As high school sweethearts, cars were a big part of Bruce and Kay Burroughs' relationship from the very start. Their early agreement was that they would go on two dates a week; on one of those dates they would not spend any money. The "no money" date usually ended up with Kay watching Bruce work on his car with his buddies. Kay's appreciation for old cars quickly grew to match Bruce's and he eventually built her a '34 Ford sedan of her own. She would run the wheels off that car as a daily driver and by driving it to early street rod events. They eventually had to sell the car to help start their business, Bruce's Rod Shop, in Houston, Texas.
Bruce had promised that once things were running smoothly he would build Kay another car. She was very patient, and by the time her new car was being planned, their son Danny was working at the shop and would be a major part of its construction. Asked if it was any different building a hot rod for his mom, Danny responds, "We were building this car for the person we love the most; it had to be perfect and nicer than anything we had ever built before." That's one tall order, as everything the Burroughs build is fantastically detailed and bulletproof on the street.
Kay's car got underway with a pair of original '32 'rails tied together with all new crossmembers and then fitted with all the stainless steel components in the Deuce Factory catalog up front, including a 4-inch dropped axle, and under the rear is a '57 Ford rearend located by a Deuce Factory triangulated four-bar setup riding on Aldan coilovers. Power is supplied by a ZZ3 350 topped by Edelbrock dual fours and backed by a GM T5 manual transmission.
Kay knew she wanted a roadster so a Brookville unit fit the bill, and an original '32 grille shell and a repro 25-louver hood complement it. Rodney Belt applied the Dodge Flame Red paint Kay selected. Original '32 Ford commercial headlights and '32 taillights take their appropriate places on both ends and a set of Halibrands mounted in radial rubber are bolted up to all four corners.
Inside Kay's ride is a rich covering of chocolate-colored leather stitched in a factory style pattern by Mike Blanchette of Houston. Sitting on the repro stock seat, Kay faces an original-style dash filled with Stewart Warner Wings gauges and takes control via a Lobeck three-spoke wheel. Since Kay uses her car regularly in all kinds of weather, a Vintage Air heater knocks off an early morning chill.
When the car was finished, the Burroughs boys presented it to mom as a 40th wedding anniversary gift, and she couldn't have been happier. Kay drives the car on all lengths of trips in all kinds of weather and has even found a special use for the car. She says, "After a bad day, I can hop in the roadster for an 'attitude adjustment' and, after an hour, everything is better."
For husband Bruce-who has owned a long string of very nice (sometimes 100-percent unmolested original) '32 Fords-his latest runner is one he just had to have. The rare '32 Ford roadster pickup was previously in the possession of collector Jim Stroupe, and Bruce had told him on a few occasions, "If you ever want to sell your truck, let me know." The call came and Bruce wasted no time picking up the pickup.
The '32 was purchased as a well patina'd, reliable driver, but Bruce could not resist making a few changes of his own. Up front, Bruce added a pair of N.O.S. commercial headlights to an original dropped light bar followed by a European '32 hood with raised side panels resembling a U.S. '30/31 model. Bruce added a Vertex magneto to the already healthy factory dual WCFB carb-equipped 327, and he swapped in a highway friendly 3.54:1 gear set and added a sway bar to the original Model B rearend to improve the ride.
Inside the truck, Rick Findley added custom aluminum panels and Bruce recycled a leather seat covering from a car being restored to give the seat a nice "broken in" feel. Another Burroughs innovation that cannot go without mention is "the rock," a perfectly sized piece of nature that resides next to the accelerator for better placement on the go-pedal. That about sums up how the Burroughs family lives, loves, and drives their '32 Fords.