BUILD A BOATTAIL SPEEDSTER
The 127-inch wheelbase fiberglass bodied DECO RIDES Boattail Speedster is a true roadster with a bolt-on windshield, no roll up side windows, and no top. We do not offer a top but you can build your own folding top that stores in the trunk or a fixed non-folding "Carson Style" top that lifts on and off the car. The original effort was designed by CHIP FOOSE, but he had nothing to do with the Gen Two pontoon fenders.
The Speedster is offered as a highboy (no fenders) or with your choice of two different full-fendered variations.
The Gen One (Generation One) body comes with a one piece flip style front end where the hood, chopped Auburn grille shell, two hood side panels and two open Auburn style front fenders are all bonded into one big piece. See the orange and white "Creamsickle" pictured here.
The Gen Two body comes with four large pontoon style fenders inspired by a Figoni & Falaschi 1936 Delahaye.
Despite what the pictures at right showing an early body, there is no metal in our Boattail Speedster body. This is because AMERICAN FIBERGLASS in Rock Hill, SC, the fiberglass shop we now use to make the bodies, basically does not deal in metal fabrication. This means there is no inner support structure beneath the cowl or in the rear of the passenger compartment to support the B-post and suicide door hinges. We do not offer door or trunk hinges. The aforementioned metal work is necessary and is something that must be fabricated by whoever is putting the car together.
The Speedster Kit bodies come with a full floorboard and firewall bonded to the body. Doors and deckild are supplied as inner and outer skins that the builder must bond together. The kit does not include fender metal braces, which are necessary and should be fabricated and installed by the builder. If this all sounds like it is not your normal fiberglass body kit, i.e. no metal included, that's correct. This is a kit we designed and had the molds made for 18 years ago around 1999. We have retired and don't do this for a living. People still want to buy the bodies so we accomodate them. Other than reproduction replica early (1929-'34) and late (1935-'36) Auburn Boattail Speedsters, to our knowledge this is the only zippy-looking "hot rod" Boattail Speedster fiberglass body on the market.
We do not build turnkeys. We do not build carbon fiber bodies. All fiberglass is made using the chopper gun process. You can order it as a kit car and build it yourself, or have it built at the shop of your choice. Our Kit Car Boattail bodies are available on short notice (60 days from receipt of deposit).
FAT MAN FABRICATIONS has designed and builds a rolling chassis specifically for these bodies. His waiting list is approximately 120 days. Chassis and fiberglass Kit Cars require a 50% deposit at the time the order is placed, and the 50% balance just before the finished chassis or body is ready for delivery.
HISTORY: Smitten by the incredible styling of Auburn Boattail Speedsters (1927-1936) in 1998, Terry Cook of DECO RIDES, saw a sketch in RODDERS JOURNAL by the industry's top rod designer CHIP FOOSE, and embarked on a six-year quest to build molds and manufacture the DECO RIDES BOATTAIL fiberglass bodies.
Using a Fat Man Fabrications chassis with a V-10 Viper engine, the first Gen One orange and white "Creamsickle" DECO RIDES Boattail Speedster was completed in July 2004. It sold for $137,500 at the RM Auction in Monterey, CA during Pebble Beach week to Texas collector, Ford dealer SAM PACK.
A second Gen One black and silver Boattail with enclosed pontoon rear fenders, powered by a Maserati V-8, was completed in June of 2005, and likewise sold at Pebble Beach in August 2005 for $121,000, now owned by a Chicago collector.
A third fenderless Boattail (C5 Corvette based) was built as a Highboy, complete with real wood laminated on the top body surface to make it look like an old Chris Craft or Riva speedboat. Fully enclosed Gen Two pontoon fenders were later added to that car in late 2006 and it sold at the Seabrook, TX John Kruse Auction in 2007 at the Keels & Wheels Concours for $117,000 to a California collector.
The fourth DECO RIDES "BUGNOTTI" Boattail, a Gen Two model with Type 57 Bugatti grille, was sold Jan. 17, 2009 at the Gooding and Company auction in Scottsdale for $203,500 despite the weak economic climate.
Another DECO Boattail the "BUGNAUGHTY" was sold at he Auctions America sale in Auburn, IN Labor Day weekend 2017. It is currently for sale for $275 at Hyman Ltd. in St Louis.
There's an important message to be learned here. Today, 1932 and 1934 Ford roadsters (and 99% of all street rods) rarely ever sell for $100,000 or more. Despite how much you pour into them financially when building them, because they are so "common" and so plentiful, anyone who can sell one for more than $40,000 is lucky. It's a simple example of the law of Supply and Demand. Because they are unique, DECO RIDES Boattails have never sold at auction for less than $100,000. And if you spend a few more dollars for the Delahaye or Bugatti style grille shell, you increase the value and raise the selling price!
This includes a pair of enclosed "pontoon" style rear fenders. You have an option of leaving them enclosed or cutting a wheel well opening in the rear fenders to expose the rear tire if you so desire (see orange and white Creamsickle). If using the enclosed rear "pontoon," the fenders need to be removed from the car in order to change rear tires, or you can build your car so they flip up and forward, or you can cut out a removable fender skirt from the pontoon. Hardware for this flip rear fender trick is not included and is a do-it-yourself installation.
