Maurice and Joan Siermachesky have taken their passion for street rodding—and their homebuilt 1928 Ford roadster—and turned it into an adventure that improved the world.
In 2011, the Siermacheskys’ granddaughter, Marley, underwent brain surgery to stop her constant seizures. A few months later, Make-A-Wish Canada provided Marley with a trip to Disney World to grant the 5-year-old’s personal wish: to meet Tinkerbell. Since then, Maurice and Joan have helped make more wishes come true through their Canada Wish Cruise fund-raising charity in support of Make-A-Wish Canada. They’ve raised money by soliciting sponsorships for their roadster project and by driving the completed hot rod across Canada—literally from sea to sea.
The 1928 Model A was purchased in Beaumont, Alberta, in the summer of 2012, beginning a build that would take approximately 18 months.
The Canadian climate had been nibbling at the sheetmetal, and most of the body needed lower patches. A new decklid was added, along with a custom hood to match the Deuce grille shell. A fresh floor was installed as well. The body was strengthened with 1-3/4-inch steel tubing, which also serves to mount the 22-imperial-gallon (approximately 26-1/2 U.S. gallons) stainless fuel tank from Rock Valley. Welding and fabrication on the body was handled by Maurice and Joan’s son, Neil. Ron Mueller did the bodywork. Rod Tops provided the cloth top, custom side curtains, and leather grille cover/bug screen, which Maurice recommends for any long-distance rod run.
The unique frame fools a lot of people. It’s the original Model A frame, boxed by the previous owner, who then welded partial 1932 ’rails in place, creating the appearance of a Deuce frame. The suspension features a 4-inch dropped I-beam axle and hairpins in front, and ladder bars in the rear. The original 16-inch wire wheels were sold and replaced with Wheel Vintiques Gennies, powdercoated in blue (the color of the Make-A-Wish organization).
The roadster is powered by a GM 330-horse 350 crate engine. The 6×2 carb and manifold setup that came with the car was cool, but the Edelbrock four-barrel carb and intake is more practical for the kind of use the Siermacheskys were planning. The small-block still looks cool with a Cadillac air cleaner cover, finned Corvette valve covers, stainless ram’s horn headers, and all that black paint and powdercoating. A highway-friendly 700-R4 transmission and S10 rearend put power to the rear tires.
The cockpit is updated, but keeps the traditional hot rod character, from the engine-turned dash insert to the heated Glide Engineering bench seat. GPS spot tracking, a SO-CAL GPS speedometer module, and iPad stereo are long-distance amenities. The beautiful black leather upholstery was stitched be the late Chris “Chip” Lenton of Chip’s Custom Upholstery in Lantzville on Vancouver Island, who donated his labor to the project.
Two of the last elements added to the roadster before it was ready for its cross-country run were the sponsor decals from the numerous companies that contributed to their Canada Wish Cruise and a container of Pacific Ocean water that would ride with Maurice and Joan from their home on Vancouver Island to the opposite shore.
They left their home in Port Alberni, British Columbia, on July 28, 2014. By the time they returned on August 22, they’d driven the faithful Model A to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and back—a round trip of 13, 486 kilometers (8, 380 miles). Along the way, they continued to raise awareness for Make-A-Wish Canada.
Since their amazing trip in 2014, Maurice and Joan have continue to travel with the roadster, going to car shows to promote the Canada Wish Cruise charity fund-raiser. Their initial financial goal of $10, 000 was easily surpassed. At the end of 2015, they had raised $18, 750!
The decals have been removed from the roadster, with the exception of the Make-A-Wish logos at the top of the doors. They will remain on the car until the roadster’s appearance at Northwest Deuce Days in Victoria, British Columbia, July 22-24, after which they will be removed.
“Lots of people talk about doing a trip like this, ” Maurice told us, “but not many do. To the best of my knowledge, this was a first in Canada for such a cause. Maybe it will inspire some of your STREET RODDER readers to get their cars (or trucks) out, have fun cruising, and raise money for a charity!”