Take a look at one of the most outstanding Deuces-make that one of the most outstanding street rods-of the year. Bob Cutler's elaborately modified, Jag V-12-powered roadster has been causing a commotion in this hobby since the beginning of the year, when Bob drove it (yes, drove it) into the 54th Annual Grand National Roadster Show.
Bob has dreamed of building a hot rod since his childhood days but says his dreams got sidetracked for many years. He honed his mechanical chops working on aircraft before landing a job at a Beverly Hills Jaguar dealership and eventually opening his own Jag repair business in Pasadena, California.
The first step towards getting involved in rodding took place in June 1991, when a couple of Bob's old high school buddies invited him to the L.A. Roadster Show in Pomona, California. Amid all those outstanding roadsters, the impulse hit. He had to have a Deuce. But Bob thinks big and knew he wanted something exceptional-something that combined white knuckle hot rod kicks with European touring car elegance. Being a Jaguar mechanic, and considering that Jaguar is owned by Ford, after all, Bob figured his best choice for a Ford-in-a-Ford mill was a Jag V-12. And his only choice for feeding that cat was Kinsler fuel injection.
With the project still in concept form, Bob decided to seek the help of a pro designer. He called the nearby Art Center College of Design and was put in touch with none other than Harry Bradley. Bradley's reputation is for creating beautiful hot rods, not congeniality, and Bob told us that Bradley explained to him that he had no idea what he was in for but begrudgingly agreed to listen to his ideas. Bradley provided the 1/5-scale drawing that served as the design for the unique roadster, in addition to advice throughout the project.
The evolution from list of ideas to finished rod took 10 years, and a lot of painstaking design and engineering work to make sure the car not only looked right but was mechanically right, as well. After winning the Outstanding Engine award at the GNRS, Bob fired up the prize-winning V-12 and drove the roadster out. We saw him again at the Goodguys Show in Del Mar, where the Deuce was a Street Rod d'Elegance finalist and a Boyd Coddington Pro's Pick winner. Bob's big prize is accomplishing all of his goals with this incredible Deuce. The plan could easily have veered in 100 wrong directions, but Bob scored a bull's-eye with his first shot.