Photos and Words By Matt Strong

Finding great Chevy cars isn’t as hard as looking for the other brands, because Chevy is the most dominating marque in hot rodding, regardless of application. So, when there is something special about a Chevy car, it will get shot and written up in Max Chevy. This month’s car is just that, special; a 1934 Chevy Phaeton that has such great work, assembly and style that I had to get it into Max Chevy right away.

Will Adams spent 30 years of his life working in a Research & Development Laboratory of Texaco (his father spent 40 years in the same place). During that time he did some Sprint Car racing as well as racing a 1927 Model T Ford with a Big Block Chevy located rearward of where the original 4-banger was placed.  After a short while at both of these pursuit's it was suggested that he stick to milder types of sport. He did what he was told and waited until he was retired to get back into the hot rod game.

While he is fully capable of building a car from scratch he felt that what he wanted, a 34 Chevy Phaeton, might be purchased from someone else easier than buying the body, frame and the rest of the pieces new. Add to that; the body and chassis he wanted was from “Old Chicago” in Clackamas, Oregon and they were out of business. Their business was based upon outstanding quality with the entire body is made of hand-laid mat, not chopper gun fiberglass.

It is quite hard to tell that the car isn’t steel until you walk up and feel under the fenders where the hand-laid glass can be felt. I am guessing that when top tier buyers were done buying them, their high quality simply cost too much for the average “Joe” that didn’t understand the disparate quality levels they represented vs. cheaper options. Today, any used “Old Chicago” built car will cost more than others because of the built-in quality

It took Will a while to find one that was completed and drivable with a BB Chevy, strong automatic and a 51 inch Strange 9” housing and locking TrueTrac from Eaton differential inside the Strange removable pumpkin, with just a 2.49:1 gear ratio, to plant both tires when he accidently steps on it too hard. Right! Since he purchased the car he has literally taken it all apart as he upgraded parts as well as replaced worn parts and repainted the entire chassis and suspension. The 502 BB Chevy was removed and the camshaft and lifters were changed to something that builds more “horse-pressure” and yet is capable of decent fuel mileage with the high-speed gearset installed. Without that Big Block torque the car couldn’t handle the 2.49:1 gearset. To be honest his main concerns were safety when driving and getting the right sound from the engine as well as a bit more power.

In the past three years he has won 12 awards in car shows; Best of Show, People’s Choice, Best Street Rod, etc. Will paid 30K for the car and has invested another 5K to make it his own. That includes the wheels and tires plus the engine parts he installed himself. Lets look at some details to see what he really has.