Rod & Custom Feature Car
J.J. Barnhardt
Century city, California
1932 Ford coupe

Starting with a fresh SO-CAL Speed Shop step-boxed perimeter frame, Ryan Reed added all the goodies from SO-CAL that have proven to be an excellent performing package. Up front, a Magnum 4-inch dropped I-beam is tied to the 'rails by a pair of SO-CAL hairpins and fitted on both ends with a pair of SO-CAL Buick-style disc brakes. A Vega steering box points the coupe in the right direction, and a pair of Pete & Jake's shocks smooth out the bumps in the road. Under the rear, a 9-inch housing is located by a pair of SO-CAL ladder bars and fitted with a pair of SO-CAL drum brakes and another pair of Pete & Jake's shocks.

Ray Zellar of La Habra, California, put together the healthy 401ci Buick mill. He dressed it out with a pair of 500-cfm Edelbrock carbs on a dual manifold flanked by a pair of finned aluminum Offenhauser valve covers. Spark comes from an MSD ignition, and Jimmy Shine modified a pair of Sanderson headers to fit in the very limited space left with the Nailhead squeezed into the Ford chassis. Mated to the Buick engine is a bit of modern convenience in the form of a Tremec manual transmission with the all-important Fifth gear. The trans looks legit from the inside of the car thanks to a specially modified '39 Ford shifter grafted into place.

Wheels & Tires
A set of original '49-51 Mercury 15x5-inch rims, with the rears running the traditional reversed outer rims, nails the late-'50s hot rod look. Wrapping the Mercury rim cap-and-ring combo is a set of repo BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whites (5.90x15s up front and 8.20x15s tucked under the rear).

Body & Paint
Starting with really nice sheetmetal made all the difference in this project, but that didn't mean it could not be improved via a 2 1/2-inch haircut by the Kennedy Brothers before heading back to the SO-CAL Speed Shop for prep and paint by Luis Padilla and Mick Jenkins. Meticulous prep work was made to sharpen all the bodylines before the custom-mixed Champagne-flavored hue was sprayed on the precious tin. A filled and peaked shell, flanked by SO-CAL Arrow headlights, sits up front, with a pair of '42-48 Chevy taillights mounted in the rear.

Completing the period-perfect build is a set of ultra-traditional black and white leather threads stitched by Gabe's Upholstery in Bloomington, California. When J.J. takes the wheel it's a cut-down Vintique '40 Ford-style unit he holds in his hands while facing a chromed and painted original dash fitted with Stewart Warner gauges.