Philippe Aubé has owned complete vehicles
(cars and trucks), bodies, and various pieces of Model A’s since he can remember. However, after seeing a roadster in a hot rod magazine in the early 1990’s, he has always wanted to build one. For 15 years he had been buying, selling, and scavenging Model A parts from various cars and trucks to one day build the car he has always had in his head, the car you see in this
This 1929 Model A Roadster car popped up
on Kijiji in BC in 2015, and Philippe bought it
sight unseen and had it shipped back to Moncton in November of that year. However, the car didn’t arrive until Feb 2016 due to some “shipping issues”… Let’s
just say the original cost of the car was MUCH less than it cost to get it shipped. The day it arrived at his house Philippe threw a battery in it, some gas in the tank, and drove it up and down his street in -30C
After his initial joy ride, Philippe set to build
his dream roadster. Later that afternoon, the car was completely dismantled. He knew for the price he paid, it was likely that the frame wasn’t going to be of
use to him, and he had already went out and bought a solid 1930 Model A frame that originally came from Saskatchewan, along with another motor, after purchasing the car in November. Once the drive train
was complete he transferred the body and interior tothe new chassis and voila, he had himself the Hi-Boy Roadster that he’d dreamed of for 15 years.
One of the main attractions to the body was the amazing patina that Mother Nature had laid down, so paint wasn’t going to be an issue. After a few hard months of building the car he took it to Radical Speed
Sport in April 2016, and he hasn’t missed a chance to show it off whenever he can, amassing in excess of 5000 miles since finishing the build in 2016.
Actually, the only paint that has been added to the car came in the form of a #5 painted on the two doors at the 2017 Radical Speed Sport Show. Philippe asked Moncton’s Chris Bourque to add the graphics which represent the date of his son’s Samuel’s birthday.
Philippe’s adventures with his ’29 Hi-boy roadster don’t end there. In actuality, before he owned and built the roadster he and some friends took a trip to Texas to
attend the “Lone Star Roundup.” While in the airport Philippe bought a hot rod magazine and read an article about a 1935 Chevy roadster that had raced at TROG
(The Race of Gentlemen) in Wildwood New Jersey. When they arrived in Texas, one of their first stops was to visit the iconic Austin Speed Shop. While standing outside the shop he suddenly heard the crackle of an antique motor, looked up, and it was the exact car he had just read about in the magazine. Philippe didn’t know anything about TROG at the time, but after talking to the owner of the ‘35, he realized that he would one day want to race a vintage car at TROG.
Knowing that he wanted to race at TROG, Philippe was very meticulous when it came to putting the ’29 Roadster together. The most important detail of TROG is that all vehicles need to be pre-WWII period correct
to apply, so he made sure all the parts would fit within the rules. Modifications that Philippe needed to make to the car included borrowing a Chrysler-built racing head (10hp bump!!!) that he once owned, from the guy that bought the Model A it was installed in from Philippe. He also needed to install a roll bar and racing harness. During the month long registration to get into
TROG, he was asked for a funny story about himself.
He told them at the age of 16 he bought his first car, a Rambler that he still owns today, using funds he saved up by digging graves. When he finally got to TROG and was
lining up to race, they announced “Next up is Philippe “Grave Digger” Aubé from New Brunswick Canada, in his 1929 Ford Model A Hi-boy Roadster.”
In all Philippe ran 15 races winning more than half. The sand that year wasn’t that great, so many of the other drivers were “saving their cars for later in the weekend.
Philippe, having driven too many miles to not give it his all, hammered the car down the sand track every chance he had. The sand that can still be found in every crevice
of the car is a testament to how much fun he had on the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey that weekend.
Other than his dream of racing the car at TROG, Philippe spends most of the time shuttling his (VERY supportive!!!) wife, Sophie, and son Samuel back and forth to their cottage. He also makes sure to take it to all the local car shows, and is more than happy to bend the ear of anyone willing to share in his stories.