So anyway, back to the business dinner. The two men started talking about hot rods and the other man mentioned that he knew an elderly widow in nearby Santa Cruz who owned an original '32 coupe. The car, minus the engine and transmission, had been hibernating in a shed for years and the woman was eager to sell it. John followed the lead, found the car in perfect condition, paid the lady twice her asking price, and still came away with a great deal.
John said he's always believed that, when properly built in the style of the early '60s, coupes look more "hot rod" than roadsters do. The widow's well-preserved Deuce was the car he would use to prove his opinion and Roy Brizio's Street Rods was the shop. Brizio's was a smart choice, not just because it was located nearby, or because they've done a lot of work on many of John's other cars, but because Roy possesses a well-known knack for creating great traditional '32s.
In order to give the coupe the proper hot-rod style, it would have to be a highboy and it would have be chopped. In order to stoke John's fond memories of the Olds engine in his high school hot rod, the powerplant would have to be a '57 Olds J2 mill. The paint would have to be a '57 Chevy factory color and the overall theme would have to holler early '60s.
It took a year and a half to take John's Tropical Turquoise three-window from shed condition to show condition. That's pretty quick work, especially with the final results you see here. Now that his collection of cars includes the car of his dreams, we're confident that John will start clocking some miles on this cool old-time coupe.
John MumfordPortola Valley, California1932 Ford Three-Window Coupe Highboy
ChassisThe original 1932 frame was in fine shape right out of the shed, so Roy Brizio boxed the 'rails and added a custom center crossmember and Model A-style front crossmember to stiffen things up. Split wishbones hold a Super Bell drilled and chromed 4-inch drop I-beam axle and spindles bookended with Buick finned drums with Wilson Welding backing plates. A '56 Ford F-100 pickup donated its steering box. Bumps go away thanks to Pete & Jake's shocks, a Durant monoleaf spring in front and POSIES Model A transverse springs in the back. Pete & Jake's ladder bars locate the 4.11-geared quick-change built by Hot Rod Works with '46-48 Ford drums.
DrivetrainJohn said he thought he was delivering a '57 Olds J2 engine to builder Dave Enmark, but only the block turned out to be the genuine deal. Enmark was able to find the rare parts or fabricate any new pieces he needed to assemble this 371ci engine, which was bored 0.030-over and makes 9:1 compression. Stock valve covers top the J2 cylinder heads and the stock J2 3x2 intake manifold is supplied by a trio of Rochester carburetors. The Sanderson headers were modified and run into custom exhaust pipes built at Brizio's. Walker provided a radiator. The GM five-speed transmission came out of a Camaro and runs a Weber clutch and '49-53 Olds flywheel.
Wheels & TiresThere was no compromise when choosing the wheels. Skinny front 5.60x15 Cokers and big fat 8.20x15 M7 whitewall slicks were wrapped around Wheel Vintique 15x6 and 15x7 steelies. Olds Fiesta caps complete the period-perfect look.
Body & PaintJohn was right-nothing looks more "hot rod" than a chopped highboy coupe. The body was built at the Ford plant almost 75 years ago and chopped 3 inches by Jim Hendricks not long ago. Mickey Galloway performed other bodywork, before Darryl Hollenbeck shot the body and frame with PPG '57 Chevy Tropical Turquoise. The taillights are '50 Pontiac pieces, and the distinctive headlights are American LaFrance.
InteriorThe cockpit provides first-class seating straight back to the early '60s courtesy of a custom-built bench upholstered in alternating turquoise and cream rolls by Sid Chavers. The turquoise carpet is German wool. A '40 Ford dash was added and its stock gauges were sent to Classic Instruments for a rebuild. An original Sun tach is mounted behind the '40 Ford wheel from Quality Restorations on a custom column built at Brizio's shop. Kugel swing pedals, a '39 Ford shifter, and Juliano's seatbelts round out the interior amenities.