I have known about this car for over 20 years. I told the guy who owned it I'd be interested in buying the car if it was ever for sale. He'd got it as a running '60s-70s-style hot rod, drove it one summer, and then disassembled it completely. He had a couple different guys work on it trying to get it put back together with no success. So, after five years, he threw in the towel. I got a call one Sunday morning-went straight over and had it home within hours. I finally had the car I'd been thinking about for years.
My first plans for the coupe were to build a modern street rod (thankfully, I didn't get going on it like that). The car got pushed into the corner of the shop for 15 years while I did other things. My appreciation for period-correct/traditional hot rods was growing more and more, and when I finally got to the '32, I was sure about the type of car I wanted-a real hot rod.
I studied a lot about '40s hot rods using the great books from Don Montgomery and reference from the American Hot Rod Foundation site, as well as talking to as many older guys who were there in the beginning. One big help to the build was Bowen from Kittridge Company. He assisted with his knowledge and sold me some of the parts I needed. He has a great collection of old hot rod parts and pieces, but he normally doesn't sell anything. Once he saw the old coupe with the old chop (still with the early lead work) and could see I was building a '40s-era hot rod, he offered many of the hard-to-find pieces that are now on the car.
I'm thankful I didn't build the car 15 years ago for two reasons: one, I would not have had a period car, and secondly, my son, Bryan, was only 5 years old then (now he's 20). It was so much fun to build together-we really bonded in that year and a half. Also, he's now become an excellent TIG welder and fabricator. Without his help, I couldn't have done this.
It was fun learning about the hot rod history of the '40s-and finding all the right parts was a real challenge. Even the nuts and bolts on the coupe are old Ford stuff; they give the car that old feel. This one's a keeper, and someday I'll pass it down to my son.