In the street rodding hobby, if your car makes it to the cover of The Rodder’s Journal, you have achieved critical mass. That’s what happened when Arizona rodder Terry O’Herren brought his dual quad 1931 Ford Vicky Gasser to the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California. The Rodder’s Journal was so impressed with Terry’s car that they asked him if they could do a feature on it. It ended up on the cover of Issue #55 the subscriber’s edition.
O’Herren had been carrying around a vision of a car in his head for 40 years. He’ll admit he was kind of obsessed with the car in his imagination. In fact, he spent those 40 years finding the right parts to use in building it. Parts were bought and stashed away in anticipation of the build. He recorded how each part was to be used which made the final build easier to complete. He wanted to build the Vicky like a ’60s style gasser before racing had Christmas trees, glass fenders and sponsor names all over the cars. It had to be equally well mannered on the street as it was a monster on the track.
O’Herren was able to hire the best in the business to build his Vicky. He chose Jimmy White of Circle City Hot Rods in Orange, California to fabricate and build the all steel body. Over 1600 hours of build fabrication plus hundreds of hours more for paint and upholstery, resulted in this perfect tribute to the first class of Gassers that raced in those early days. Then out of the carefully saved boxes came a 1937 Ford V8 60 axle, a 1940 Ford steering box, 1940 wishbones, 1939 spindles, a 1936 Ford dash, 1959 Volvo bucket seats, NOS 1959 Autin Healey had brake, a 1950’s style Moon tank, NOS Eelco tank brackets, NOS Ansen pedal and linkage and boxes of Stewart Warner NOS gauges, a Wedge bellhousing, a Jones cable tach, Joe Hunt magneto, and the list goes on. The only way you could have put this car together was the way Terry had done it. These parts could not be found today, making this ’31 Vicky truly one-of-a-kind. Terry says it took over three years to construct the car.
For a power plant O’Herren found a 1960 Chevy 348 which was then bored and stroked and mated to a Borg Warner T-10 4-speed (he points out that Muncies were not available until 1964.) A Ford 9″ smooth case with a posi puts the power to the ground with Hurst cheater slicks protruding 2 inches out from the fenders.
“In 2007, Motorbooks released a coffee table type book titled Hot Rod Kings authored by David Perry and Kevin Thompson. Jimmy White was featured as their pick for one of the top traditional builders and fabricators in the country,” O’Herren told us. “Sean Johnstun, aka Fat Lucky, was their pick for top upholsterer. Jimmy built this car under my direction and Sean designed and stitched the trim. The quality of these mens work speaks for itself but what impressed The Rodder’s Journal and Pat Ganahl, who wrote the feature, was the sum of the parts … and what this car was not. It’s not a catalog car. No TCI, no Gibbons, no Glide, no Lokar.
“This is built like it would have been built in 1960 America with scavenged parts fitted together and made to work through ingenuity and a lot of fabrication. You can’t order this car and bolt it together. You couldn’t in 1960 either.
“The different parts that comprise this car and how they fit together to form the whole reflects what was going on in 1960 America and truly distinguishes it.
“It’s a true American Hot Rod built by American hotrodders.”
This car has been SOLD.
You’ll have the opportunity to view O’Herren’s 1931 Ford Ficky Gasser in video here. This video was taken when they were unloading the Vicky for display at the Grand National Roadster Show.