5-6 October 2017

Previous Next

Lot 140

1931 Ford Model A Roadster Hot Rod

  • Chassis no. A 4564587

Sold for $39,600

  • East Coast take on early hot rodding
  • Built by Dick Ouellet of the Cam Snappers Club
  • Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 power
  • Fascinating piece of hot rod history

The hot rod and custom car movement, initially a West Coast phenomenon, reached the eastern United States by the early 1950s. The advent of Hot Rod magazine in 1948 by Robert Petersen was essential in spreading the gospel, helped immeasurably by a host of small pocket-sized publications like Car Craft, Hop Up, and Honk. West Coast rods, however, brought their own orthodoxy, beginning with a ’32 Ford “Deuce” coupe or a Model A roadster and adding a hotted-up Ford flathead V-8.

In the east, some were willing to bend the rules. So it was that Dick Ouellet of Newburyport, Massachusetts, set out to build his own rod in 1954. The first part was pure textbook: eschewing the “high-boy” form of hot rod, on a conventional frame and suspension, he took a 1931 Model A roadster and channeled the body over the frame. For power he chose not a flathead but an Oldsmobile overhead-valve Rocket V-8. By that time the 303-cu. in. Olds Rocket made from 150–170 bhp, depending on compression and carburetion. For the gearbox he used a three-speed unit, activated through a steering column shifter. The instrument cluster came from a 1950 Pontiac. Cycle fenders completed the motif.

Dick was a member of the Cam Snappers Club in Newburyport, on Massachusetts’ North Shore. Founded by Jere Sheehan in 1952, the Cam Snappers are still going strong, meeting monthly and participating in local shows and cruises. Sheehan retired as president only recently, having served for 60 years.

Purchased in 2006 by the current owner, Dick Ouellet’s Model A has recently been restored to its original condition, with metallic red paint and a red-and-white vinyl interior. A matching red carpet lines the floor, and the engine compartment is done in sanitary fashion. An electric fan has been added and Ouellet’s “O”-shaped nerf bar sits proudly in front. A large fuel tank occupies the space once used for a rumble seat. The car is offered with documentation of its history by veteran Cam Snappers and many historic photos.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more