The Gen One rear fenders are different from the Gen Two fenders. By observing the photos you can see that the leading portion of the rear fender drops perpendicular to the ground, where the Gen Two fenders tuck and continue to roll under. The Gen One kit includes a one-piece "tilt type" front end with hood, side panels, grille shell with two open front fenders all bonded into one piece. The grille shell and grille for the Gen One car is a chopped and severely modified Auburn nose.
This includes four fully enclosed separate "pontoon" style fenders. They are distinguished by the fact that the leading edge of all fenders rolls under with a "pumpkin seed" or almond shape when viewed in profile. With the exception of the "muffin line" raised accent on the outside of all four fenders, the Gen Two fenders are copies of the classic Figoni & Falaschi Type 135 1936 Delahaye.
The differences between Gen One and Gen Two Boattails are shown above: Gen One (top) comes with one piece tilt front end with open wheelwells. Leading edge of rear fender of Gen One comes down almost perpendicular to the ground while leading edge of Gen Two rear fender rolls under with “almond” shape. The orange and white “creamsickle” Gen One car also has rear wheelwell cut to open position to show the tire, but also can be delivered with no wheelwell opening. Gen Two front fender is a fully enclosed pontoon hiding the tire.
The Gen Two Boattail can be purchased with a variety of noses. Your choice, pick one, no difference in price. Fiberglass Hood & side panels included with 1.) and 2.) but no hood or side panels for the Bugatti Grille. You must fabricate you own aluminum hood and side panels for Bugatti 3.) and 4.).
1.) CHOPPED AUBURN: The severely chopped and trimmed down 1935-'36 Auburn nose is standard for the Gen One, but can be used with the Gen Two Kit. A bolt-in aluminum aftermarket grille is available as an extra cost option from Alumicraft in PA.
2.) DELAHAYE: the Delahaye style fiberglass grille shell is standard and comes with the Gen Two at no extra cost. The Gen Two Delahaye nose comes with a fiberglass hood, side panels, and grille shell that match up to the Gen Two pontoon style front fenders.
3.) TYPE 57 BUGATTI: We make fiberglass replica Bugatti grille shells. We can fabricate the corrugated steel upper grille insert and working steel grille shutters. Fiberglass grille shell included at no extra cost but metal inserts are expensive.
4.) TYPE 57s BUGATTI: We make two different height 57s grille shells for use on our Type 57s Bugatti kits (standard or 2.5 inch shorter "droop snoot")
WINDSHIELDS: Two different windshield frame options are available. The first is a cast brass Duvall-style V-d frame ($1,800 unplated, without flat glass, Past Tech windshield frame from Speedway Motors) as shown on the orange car at top of this page.
The second windshield from Dick Rodwell and can either be severely laid back as shown on the car with the wood deck, or can stand more upright as seen on the Bugnotti. It is a slightly curved windshield from Dick Rodwell of RODWARE, 3225 Danforth Drive, #4552, Salt Lake City, UT 84121, email@example.com, $1,895 for a complete chrome plated frame and posts, with curved glass installed). An additional fiberglass piece ($125) that the builder needs to bond onto the DECO Boattail cowl to make this windshield fit is also suggested. A beautiful piece.
GRILLE: For Gen One Boattails, an Aluminum aftermarket grille with polished face side, designed to fit the original style Auburn-style nose, is available for $720 (very old price, must be higher buy now). For Type 57s grille we use a $200 1932 Ford stainless grille from Speedway Motors.
ROLLING CHASSIS: Fat Man Fabrications of Charlotte, NC, is a respected manufacturer that has built thousands of chassis over the past 40 years. They offer a rear wheel drive rolling chassis (no wheels or tires) specifically made for the DECO RIDES rear wheel drive Gen One and Gen Two Boattail Speedster. The price is $12,500 f.o.b. Charlotte, NC with coil over shocks all around or $15,080 with Shockwave air shocks on all four wheels. It features 2 x 4 mandrel bent frame rails, 1 x 2 x .120 rectangular tube center supports/cross member assembly, front cross member of 3 x 4 x .310 tubing. The frame comes standard with Fat Man's Stage III coil over front end with polished stainless steel control arms, narrowed manual rack and pinion steering box, 11" Ford bolt pattern disc brakes, and 2" dropped spindles or your choice of standard height spindles. It has a triangulated 4-link rear suspension with coil over shocks supporting a new 9 x 63 inch Ford rear end with 28 spline axles. The gear set is optional. A set of ECI disc brakes for the rear are included. Other chassis upgrades are also available (brakes, air ride suspension, etc.) at additional cost. We recommend the power steering rack. Normal waiting time for a chassis is 90-120 days from the date your 50% deposit is received.
Kit cars and chassis require a 50% deposit at the time the order is placed, and the 50% balance just before the finished body is ready for delivery.
DECO RIDES/DELAHAYE USA 201.400.5528
All fiberglass body prices FOB Rock Hill, SC.