From dry lakes to drags to, eventually, Elmo’s mother’s single-car garage, where for quite some time the roadster would peacefully slumber, no one the wiser … except Elmo and his family, of course. And it wouldn’t be until sometime in the ’90s that the roadster would resurface. Apparently, that decade between the day Elmo dragged the dusty Deuce from its hibernation to the day the controversial show sign was propped up at the GNRS raised little if any flags concerning the roadster pedigree. It wasn’t like the car was being kept under wraps—along with participating in two of the better-known SoCal reliability runs, it even made a cameo appearance on the silver screen in one of the pit scenes at Bonneville in The World’s Fastest Indian. But, not only was it not parked next to an exact reproduction of its former character, its likeness—or lack thereof in various areas—was and still is questionable. For that, Lattin provided his explanation regarding the differences, both assumed and actual.

Disregarding the chassis altogether (it’s well known that the original had its framehorns removed, among other minor details), the body bore distinct characteristics, namely a filled cowl vent. Reasoning for the existence of a stock vent on Elmo’s is fairly simple, according to Lattin. Bringing the roadster out of storage required a bit more than blowing off dust and airing tires—at some point, it had been channeled, and along with installing a new (stock) floor, the cowl’s vent was replaced … so too was the dash, something else many cite as an erred aspect. It’s a good guess that the issue with placement of the taillights is also a result of the “rehabilitation” process.

While this historical interpretation will undoubtedly leave many a skeptic, well, skeptical—it does offer some justification for various questionable aspects regarding the “mysterious resurfacing of the Veda Orr ’32 just one month prior to the 75th Deuce display”. Then again, it’s just another highboy ’32 roadster. …

Rod & Custom Feature Car

Elmo Gillette

Southern California

1932 Ford Roadster