Wrapping up the handsome trio (of cars-opinion on owners is up to you) is Jim Kipp's equally black and timeless '32 roadster sans the unnecessary fenders. Before this project was started Kipp found his inspiration in the paintings of automotive artist Tom Fritz and again in the pages of Don Montgomery's priceless reference books. With books in hand Kipp went to visit Pete Chapouris and showed him the marked pages of the cars that really fired him up. Pete further refined the game plan by showing Kipp what the "correct" finishes were for a WWII-era roadster based on available materials and the shortage of chrome and other rare commodities of that time, and also schooled him on the proper wheel/tire packages that nail that desired window of hot rodding.
Kipp left most of the detail decisions up to the So-Cal Speed crew headed up by project father Pelle Forsberg and shop foreman Ryan Reed, but one element he knew was mandatory was a healthy Flathead built by the legend of the lakes and drag strip, Art Chrisman. Beginning with a 276ci French Flathead, Art massaged the mill and fitted it with all the best speed parts and dressed it up on the exterior with go-fast parts from Edelbrock.
Many of the same names cross over onto all three of the featured cars, and again the name Gabe's Auto Upholstery pops up as responsible for the stitching in Jim Kipp's '32. Once the car was complete, Kipp would not elect to keep it stored away in some weather-and germ-free environment, instead driving his black beauty any chance he could get, and he even came full circle by inspiring artist Tom Fritz to select his car as the main element for one of his vintage-style paintings.
Rod & Custom Feature Car
Canyon Country, California
1932 Ford Roadster
Again, using the So-Cal Speed Shop step-boxed chassis as a starting point, Ryan Reed added the right mix of old and new parts to allow the chassis to perform its best while still looking like an early hot rod chassis. An undropped '32 "heavy" axle, mated to a pair of Lincoln-style hydraulic brakes from Wilson Welding (the same 12-inch self-energizing brakes are also used on the rear), leads the way, connected to a pair of split wishbones. Vega steering heads it all in the driver-desired directions and Pete & Jake's tube shocks handle the up and down motion on both ends. A Winters quick-change center section is mounted between a pair of '36 Ford rearend bells and is hung in place by a transverse leaf spring and Ford wishbones.
Going for the ultimate "pre-overhead" powerplant, Jim located a '48 Ford 276ci Flathead and entrusted it to legendary builder/racer Art Chrisman for a complete rebuild. Parts selected include a pair of early Edelbrock heads and matching "slingshot" intake manifold (only 100 of Vic's first model were produced), an Isky 404 Jr. cam, Ross pistons, a Mallory ignition, and a pair of Smiley's custom headers. A McLeod clutch and aluminum flywheel mates the early muscle to a Tremec five-speed manual transmission.
Wheels & Tires
Correctly dating Jim's roadster to the desired time period is a set of 16-inch steelies from Wheelsmith wrapped in Firestone 6.00 and 7.50 blackwall rubber. The finishing touch is a set of '40 Ford Deluxe hubcaps and trim rings.
Body & Paint
The Brookville roadster body, Vintique grille shell, and Rootlieb hood were put into the hands of So-Cal's Abe Rodriquez to be carefully fitted to the So-Cal '32 chassis, and given numerous hours of priming and blocking before the miles deep black paint was applied. Nickel plating by Sherm's on strategically selected pieces accents the black paint perfectly.
Sitting behind the Vintique '40 Ford steering wheel mounted on a matching steering column from Limeworks, you have a perfect view of the Stewart Warner Wings gauges set in the stock dash. At the same time you can feel the saddle leather on the Glide seat which was stitched up by Gabe's Auto Upholstery.