Jerry DeBruyn

Kalamazoo, Michigan

1930 Ford Coupe-Turned-Roadster

Jerry DeBruyn’s older brother, Robert, sent us a bunch of original photographs, as well as copies of Rodding and Re-styling (1959) and Cars and Clubs (1958) magazines, both of which featured the younger DeBruyn’s ’30 Ford coupe-turned-roadster, the former running it on the cover.

The car came together between late 1954 and mid 1958, and provided Jerry’s introduction to drag racing, winning its class numerous times at various strips in Indiana and Michigan, before its owner moved up to running a dragster in Top Gas Eliminator. His racing career was cut short however, when, after placing fourth in class at the WinterNationals in California, the dragster’s chassis broke nearer home at Milan Dragway, rendering its driver unconscious for three months and in the hospital for seven.

The roadster however, remained in his possession. In fact it still does, and is today parked in the same barn in which is was built over half a century ago. Jerry still drives it every summer, and it hasn’t changed a bit. It even runs the same tires, and the same “full race” ’57 Ford engine with its Isky cam and homemade exhaust system!

In addition to the roadster, Jerry built a ’54 Ford pickup which he also still drives, and which was also built in the ’50s, as was a ’32 Tudor sedan which he swapped with his brother for a Mustang in 1969. Naturally, brother Robert still owns the Tudor. All were built in the ’50s, all have quad headlights, and all are painted 1954 Cadillac Cobalt Blue.

Ron Volpe

LaSalle, Illinois

1951 Mercury Coupe

1957 Ford Convertible

Ron Volpe built this ’51 Merc in 1957 with the help of his high school buddy, whose dad owned a bodyshop. With the Merc finished in 1959, Ron embarked on a new project, this time a ’57 Ford convertible. We ran the ’vert on our Dec. ’62 cover, about the same time as it was a trophy winner at the 1962 National Champion Show in Indy.

The ’vert was restyled again in 1963, with the tailfins abbreviated just aft of the leading edge of the decklid, an assymetrical hood scoop, and radiused rear fenderwells, as can be seen in the picture hereabouts. As Ron tells it, “Marriage forced the sale of the completed car, and it’s never been seen since!”

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