Without a doubt Industrial Chassis’ X-member conversion is one of the most novel kits ever produced for the ’32 Ford chassis. But it’s not the only one. Szymanski also developed a group of modifications that make the pedal assembly more user friendly.
Of them the bracket that adds a hydraulic master cylinder will find probably the most fans. As in the case with the X-member, it simply bolts to the crossmember through existing holes. Industrial Chassis offers it in two variations: one to mount a ’39-48 Ford master cylinder and another to mount a later dual-circuit master cylinder. The kit’s installation still requires relocating the brake-rod tab to the bottom of the pedal boss (which Szymanski can do as an option) but it otherwise eliminates a considerable amount of fabrication.
The pedal bracket isn’t as much a kit as a modification. It requires existing parts, specifically yours. But the result is no less profound: Szymanski modifies the pedal assembly to operate as it does in the ’39 Ford. It does so in the sense that the modified pedal cross shaft doubles as part of the clutch-release mechanism.
He does it by reaming the existing clutch pedal boss and welding a broached sleeve in the hole. He then welds an arm on the end of a similarly broached shaft. That arm aligns with the arm at the end of a more common and affordable ’39-style throw-out lever or Industrial Chassis’ fabricated version. It’s a fair bit of work but it’s a lifesaver: It eliminates the need to score a potentially hard-to-find piece of hardware, the ’32-only clutch-release arm that fits on the throw-out shaft in the bell housing. Given the amount of core parts—parts that have gotten somewhat hard to find—it’s understandable that Szymanski chooses to offer this assembly as part of a modification rather than as a kit.
It’s the modifications’ utility that makes them so relevant. Each dramatically improves the way an old Ford performs. Then again, a lot of kits can claim the same thing. This industry was built upon them after all. But not many of those kits do it with the same Ford-like elegance as these do.
Ford was notorious for changing the ’32 Ford throughout its limited production to amend various shortcomings, a practice that resulted in special parts that were unique to manufacturing date if not plant. Judging by the way they fit with the existing design it would be an easy case to make that these were parts that Ford could’ve made. And judging by the way they work it would be an even easier case that they’re parts that Ford should’ve made.