Tim McMaster’s Ford Y block-powered 1930 Model A Tudor sedan

Tim McMaster is known around the traps as the Y-block guy

Photographers: Dale Haberfield

We’ve previously featured Tim McMaster and his killer flathead-powered T roadster, but the other hot rod in his stable is this ’30 tudor and it’s a neat bit of gear too.

This article was first published in Street Machine’s Hot Rod magazine, issue #19

“I’ve always been into muscle cars, always liked hot rods, but it’s the first one I’ve ever built,” says Tim. “I got together with Derrek Boling over a Y-block that he had a problem with and he called me to have a look at it.”

The old girl might look pretty mild with its stock paint colour and black steelies, but that Y-block is pretty gnarly and those pie-crust slicks have their work cut out for them. It looks a bit more serious from this angle (above) and you might get a peek at the 9in. There’s also a manualised C4 hiding under there, and she’ll go 12.95@107mph in the quarter

Tim fixed the problem with the Y-block, which just happened to be fitted to a very cool ’31 pick-up, which just happened to be for sale.

“It was way out of my price range, so they agreed to build one for me instead,” says Tim. “We found a complete car up in Pleasanton on Craigslist, and the body was in good shape.”

With its factory Kewanee Green and Elkpoint Green highlights, at a quick glance you might think it’s a neat stocker with the fenders ripped off, but then you might notice the cheater slicks out back and the healthy-looking Y-block up front. It’s pretty serious and has run 12.95@107mph over the quarter-mile.

The Y-block is bored 125thou over to measure up at 334ci. It’s got 11.0:1 compression, triple 97s and rams-horn manifolds off a CO

“Sometimes I think I built it too much,” Tim says. “It’s more built for a race track than for the street because the compression is too high.” I dunno, sounds just about right to me.

If you’re ever in the San Joaquin Valley area of California, drop into Hanford and say hi to Tim. There’s plenty more stories that won’t fit on these pages, but it would be remiss to not mention how he got his start all those years ago after finishing trade school.

“I took a job at a British car dealership, but British cars weren’t doing that great in the early 80s and they had to let me go. Desperately in need of an income, I took a job doing grunt work at a machine shop doing teardown and clean-up. In a few months, I was grinding valve seats and surfacing heads.”

While his skills and responsibilities were increasing, the pay packet wasn’t, so Arnold Parigian, a local racer legend, introduced Tim to Leonard Tripp at Hanford Auto Supply.

“He doubled my pay the moment I came to work for him,” says Tim. “That was 33 years ago and I’ve worked in this building for that long. I tried to buy the place off the old man about 20 years ago, but he would have none of that because he wasn’t going to sell out ever.”

Mr Tripp passed away two years ago at the ripe old age of 94 and Tim finally got his chance to buy the business, and he lived happily ever after.


Paint: Kewanee Green with Elkpoint Green trim

Type: 334ci Ford Y-block C2AE block
Inlet: Edelbrock 573
Carbs: Triple Stromberg 97
Heads: 113 casting
Valves: Stainless 2.02in (in), 1.60in (ex)
Cam: Isky 505
Pistons: TRW Power Forged 0.125in-over
Crank: ECZ 312, offset-ground to 3.5in-stroke
Conrods: NASCAR cast-offs 6.200in
Radiator: Walker
Exhaust: COE rams-horn manifolds, twin exhaust
Ignition: Mallory ZCM Megaspark with Pertronix conversion

’Box: Manualised C4
Converter: 3000rpm stall
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears

Front end: So-Cal 4in dropped I-beam
Shocks: Pete & Jake’s chrome (f & r)
Steering: Vega cross-steer
Brakes: MT Car Products Lincoln drums (f), Ford drums (r)

Rims: 1937 Ford ‘wide five’ 16×4 (f), Wheel Vintiques 16×8 (r)
Rubber: Coker 5.50R16 (f), Hurst pie-crust slicks (r)

Derrek Boling of Boling Brothers Early Iron for all the help with the frame and fab work on both cars; Eric Hibbs for finding and delivering such a great T body to start with; Mark Skipper for being my hot rod mentor – if he hadn’t let me drive his ’32 coupe survivor long ago, I may not have got the bug or the encouragement to go forward with a lifelong dream to own a ‘real’ hot rod. Maybe I should also thank Ken and Keith of the Rolling Bones for letting me hang out with them so I can meet all these great automotive photographers