Being a former drag racer and SCCA driver, Gary wanted a powerplant with more oomph. He opted for a spankin' new 502ci Chevy big-block, which he had Tim Speer of ProBoat Services in Atlanta, Georgia, balance, blueprint-and generally make badass. Tim specified a special-grind Crane Cams roller camshaft and modified the Brodex aluminum heads to provide even better airflow. With such tight quarters in the engine bay, Meziere Enterprises in California provided an offset billet aluminum electric water pump, which runs no greater than 190 degrees, regardless of atmospheric conditions or driving circumstances. Rewarder Headers custom-made some tubular headers to snake around the big-block and clear the T&T fabricated frame. T&T optimized the TH400 trans with a 3,000-stall converter and Lokar floor shifter to best back the 600hp big-block.

Though much modified, the original exterior sheetmetal panels of the A date back to December 28, 1929. T&T moved the firewall rearward to fit the big-block mill. They custom-made a three-piece hood, and fabricated a rear roll pan/fuel-tank cover to conceal the extended custom frame. Many subtle-and extensive-modifications added up to achieve the goal of appearing stock, yet fitting all the custom replacement items, like the rat engine, perfectly. Several coats of the custom-mix Lamborghini Ice lavished the perfect panels, as did several clear coats, while the truck was all in pieces. Color sanding and buffing followed before T&T transformed the pieces to a whole on the chassis.

Before creating the interior, T&T's Terry Womack hand-fabricated a dash bezel to appear like a Ford factory item. He filled the bezel with Classic Instruments and wired the pickup. The selected upholster, M&M Interiors of Holly Pond, Alabama, built a custom bench seat. Wayne and Pamela McGriff, M&M's owners, trimmed the seat in tan German leather with faux-crocodile inserts. Smooth, German wool carpet covered the floor, which brought the swift 1.5-year construction project to a conclusion.

For more than 30 years, Gary campaigned and won in several drag racing classes, as well as in SCCA; throughout that time he has owned muscle machines and street rods. These days, he spends much of his free time racing to shows across the southeast with the multiple-award-winning ragtop truck. Like many a hobbyist, the Brighams love the Model A, but they're already contemplating crafting another hot rod hauler and Ridler contender. CCT will do its darn'dest to be the first magazine with a full feature, should the Brighams' dreams bear fruit (but you already knew that).