever shocks comprised the front section. Boyd built the three-piece hood and louvered the side panels by hand, then placed it to a Model A grille shell. The headlights seemed to ‘float’ beside the grille. The taillights were incredibly slim Lucite strips. Clean and contemporary, it put other retro-style highboy roadsters look positively prehistoric.
In keeping with this car’s clean exterior, Jim Bailey created a burgundy leather interior; Steve Borowitz added a wood grain dash insert, which Buttera filled with then-contemporary digital gauges. A three-spoke Boyd Coddington steering wheel complemented the dash. The shift lever and the pedals were machined from a solid piece of billet.
Boyd Coddington’s Silver Bullet was featured on the cover of Street Rodder magazine in April 1978. Vern Luce, a wealthy would-be customer, saw the Silver Bullet and retained Boyd to build him a ’33 Ford coupe that would soon make Coddington a household name. With this commission, Coddington quit his machinist job at Disneyland and opened Boyd Coddington’s Garage.
When the completed Vern Luce coupe appeared in 1981, it exemplified everything a hand-built, custom-built, high-end hot rod could be. Coddington soon became a industry leader, assembled a team and commenced manufacturing billet wheels and accessories. Boyd won the “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” seven times.
- Chevrolet V8 engine, 300 bhp, 350 cu. in.
- Four-barrel carburetor
- Custom dropped front tubular axle with torsion bars
- Corvette independent rear suspension with coil-over shocks
- Front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102″