It didn't take me long to realize I had a lot to learn about '32 Fords, like how expensive they are to build! I completely blew my original budget in just a few months. From then on it was a slow process of working on other people's cars to save enough money to buy a few more precious pieces needed to finish mine. It didn't help when there were several things I ended up buying twice, like the two different centersections for the rearend. One is a 3.0:1/open carrier for highway use and the other is a 3.89:1/Trac-Lok for playing around when the slicks are bolted on. Maybe I should have just stepped up for the quick-change?

The drivetrain was built with performance and durability in mind, but I wanted a hot rod with some "hot" under the hood. However, it still had to be durable enough to drive across the country or be idle at the fairgrounds. Ironically, I found this to be fairly easy by simply using some restraint when selecting components like the camshaft.

All the planning and long hours in the garage paid off when my family set off on the '32's maiden voyage to the Midwest Street Rod Association's Rod Run in Columbus, Nebraska, and then we just continued on to different events for the next three consecutive weeks! In its first month on the road, the '32 logged over 3,000 trouble-free miles, and by the end of the summer of '04, the odometer was showing well over 6,000 miles. The next year we ventured out to the L.A. Roadsters' Show and had a blast. The '32 has more than 12,500 reliable and trouble-free miles on the clock now. The next trip planned is to L.A. again in '07 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Deuce. I can't wait until we pull out on the highway, point the car west, and put the hammer down again!

A note from the R&C staff: We would like to sincerely thank Jim and Kelly Karls for coming out to the Americruise and showing all in attendance how it's done by taking First Place in each performance category, and eventually winning the R&C Rod of the Year award. The spirit shown by the owner and the permanent smile on his face as he put his hot rod through the paces made it memorable for all of us, and we hope others will continue to compete with the heartfelt enthusiasm Jim showed.