With retirement keeping Rich busier than ever, he faced the dilemma of not having enough time to finish building the coupe right away (the first car ever he wouldn't build himself), so he asked his friend Randy Lackey if he could make it happen at his shop, Randy's Hot Rods in Williams, Oregon. Randy was more than willing to take on the task, and the '32 was hauled up the coast and the cutting and welding began.
The first to go under the knife was the mint original '40 Ford dash Rich had saved from the rebuild of his '40 coupe. The dash was trimmed to fit the Deuce and then things got really serious as the virgin body got scalped. Chopping the top was given a lot of thought and the final amount removed was 4 inches in the front and 3 inches from the rear. Since the remainder of the tin was in such good shape, it wasn't long before Randy was laying out the topcoat and bolting on the shiny pieces.
For a rodder who has never slowed down since his first "wide open" pass, we applaud Rich for his never-ending competitive spirit, but also for being a good friend to hot rodders around the world.
1932 Ford Coupe
After having built, driven, and raced just about every imaginable powerplant from full-race Flatties to 1,000hp Hemi's, Rich went with a factory mill for his latest ride. Pulled from a very low-mileage '96 Corvette, the fuel-injected LT4 is backed by a 4L60E automatic and has been fully detailed and paint-matched to the body color.
The fresh platform for the coupe is a brand-new complete chassis by Rich Cave from Elite Street Rods (Oklahoma City). The Deuce 'rails were first stretched 4 inches and then fitted with all new custom crossmembers before all stainless steel components were used front and rear to hang the 5-inch dropped Magnum axle and Halibrand Champ quick change rearend, respectively. Drum brakes are used on all four corners, with '40 Ford backing plates and Buick finned aluminum drums doing the stopping duties up front and a pair of 9-inch Ford units mounted on the rear.
Body & Paint
Is there such a thing as too nice to cut up? If there ever was such a car, Rich's '32 coupe was it. But Rich has always loved to do what other people say you can't, so he had Randy Lackey of Randy's Hot Rods (Williams, OR) lower the lid 4 inches up front and 3 inches in the back before spraying on the DuPont Passionate Purple. The lengthened chassis required an equally lengthened hood from Rootlieb that was also punched with a set of curved '33 Ford-style louvers in the sides. Lighting the way up front is a pair of '32 Ford headlights with a pair of '39 Chevy taillights tucked neatly under the rear corners.
Wheels & Tires
It was one-stop shopping for the wheels and tires when Rich hit Coker Tires up for one of their package deals on polished kidney bean-style wheels and Firestone dirt track rubber. The fronts are a 15-inch combination with a 4-inch-wide rim running a 5.60x15 ribbed tire, while the rears use a 16-inch wheel mounted to a pair of 8.20x16 grooved dirt track tires.
Rich always liked the cockpit combination his roadster sported back in the early days, so he returned to that theme with a full white interior for his coupe. Rick Santana stitched up a traditional hoops 'n' pleats interior in white leather with purple piping and carpeting just like the old days. A restored set of original Ford Deluxe gauges fill the reworked '40 dash. The '40 column is topped by a Juliano's '40-style steering wheel.