When you grow up in a hot rod family like Butch Harness did, hot rodding is in your blood. Around the Wichita area, the name Harness is well known when it comes to rods and customs. Butch's dad, Arthol, has built a '32 roadster, '34 Fordor, and a chopped and channeled '32 pickup. Butch's uncle, Hub, has a '32 three-window plus numerous customs. Even an uncle on his mom's side by the name of Larry Farber owned a famous '32 sedan called The Lil Coffin in the early '60s.
About seven years ago, Butch built a nice 'glass '32 highboy roadster. As with most young men, Butch got married and started a family. These days, with three sons and a wife, going to rod runs in a roadster has its drawbacks. Butch needed a sedan with room for the family. Luckily, friend Mike Martin had this '32 sedan with a lot of history sitting in his garage. A deal was made, the roadster was sold, and the sedan was in Butch's garage.
Any car that has survived more than 70 years has to have some history, but this '32 sedan has more than your usual forgotten past. In the late '60s, Dave Stuckey, the builder of The Lil Coffin, was asked to build a car for C. Ray Hall, who owned the 81 Speedway in Wichita. When Dave built the sedan, he bobbed the rear fenders, filled the cowl, removed the windshield wipers, and filled the holes. All this work was done in lead. Then Dave painted it candy orange with white pearl-laced fenders, which was radical for its time. The sedan had a small-block Chevy and real magnesium Americans and went on the show circuits, becoming well known in this area.
When Butch bought the car, it was in primer and on its way to being restored to stock condition with a Flathead replacing the small-block. Butch completely disassembled the car down to every nut and bolt and found every part to be in perfect condition with no Bondo. All the bodywork was in lead and still intact. It still had the stock insert in the top and rubber on the running boards.
Butch wanted to keep the car nostalgic with a wild hot rod motor, and ended up doing all the work on the Tudor in his home garage with the exception of the upholstery updates and the pinstriping of the firewall and dash. Following in the Harness tradition and being only 30 years old, we think he nailed it.
1932 Ford Tudor
Butch wanted a hot rod motor and could've run a Chevy small-block, but he chose instead to follow his dad's and uncle's lead (Dad runs a 348 Chevy and Uncle Hub runs a 331 Caddie) and went with a real nostalgic 303 Olds. The Olds was dressed up with an Edelbrock 6x2 intake with two extra 94s added and chrome valve covers. Otherwise the motor is stock. A Petronix ignition kit was added with a set of Mallory wires for fire. The owner-built lakes-style headers dump into 2 1/4 straight pipes.Although he wanted an early Olds motor, he also wanted a more dependable transmission, so he decided to adapt a Turbo 350. If you're familiar with the early Olds motor, you know the bellhousing is built into the rear of the motor, so Butch had to mate the Olds flywheel to the 350 torque converter, and then build an adaptor to mate the 350 to the Olds bellhousing. After careful measuring, the front of the 350 was cut down then welded to an adaptor plate.
ChassisThe stock Ford frame was completely boxed with a Model A front crossmember added to get the front down. A Chassis Engineering X-Member keeps the framerails in place. For that nostalgic look, Butch drilled a Magnum front axle and the '40 wishbones before he installed a pair of '40 spindles. F-100 brakes, along with a '59 Ranchero master cylinder, help stop the sedan, while a Vega steering box keeps it in line. In the rear, Butch used a '72 Int'l Scout Dana 44 with a 3:73 posi mounted to a pair of drilled '40 wishbones. A set of stock '32 springs and tube shocks keep the sedan riding smooth.
Wheels & TiresA classic combo of chrome reversed Ford wheels with painted centers mounted to bias-ply wide whites fill the fenders.
Body & PaintAs stated earlier, the stock body was in perfect condition, so Butch took it down to bare metal and applied PPG Sunburst orange with a flatter added. While the body was under construction, the dash and firewall were sent to Blaine Scott at Pinstriping by Blaine. As you can see, Blaine spent many hours applying his skills to give the firewall a period-perfect look that brings it all together. Although the body, the headlights, and taillights are all stock '32 items, the way they were put together along with the nostalgic motor and the right stance shows you don't have to get radical to make a statement about how cool this style of hot rod can look.
InteriorBelieve it or not, the interior, with the exception of the carpet, is the original installed in the '60s by Paul Matz, a well-known upholsterer who did a lot of Starbird's customs. Even the glass is the same installed back then. Butch had Rick Fisher Upholstery (Augusta, Kansas) install a white roll 'n' pleat top insert and running boards. There is also a Vintage Air unit and a Pioneer CD player for comfort on those long drives. A Painless wire kit handles all the electronics.