Marty & Kim Wilkey's 1930 Ford Model A
(from Volume 23, Issue 273)

story by owners Marty & Kim Wilkey, photos by Michael B. Kelly


This all steel 1930 Ford Model A Coupe belongs to Mary and Kim Wilkey of Lakeland, Florida. It was a total restoration done by Ron Brown and his son in Kentucky. Ron owned the car for 17 years, and it took 14 years to build, with the completion coming in the summer of 2009. It was featured in the Autorama / World of Wheels / Cavalcade of Customs show in 2009, featured in Hot Rod Show World Magazine, and Hot Rod Magazine in the car’s debut year.

The most eye catching feature of this car is the paint job. It features DuPont Super Jet Black base coat/clear coat and the flames, pin striping and gold leaf were hand painted by world renown (and Hot Rod Hall of Famer) Bill “Short Round” Roell. The original Henry Ford steel body has had extensive modifications, after it was acid dipped to remove any rust. The top was chopped 3-inches, and given a steel roof insert. The doors were chopped and recessed as suicide doors with Carolina custom hinges, and the door handles and trim were shaved for a sleek appearance. Frame extensions were added to support the 1932 Ford gas tank on the rear, with a stainless support spreader bar. Brookville Roadster steel front fenders, rear fenders, splash aprons, running boards, and a ‘32 Ford grill shell were installed. In the rear you’ll find a pair of ‘39 Ford taillights with Blue Dots recessed into the steel rear fenders, and a Gearhead recessed third brake light was installed under the rear window for better safety. A Rootleib steel smooth 3-piece hood with Carolina custom hood hinges were installed to accentuate the smooth lines. To finish off the front end, a stainless steel grill insert and custom front spreader bar was installed.

Underneath you’ll find a Brookville Roadster frame, which is fitted with a full chrome and polished stainless 3-inch drop tube front end, with rack and pinion steering. Keeping it stable is the TCI 4-bar and panhard bar. A custom steel, insulated floor was installed to fit the frame and transmission hump like a glove, and a Brookville Roadster recessed firewall was installed to provide room for the power plant.

Under the hood is a new GM Performance small block crate motor with a Comp Cams Thumpr with 0.498 lift providing the hard-hitting heartbeat, which is kept cool by a Walker radiator. Power is transferred thru a Turbo 400 transmission with a 2,500 stall converter, and then a 9-inch Ford posi rear end with disc brakes.

Inside you’ll find a custom black leather interior by Barry Langdon, featuring a TEA’s Design seat. Billet Specialties provided the polished steering column and steering wheel, and the ‘32 Ford dash is topped off with a Billet Specialties gauge insert with Ford Motor Script gauges. Tunes come from an Alpine stereo with a CD player, and four Alpine speakers located in the custom overhead console and behind the seat. For convenience it has electric windows and electric door poppers, and the trunk opens smoothly using a Ball’s power trunk lift kit.

Marty and Kim Wilkey of Lakeland, Florida purchased the car in early 2016 from Ron Brown’s son, who is now living in California. The car was shipped from California to Florida, and since then several upgrades have been made. This car is never trailered, only driven. As of the time of this writing there are 5,200 miles on the odometer since the Wilkeys took ownership. Regularly they’ll attend a couple car shows per month in and around the Central Florida area, mostly on the weekends. The Wilkeys are members of the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) and local clubs; the Tampa Knights, Central Florida Street Rod Association, and Lakeland Cruisers. They typically attend smaller shows monthly and three large events per year. These include the NSRA South East Street Rod Nationals in Tampa each April, the Lake Mirror Classic in Lakeland each October, and the Turkey Run in Daytona Beach each November.
Marty has been a hot rod enthusiast since an early age, and can remember thumbing through the pages of his father’s various hot rod magazines when he was approximately 5 years old. Marty learned mechanics from his father, Jim Wilkey, who was a mechanic for many years, and Marty has added to that knowledge by a lot of blood, sweat and tears. His first car was a 1970-1/2 Camaro which came factory with a 350/350hp engine, though several modifications were made to make it faster.

Kim’s full time job is Chief Operating Officer for The Shea Office and Spring Lane Ranch, LLC. As expected, Kim attends and shows in a handful of horse shows in and around Central Florida. Marty retired from the United States Air Force in 2004, and has been in banking since. Together they have owned a few street rods, including a radical 1923 T-Bucket with a GM Performance ZZ454 with a B&M Mega Blower sitting atop an intercooler that towered above the windshield. This car was primarily a trailer queen unless the show was close to home. After getting wet in the rain a few times, Kim said “enough” and it was time to sell it. After winning numerous awards this car sold within the first week and is now traveling the show circuit in Texas. Afterwards they acquired a steel bodied 1931 Ford Model A street rod in New York and had it shipped to Florida, wherein it went through several upgrades during the short time they owned it. It also sold very quickly without being advertised to another street rod enthusiast who met Marty and Kim at a car show in Lutz. Likewise, this car received several awards before it was sold and shipped to Pennsylvania. Their latest purchase is the 1930 Ford Model A pictured here. It has already gotten its share of recognition, and puts big smiles on Marty and Kim’s faces every time they climb inside. CN