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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1922 Model T

Bonneville Bad Boys- '22 Model TBonneville Bad Boy Buzzards

There is a group within the Roamin Angels Car Club that call themselves the Buzzards. They are guys who like to do most if not all of the work of building their hot rods themselves rather than buying a car already done or having the work done by others. Some of them also like to go to the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week where they help in the pit crew for fellow Angel Lee Wilborne during the speed trials there. He had a barbeque to initiate them that was called Bonneville Bad Boys and Babe’s BBQ. Now, this group of ‘Buzzards’ are known as the Bonneville Bad Boys. They stayed at a motel there that started having a Rat Rod show for cars that are home-built in the style of the original hot rods of the 40's and 50's. No heavy chrome or Billet pulleys are allowed and the cars are often painted flat black or gray primer. They are crude and rough, but in the spirit of the roots of the hobby and fun. Just up the Bad Boys’ alley. So they dropped a ‘22 Model T touring body on a Model A frame, added a ‘51 Ford flathead V-8 with a ‘38 Ford trans. The rear suspension is all stock Model A, as is the front axle, but the front end has been “suicided.” That involves moving the front axle forward, which gives a longer wheel base and helps weight distribution.

Oh, and they got their name when one of them said of the club leadership, “Look at them like a bunch of crows sitting on a power line.” “Then what are we?” asked another. “A bunch of buzzards along the highway looking for roadkill to find parts.” answered a third.

Bonneville Bad Boys- '22 Model T

The Bonneville Bad Boys, a registered trade mark of Lee Wilbourne, are (L-R) Bob D., Dick E., John Q., Bill B., Tom C., Joe A., Richard C. and Ken D. Although these Bad Boys are not big city cops, like in the movies of that name, their car looks like it might be used by Keystone Cops.

The Bad Boys prepare to push Lee’s C Gas Roadster , Lil’ Red Racer 994, to the pits. The T has a push bumper and also tows the Racer to tech inspection and the pit area at Bonneville. Currently the Model T is wintering in the Towe Museum in Sacramento.

Although Bonneville is about “the need for speed,” this Model T is not. With stock ‘40 Ford brakes, stopping is not very quick. The “suicide” front suspension was so named either because the handling was worse than stock or because the jury-rigged, home-made alteration could fail with disastrous results. Although the Bad Boys are confident in their work, they keep the speed of the T to 40 mph or less just to be safe.

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