Since the beginning, the rule to building a hot rod has been to keep it simple. When you're building a hot rod to take a prestigious award, such as the America's Most Beautiful Roadster trophy, simple can get complicated. At that level, judges scrutinize every inch of the car for fabrications. The challenge is to give those judges something to appreciate while still retaining the essence of the hot rod. It's all about making modifications to enhance the design of the car without calling attention to them.
Those are exactly the type of modifications that are being made to this Brookville-bodied '32 Ford roadster going together at Hollywood Hot Rods. In past issues, we took a look at some of the extensive sheetmetal work that went into sectioning the steel body. This time, we're looking a little higher at some additional sheetmetal fabrication.
In factory form, the upper edge of a Deuce roadster passenger compartment bends at a sharp 90-degree angle. In most cases, the seats extend high enough to hide that flat vertical edge on the deck, and the side panels extend up to cover the same angle at the top of the doors. When the guys at HHR decided to use old-style freestanding bomber bucket seats on this car, they knew it would leave that upper perimeter of the cockpit exposed-so they had to figure out a way to finish those edges.
Troy Ladd and Troy Morris came up with the idea of running steel tubing around the perimeter to change the angular edge into a smooth rolling edge. It took a lot of work to make it look seamless, but when the upholstery is complete and the body is painted, only a few people-including you-will understand the imagination that went into this design and the work that went into this low-key detail.