For a lot of rodders, its gotta be a roadster. Being out on the road and exposed to the elements is a big part of the street rodding experience. David and Pat Owens of Julian, North Carolina, recently joined the ranks of these most fervent enthusiasts. After owning a bunch of closed cars, including a 32 Ford Tudor sedan, a 40 Chevy sedan, and several 38 Chevys, the Owenses were ready for a topless ride. Dave had built all of his previous cars from the ground up, but figured he could find a finished roadster for less than it would cost him to build oneand that way he could start driving it immediately.
At the Street Rod Nationals in 2000, the Owenses ran across this 32, owned by John Bell, a cabinet maker who built the car in his cabinet shop. David says that the roadster was exactly what he had in mind: a simple 32 highboy, plenty traditional, but not too old and worn out. The Owenses particularly liked the So-Cal disc brakes and the four-bar suspension. Although they had been thinking about black or red paint, they immediately took a fancy to the unusual, but subtle, green paint job.
Since purchasing the roadster a year and a half ago, the Owenses havent made many changes to the car, preferring to drive it and enjoy it. Theyve been to most of the Southeastern shows within driving distance of their home, including Shades of the Past in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the Street Rod Nats in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Street Rod Nats East in Knoxville, Tennessee. The roadster has earned trophies from a few of the local rod runs and was selected as one of Rod & Custom magazines 100 Best, featured in the Feb. 02 issue.
The roadster gets driven less during the winter months, but Dave and Pat have put this highboy back on the highway now that warm weather is here. By now, theyre back on the road with the wind in their hair, the sun on their skin, maybe the rain on their heads, and definitely a smile on their faces.