Hollywood has held a fascination for the concept of time travel through countless films over the past decades dating back to the 1930s. Within these films, the ability to move forward or backward in time has allowed our imaginations to run wild and dream up infinite possibilities of what we might do if we could take it on.
For Bob Covino, it would be an easy task because he would take his two sons and his grandson back to the time when he was 14 years old to see hot rodding in all of its glory in the early '50s. Bob just so happened to be fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to grow up in East Watertown, Massachusetts, where he and good friend Jimmy Karalekas were able to experience hot rodding right as its fuse was going full tilt. They kept their eyes on the "older guys," who happened to be none other than Jimmy's older brother George "Greek" Karalekas, along with Mudd and Shag Sharrigan-members of the well-known Nomads car club. This was at a time when hot rods ruled the streets, and drag racing was starting to tear up the tracks across the country. For these guys, it was all about '32 Fords with '39 boxes, '40 Ford rears, and 3.78 gears!
Bob has owned countless old Fords over the years, including a '31 coupe bought back in 1960 that he still has today. Bob decided almost a decade ago that it was time to gather up the makings of the car he always wanted when he was growing up, that being a Deuce roadster. The car would have to embody the soul of a true late '40s-influenced hop-up complete with a killer Flathead and period-perfect stance.
Being an old friend of another East Coast rodding legend, Jim Lowrey Sr., it was easy for Bob to meet with his son Jim Jr. of Jim Lowrey's Hot Rods in Tilton, New Hampshire, to discuss his ideas for the roadster. Lowrey's well-known style for late '40s- influenced Fords hypnotized Bob and he knew he had met a true master of time travel after being shown a gennie '32 chassis and firewall for the start of the project.
Harkening back to the days spent listening to wicked Flatheads racing through New England, Bob enlisted Ted Wingate to load up a '46 Flattie block with every conceivable speed goodie available so the car will sound every bit as evil as he remembered when the ignition is lit. With the chassis rolling, the fresh Brookville body was handed over to the metal masters at Lowrey's to cherry it up for its coating of Go-Fast Maroon glamour. A period-perfect leather interior by LeBaron Bonney was added to keep with the theme. For Bob, this car has been a dream come true, and Lowrey's has created a perfect way for Bob to take his sons and grandson back to where it all started for him. We can all dig that vibe!
Rod & Custom Feature Car
East Falmouth, Massachusetts
Recalling the days spent in the '50s hanging out in the garage with members of the Nomads car club, Bob opted for serious power for his roadster. Starting with a rare N.O.S. '46 Ford Flathead he purchased from engine master Ted Wingate, the engine was doused in vibrant red gloss and treated to loads of go-fast options, including Edelbrock heads and matching two-pot intake topped with a pair of Stromberg 97s wearing Bell-styled air cleaners. To further up the ante, a 12-volt electrical system was added to light the fire while Fenton headers dump the spent gasses through Smitty's mufflers. An N.O.S. '39 Ford box was added to keep with the "real hot rods have three pedals" theme.
Selecting a proper spine for the Deuce left no margin for error, and Bob decided to run with the real deal once he was shown a clean, genuine Ford chassis. Reading like a speed shop's wish list, the crew at Lowrey's set the chassis up starting with a frontend that includes a glistening chromed 4-inch dropped Super Bell axle held in place with a POSIES spring and SO-CAL radius rods, while the steering gets navigated through a Flaming River box. Stopping power is compliments of SO-CAL's finned Buick brake drums filled with discs for unquestionable pedal control. Out back, a '40 Ford rearend is filled with 3.78 cogs, and suspension comes by way of a stock '40 Ford spring with chrome tube shocks riding shotgun as '40 Ford brakes help bring the car to a screaming halt when called on.
Wheels & Tires
If you want the late-'40s feel, there's only one way to get to the head of the class, and that's by calling in a set of dazzling red 16x4 and 16x6 steelies. Shod with Firestone double wide whites, measuring 600-16 up front and 750-16 out back, the whole package is rounded out by plenty of trim rings and Ford scripted caps.
Body & Paint
Settling for nothing less than perfection, the factory fresh Brookville body was treated to plenty of finessing by the talented hands at Lowrey's to ready it for a decadent coating of DuPont Go-Fast Maroon. Neat custom touches include a chopped windshield frame, '39 Ford taillights, Guide headlights, a Brookville grille shell filled with an insert by Dales, and the creative 'striping talents of East Coast line-legend Larry Hook.
Wanting a period-perfect business office, the interior duties were handed over to none other than LeBaron Bonney, who stitched up total perfection thanks to plenty of dark brown hides and matching carpeting. A LimeWorks steering column topped with a gennie '40 Ford wheel helps negotiate the turns, while Stewart Warner gauges keep Bob informed of all the vitals. The icing on the cake is the heather-colored ragtop that blends perfectly with the Deuce's theme.