Roy Fjastad is no stranger to hot rods. Having been involved with them throughout his working life, first at The Deuce Factory with his dad, brother Carl, and sister Lisa, in the '70s, and now on his own at his West Coast Street Rods shop in Huntington Beach, California. Though he's probably built around 35 complete '32 Fords over the years, he'd always wanted a '28-29 on Deuce 'rails.
While he certainly knows his way around a '32 chassis, this one is modified so much it's nothing like any he's previously put together. As he tells it, "I took a lot of measurements and built a frame jig specifically for this project. I wanted to channel the body 2 inches without cutting into the sheetmetal, so I pulled in the 'rails where needed to clear the body, then fully boxed them before kicking them up 4 inches in the rear." Actually this isn't strictly true, as Roy cut off the rear of the chassis and made new rear framerail sections that look as though they're stamped stockers, but are raised 4 inches. "I wanted the back low but with suspension that worked properly. I had a picture in my mind of how I wanted the car to look, which was as low as I could get it without having problems getting in and sitting comfortably." Roy admits getting the car low enough without Z'ing the rear or opting for a suicide frontend was one of the most challenging parts of the build. "I wanted it traditional looking without sacrificing safety. I want my frontend to stay on at 80 ... er, 65 mph!"
Though Roy found a really beat-up, rusted-out '29 to start the project, this soon made way for a really nice body that was sourced through a friend. Seems the owner already had a neat hot rod and figured enough was enough, so he offered this one for sale. "It was in real good shape," Roy says. "I cut out all the spot welds and disassembled every panel and then stripped them. Erik Hansson at Scandinavian Street Rods made new fenderwell panels to my pattern, then I fabricated the returns and hammer-welded them in place. The floor is now 14-gauge steel and 0.100-inch 4130 chromoly plate that my dad had laying around for a race car project that never materialized. The idea was to eliminate any support bars under the floor, allowing a little extra legroom in such a small car."
With all this work in the floor and lower sections of the body, it almost seems an afterthought to mention it's chopped 2 1/2 inches in the front and 2 inches in the rear. The '32 grille shell and insert were shortened a few inches to line up with the '29 cowl, Roy taking the opportunity to modify the bottom of the shell a little. "I tried to combine the '32 Ford and the '29 sedan with several parts from each, which explains the A29BA32 license plate," he says.
Owning a rod shop has its advantages too, as after "rod"-storing a '48 Mercury woodie, Roy found himself with the steering column, column shifter, front spindles, and backing plates that were now surplus to requirements. They didn't take long to find a new home on the '29. Likewise the headlights, which came off a customer's '32 sedan during its rebuild. Roy thinks they're originally '36 items, but isn't sure. It's not all 1-800-number rodding at Roy's shop either. "I found the 9-inch rearend in some guy's front yard. Seventy-five dollars got me a perfect width rearend, axles, and a third member core." The Father's Day swap meet brought forth Buick drums, while those are '49 F-1 pickup gauges in the dash, which is now a combination of the front of the stock '29 gas tank and a '32 recessed oval section minus the insert.