There is more to building a hot rod than collecting all the parts and turning the wrenches. While those are the basic elements, the project usually has its origins in a mental picture of the end result.
This '50s-flavor Deuce coupe, built in a scant eight months, turned out just the way Ron and Joanne Wcislo (pronounced Wiss-lo) had envisioned. The couple worked together, from the idea and planning stage right through to completion, assisted by Ron's brother, Mark, at their home in Fairfield, Connecticut. The project, though, was not "work." Ron says it best: "It was a labor of love. We knew what we wanted to build-a true '50s highboy-style hot rod-and this is it, right down to the tiniest detail."
The effort began with a Total Cost Involved chassis and a '32 fiberglass body featuring a 3-inch chop from New Age Motorsports in Monroe, Connecticut. A Super Bell chromed I-beam axle forms the core for the frontend, with Pete & Jake's chromed shocks, and TCI spring and spindles.
The remainder of the ride is comprised of a Currie 9-inch rear cushioned by coilover shocks and a four-link suspension. Brakes are discs in front and drums in back. The steering is a Flaming River unit while the column is from ididit.
Motorvation comes from an '00 Chevy 350 crate V-8 which is basically stock. A Mallory ignition fires the saucy little coupe. An Edelbrock 500-cfm carburetor sits atop an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake. Block-hugger headers from Speedway Motors were ceramic-coated and send the exhaust through Smithy mufflers.
A TPI Transmissions Turbo 350 connects to the rearend assembly with a driveshaft fashioned by Ron. Finned aluminum valve covers and chrome accessories dress up the engine and help give the coupe its '50s flavor, right down to the mushroom-style air cleaner.
All of the rolling stock came from Coker Tire and is a combination of smoothie wheels with baby Moon caps and trim rings mounted on 14-inch Classic wide whites in front and 15-inch rubber in back. They combine to give the rod a nice rake, which adds much to its appearance.
The nostalgia theme continues inside the coupe, where off-white tuck 'n' roll UltraLeather covers the door panels and Glide seat. A-1 Upholstery in Stratford, Connecticut, also stitched the blue carpeting and finished the trunk in the same materials.
The Lokar gooseneck shifter looks right at home in the coupe, as do the Moon white-face instruments mounted in the original dashboard. Mark Wcislo did the wiring as the car came together. Pedals are from Lokar and a Grant wheel handles the steering chores.
What about air conditioning? Ron has a quick answer: "Crank out the windshield and roll down all of the windows!"
The coupe looks great done top to bottom in PPG Spectra Blue accented by Vanilla Shake scallops. Dan Kazegowicz handled the painting duties. With King Bee headlights and '48 Chevy taillights, the coupe only needed some pinstriping before it was ready for some heavy-duty cruising.
Ron said that because Joanne played a very important part in the entire build of the coupe, she also became quite handy with the tools in his garage and can easily pick out wrenches and sockets in a variety of sizes with barely a glance. She is the proud owner of a '47 Chevy panel street rod and has even suggested that if they tire of the look of the coupe, a 'glass Vicky body would go right on the same chassis with little effort. We like her kind of thinking!
In the meantime, the Wcislos rack up about 8,000 miles a year in their nostalgia rod and enjoy every single mile they travel.r nostalgia rod and enjoy every single mile they travel.