Christer PerrsonMalmo, Sweden'32 Ford Cabriolet
Drivetrain: "I like flatheads, but there is simply not enough power." A Hemi was the solution. MMR in Malmo, Sweden, rebuilt the '53 Chrysler 331ci Hemi using mostly stock components. Engine mods include a Moroso big-block Chevy aluminum water pump, an Art Chrisman aluminum front cover, and Hemi heads from a '55 Chrysler 354. O'Brien Truckers aluminum valve covers are Ansen look-alikes, and a swap meet Offy intake is capped with four Stromberg 97s. "I wanted as many carbs as possible in a single row, and a six-pack setup was out of the question." A magneto provides spark. Ulf Larsson built the custom headers capped with a pair of Smithy's. Tranny is a TH350 automatic matched to the Hemi with a PAW adaptor kit.
Chassis: Erik Hansson at Scandinavian Street Rod Parts boxed the rails and beefed them up with a '34 K-member and Model A front and rear crossmembers. Front suspension components include a drilled 4 1/2-inch-dropped I-beam axle from Mor-Drop with a Posies' Super Slide spring and Pete & Jake's tube shocks. Christer chose a split-wishbone instead of hairpins to make the car look older. The front spindles are from a '39 Ford; brakes are '46 Fords with '59 Buick drums. The steering box is from a '56 F-100 pickup. Rear suspension features Pete & Jake's ladder bars and chrome shocks with a Posies' Super Slide Model A spring. Brakes are drums from a Ford 9-inch. A Halibrand quick-change is filled with 3.60:1 gears.
Wheels & Tires: "For me the obvious choice was chrome reverse wheels." Stockton Wheels provided the 4 1/2x15 and 7x15 steelies, wrapped up with 5.60x15 and 8.60x15 wide whites from Firestone.
Body: After four decades stored in a barn, the car was covered with dirt but nary a speck of rust. Modifications were kept to a minimum, and sheetmetal was massaged by Bengt at Big Bengt's Body Shop in Vetlanda and Pelle Plat in Stockholm. The windshield and folding top were chopped 3 inches, and cowl lights were shaved. However, the hinges and handles were retained for the sake of nostalgia. The '30s-era Citroen headlights sit on custom mounts; taillights are '50 Pontiac parts. After thinking about going fenderless, Christer decided on cut-down Deuce fenders in the rear with motorcycle-style front fenders. Ulf Larsson louvered the hood; sides are coming as soon as Christer decides between cutting a hole or adding a bulge for the big Hemi valve covers.
Paint: Christer says picking paint was one of the toughest decisions of the project. He ruled out black in favor of purple (like Steve Centracchio's '32) or candy green. You can see which color he chose. It took him more than a year to find the right green-a custom mixed candy with mini 'flakes, sprayed by Olle Eriksson. It reminds him of '58 Chrysler Emerald Green or '57 Chrysler Parade Green Metallic.
Interior: It had to be tuck 'n' roll. Bosse "Sybo" Warfinger of Stockholm covered the stock seats in metalflake green and white pearl Naugahyde with white tuck 'n' roll along the interior panels. The stock dash was filled and a Stewart-Warner instrument panel was added. Christer couldn't find '50s-vintage Stewart-Warner wing gauges with curved glass, but Mooneyes limited-edition gauges are a good alternative. The rearview mirror and steering wheel are both '40 Ford items. Christer throws down green carpet when he drives the car. The rest of the time, it's white carpet with Maltese crosses for a little "show flair." The Kenwood sound system cannot be seen but can be heard just fine.