Ed Iskenderian, the founder of Isky Racing Cams, is an absolute legend in the high-performance and hot rodding world. The parts that Iskenderian created helped push the fledging world of aftermarket parts to new heights, and his 1923 Model T served as a test bed for what he made. This year, Dennis Taylor of Hot Rods by Dennis Taylor created an amazing modernized version of Iskenderian’s iconic Model T that turned heads at the SEMA Show.
The idea of building a tribute to Ed’s Model T started over a year ago when Dennis, his daughter Alex, and Nolan Jamora, COO of Isky started discussing the project. Ed’s original car is currently on display at the Speedway Motors Museum, so Dennis and Alex went there to take measurements and pictures of the car to get the process started. Dennis built the car like a young Ed would have if he time-traveled to the modern era, so the Model T is an interpretation of what he might have created.
Dennis asked Ed what engine he would put in the car if he was building it right now, and his response was “the latest and greatest thing out there.” Dennis wanted to keep the Model T Ford-powered, so the only answer was to stuff a 7.3-liter Godzilla into the hot rod. The Godzilla got a stack fuel injection system from InnoV8 Race Engines that works with a Holley Terminator ECU. Dennis fabricated a replica of the unique exhaust that was on Ed’s original car with some custom tubing from Woolf Aircraft. The valve covers are one-of-a-kind and were cast by Dennis. Nick Taylor of Nikky Bobby Inc. created the special adaptors that allowed the valve covers to fit the Godzilla engine.
To keep up with the modern theme of the car, a TREMEC five-speed transmission and McLeod Racing clutch were bolted up to the 7.3-liter Ford engine. Power is sent back to a quick-change style rearend similar to what Ed would have used. A set of Moto wheels were used to mimic the Kelsey Hays wheels that are on the original car.
The body and turtle deck are original 1923 Model T parts that Dennis put a lot of work into restoring. Dennis also custom-made the Model T’s chassis and augmented it with plenty of parts from Speedway Motors. The QA1 shocks work with the panhard bar and ladder bar suspension from Speedway Motors. A stock wishbone suspension from a 1937 Ford was added to the car, just like Ed would have used when he originally built his Model T.
You can’t hide the interior on a build like this, and why wouldn’t you want to show off the awesome work that Dennis and his wife Debbie did? The husband and wife duo handmade the Model T’s interior using Italian leather and German square weave carpet. The Stewart Warner gauge package came from Speedway Motors, but the surround that holds them is custom. Nick 3D printed the surround so Dennis could make a sand-casting mold to create the final resting place for the gauges.
Dennis plans on presenting the car to Ed in California in the near future, but don’t think this hot rod is going to live an easy life. It has already done a few burnouts, and Dennis plans on taking the car on some serious adventures. Don’t be surprised to see this hot rod making runs on the salt flats, ripping off passes at the dragstrip, and being driven all over the United States when the sun is shining.