One of the reasons Red Stauffer bought this Deuce Vicky almost 30 years ago is that he needed a ride home. He had driven a '29 sedan delivery to the Nats West in Merced, California, sold it at the show, and needed wheels to get himself, his wife at the time, and their two boys back to Florida. "I saw the Victoria with a small 'For Sale' sign on it," he remembered. "I thought it was beautiful and bought it."
At the time, the beautiful Vicky was wearing an ugly shade of green, '57 Eldorado wheels, and a cheap Tijuana upholstery job-but the body, with its chopped top, was perfect. Red added a bumper hitch to haul the luggage trailer and started for home with the family. The bone-stock flathead blew a piston within a few hundred miles, but Red was able to drop in a new one at an L.A. gas station and didn't have any more problems until a cylinder head cracked in the middle of the desert. A good Samaritan in a '56 Nomad helped out with a couple gallons of water and a bottle of Stop Leak, which got the car back on the road with no more problems until it ran out of gas a block from home.
Once he finally had the car in the garage, Red completely disassembled and rebuilt it. When gray Baskerville photographed the finished car for Hot Rod magazine in the late 1970s, it had been painted black and loaded with a Chevy drivetrain, Jag rear, velour interior, and Zenith wire wheels. Red drove the car more than 100,000 miles before selling it to a friend. A few years later, he bought it back, unchanged and undriven. He was busy racing Sprint Cars at the time, so the high-mileage '32 went without any attention for several more years.
In the spring of 2006, Red started his second inside-and-out rebuild of the Vicky. This time, the Chevy drivetrain was replaced with a dressed-up Dodge Red Ram Hemi connected to a five-speed. The wire wheels were exchanged for some vintage Halibrands, the interior was completely upgraded, and the black paint was re-sprayed. Less obvious are all the smaller details, such as the spindle-mount caliper brackets, rotor adapters, stainless exhaust, and other parts, all fabricated by the owner in his garage.
Red finished the Vicky this past August, the night before he and his girlfriend, Debbie, drove it to the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville. Two days later, we got together and shot these photos. The day after that, it was back on the road. It's nice to know that after 30 years, 100,000 miles, and who knows how many modifications, this hot rod Vicky is still Red's ride home.
Rod & Custom Feature Car
Winter Park, Florida
1932 Ford Victoria
We got a real surprise when we first peeked through the louvers and found a pristine 270-inch Dodge Red Ram. The owner-built Hemi looks especially clean and mean with the mid-'50s Offenhauser manifold painted black with the lettering in red to match the valve covers. The Offy intake is topped with a '54 Carter WCFb four-barrel carburetor and a Stellings air cleaner. A Vertex electronic ignition fires the engine, and exhaust exits through Hedman headers. The oil pan decal advertises the Schneider cam. The T5 five-speed is shifted with a B&M shifter.
The frame is built off the original '32 'rails, boxed, and with a front crossmember and tubular k-member added by Red. The front suspension includes hairpins, a monoleaf spring, and Pete & Jake's shock absorbers. A Vega box handles the steering, and Wilwood discs were mounted in front. Ford drum brakes are used in the rear, along with coil springs and Aldan shocks. The '60 Ted Halibrand quick-change was running a 3.33:1 gear ratio. At the Nats, Red met with the guys from Winters Performance, who swapped the standard straight-cut gears for a set of their helical-cut gears, which he says run quieter and bumped up his fuel economy a couple of mpg.
Wheels & Tires
The spindle-mounted Halibrand kidney beans make a clear statement about the character of this hot rod. Red paired the 4-inch front rims with a set of rear 8-inchers, finished with a pair of homemade knock-off adapters wearing a little bit of red paint. He mounted P235/75R15 uniroyal tires in the rear and 165R15 radial skinnies in front.
Body & Paint
Red didn't have to do much to improve the looks of the Victoria body. The top was chopped 2 inches and filled when the car was originally hot rodded in the late 1950s. Otherwise, a pair of '37 Ford taillights is about as radical as the exterior mods need to be. During the recent rebuild, any sheetmetal wrinkles were ironed out before butch Adams of Winter Park, Florida, shot the shiny black finish.
The interior is probably close to something you might see on a show rod from 40 years ago. The unidentified buckets were discovered in a local salvage yard and upholstered in red leather by Tom Johnson of Longwood, Florida. The Auburn dash houses a range of Auto Meter gauges behind one of Vintique's 17-inch reproduction '40 Ford steering wheels. genuine old-time components include the '39 Ford pedals and the Allstate turn-signal switch, manufactured in the 1950s. There are a few contemporary accessories, too, notably the power windows, Vintage Air A/C, and a Pioneer sound system-all the right stuff for the next long trip.