Far beyond his achievement of providing economical V-8 power to an impoverished nation, the last thing on the minds of Henry Ford’s newest customers in 1932, owners of his one-year-only Model B, was what profound impact those very automobiles would soon have—worldwide. Not even the visionary Henry himself could’ve predicted what a phenomenon that single vehicle was about to create. Much like the fabled AC Cobra, it’s safe to say that there are more “aftermarket” ’32 Fords on the road today than there are genuine FoMoCo ones! In the eyes of everyone, save for the restorative purists, that’s indeed a good thing.
The Deuce is without question the staple of street rodding as we have all come to know it—whether we’re fans of ’32 Fords (or Fords period) or not. From the beginnings on the dry lakes to the big silver screen to the grass at Pebble Beach, many of our hobby’s milestones have been set behind the wheel of a Deuce. And rightfully so, as it’s hard to find fault with ol’ Hank’s venerable Model B, even if you’re a self-admitted Chevy addict like me. That said, for builders like Roy Brizio, the ’32 does have its boundaries beauty-wise.
Anyone familiar with Roy Brizio knows that, like fellow builders of his caliber, he’s particularly fond of ’32 Fords. Full-fendered or highboy, chopped or stock-topped, Brizio’s built ’em in pretty much every style you can think of—except channeled, that is. Altering the profile on the ’32 in such manner may have seemed too much like flirting with perfection for Brizio, a move unflattering in his mind, so to speak. At least until more recently, when fellow friend and soon-to-be channeled Deuce roadster owner Tom Gloy presented him with enough of a challenge to pursue the flirtation.
According to Tom, while he and Brizio were driving across Nevada en route to Bonneville, the topic of hot rods naturally came up. At some point during the discussion, Roy touched on the topic of ’32 roadsters—or more specifically, why Tom didn’t own one. Tom expressed his disinterest in having a car that “everyone else has”, so Brizio posed the question, “Well, IF you did have one, what would be different about it?” Tom’s response that it be channeled was met with immediate defensiveness, with Brizio stating “They all seem to have something wrong with the look, both visually and physically.” The challenge was made—in order to make Tom a ’32 roadster owner like all the rest, all Brizio had to overcome were those two minor aesthetical hang-ups!
Agreeably, channeled roadsters aren’t for everyone, nor are they easy to pull off from an overall form-versus-function standpoint … especially when the prospective owner’s tall in the saddle, vertically speaking. Of all the framerail offerings from the ’20s and ’30s, undoubtedly the ’32 Ford is the sleekest of them all, with what has to be the most complementary, sweeping profile line that, when left exposed in highboy guise, is almost as recognizable as a signature “Deuce” marking as is their unmistakable, widely used grille. So, why on earth would anyone want to conceal such a gorgeous beauty mark by channeling a body down over it? Herein likely lies the core to Brizio’s argument; the end result, however, is Tom’s victory statement, physical proof he not only won the argument, but that Brizio was more than able to meet the challenge at hand.
Rod & Custom Feature Car
Incline Village, Nevada
1932 Ford Roadster
The frame concealed beneath Tom Gloy’s lowboy was fashioned together by Jack Stratton at Roy Brizio Street Rods in South San Francisco, CA, with final assembly by Dan Hall. It’s comprised of Just A Hobby ’rails that have been stretched an inch despite losing their framehorns at each end, kicked up in the rear 4 inches, and, of course, pinched approximately 3 1/2 inches to accommodate channeling. Up front is a 5-inch drop Magnum axle located via a custom Steve Moal torsion bar setup and dampened with dual-adjustable QA1 shocks; the rear consists of a four-link and QA1 dampers supporting a Ford 9-inch. Wilwood disc brakes are at all four corners.
Neatly tucked under the forward sheetmetal lies a Hilborn-injected ’11 Edelbrock Ford small-block displacing 347 cubes. Equipped with the company’s namesake aluminum cylinder heads (capped with 312 Y-block valve covers no less) and roller cam, among other things, the SBF also features a Vertex mag and Sanderson headers feeding a custom exhaust with MagnaFlow mufflers. Transmission of choice, a Tremec TKO-500, shifts by means of a Hurst stick and a Steve Moal hanging pedal assembly.
Wheels & Tires
The Indy-styled “mags” on Tom’s ’32 are in actuality ET Mags, staggered in 16- and 18-inch diameter. Rolling stock is completed and further complemented by means of Excelsior Stahl Sport Radials from Coker Tire.
Body & Paint
While the body may be a Brookville Roadster item, it hardly resembles what originally came from the company’s stamping factory when Roy Brizio first acquired it for Tom’s project. Today, the roadster boasts a number of non-stock features: first and foremost the 6-inch channeled profile, narrowed cowl, raised rear fenderwells, filled and smoothed quarter-panels, rolled rear pan, and so on. The windshield has been chopped 3 inches, while the hood is a custom-made aluminum piece, courtesy of Jack Hagemann. Following fit, finish, and bodywork (by Brizio’s Bill Ganahl, Gary Ruchenet, and Jack Stratton), Daryl Hollenbeck at Vintage Color Studio in nearby Concord laid down the roadster’s flawless, custom-mixed blue hue. Exterior appointments include King Bee headlights, ’50 Pontiac taillights, and brightwork by Sherm’s Plating (Sacramento, CA).
With its top up, something we neglected to illustrate in our photo selection, the interior of Tom’s Deuce doesn’t speak nearly as loud as it does top down, something that’s clearly illustrated by the accompanying images. With its wall-to-wall bright red Italian leather, expertly stitched and stretched by Santa Clara, CA, upholsterer Sid Chavers, do you see why we chose to go topless?! Immersed in the sea of red you’ll also find a collection of curved-glass Stewart-Warners in a Haneline turned-stainless bezel, a Bell three-spoke wheel atop a Tri-C column, vintage racer harness belts, and a hidden XM Radio system.