By Jay Storer. Photography By Brian Brennan
If striking flint on steel makes sparks, what happens when
you put steel on steel? In the case of the Road Tour roadster, we've got
a Deuce Steel chassis from Hot Rods & Custom Stuff (HR&CS) and now
we're adding the "Body of Steel" from Brookville Roadsters! These
two companies are justifiably proud of their products, which go together
very nicely for our '32 ford Highboy roadster project. The polished engine,
Wheel Vintique wheels, and searing yellow PPG paint may sparkle, but the
only "sparks" from this car will be in the enthusiasm it generates
as it tours the country.
As delivered from Brookville Roadsters, the "Body of
Steel" is as close as most of us will ever get to having an original
Deuce, but the Brookville body is actually better in many ways, having been
spared the ignominy of seven decades of rust, damage, and hot rodders.
It's no easy task to build something like this from 68 different
pieces of stamped steel, and rodders are lucky that Brookville has made
the investment in tooling to make these available.
Just bolting one of these new bodies in untouched form on
your Deuce frame provides the base for what can be a beautiful car, with
changes in the hood, paint, wheels and other features making your car a
truly personal statement. On our Road Tour roadster, the STREET RODDER
staffers liked all of the changes Randy Clark suggested that took the overall
scheme even further. We'll have a unique Deuce roadster body and chassis
as a result.
The interior of a roadster is right out there for everyone
to see, and we'll be getting more than casual glances with the dual-dash
setup created by HR&CS.
Space is always a problem in a deuce roadster, especially
in the cowl area and under and/or behind the reletively small dash. Hiding
things that are behind the dash is a concern when you have electronics,
an electrical center, and Vintage Air heat and A/C components all sharing
the space back there.
The dash we're using in the original location will carry just
the Dakota Digital Instrument panel, while the deeper secondary dash will
hold the climate controls and also hide the components behind it.
Exterior mods to the Brookville body included a very novel
approach to frenching in the '50 Pontiac taillights, Metalman Lars Blomberg
made wooden hammer-forms to shape sheetmetal "buckets" for the
taillights that sink these traditional lights in somewhat and at the same
time provide a small, smooth lip around them. Holes were cut in the back
of the lower deck panel and the new buckets were welded in. Also at the
rear, roll pan-like corners were made to fill up the body area on either
side of the gas tank for a smoother, more custom look.
Up front, we have a three-piece steel hood with some interesting
louvers along the bottom of each hood side, the HR&CS stainless headlight/shock
mounts at the framerails, and a Brookville steel grille shell that's seen
some tweaks. The headlight shells are reproduction '34 Ford commercial type,
painted body color.
Unless its coffee in the morning or pizza at lunch, they don't
send out for much at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. Their four buildings include
separate areas for sales, fabrication, and assembly, as well as a media-blasting
center and body ship. There's also a large paint ship and final assembly
building down the street. Randy has found that keeping things in-house means
there's more control, and the painted cars that come out of their ship are
vivid testament to that.
After all the customizing and welding was done on the Road
Tour highboy, the body was sanded down to the nude and sprayed with PPG's
well-known DP-90 epoxy primer, which is so durable it's the final finish
of choice among the suede set. All bodywork and blocking can be done over
this. At HR& CS they used a variety of PPG products to achieve the final,
show-car finish our 32 now sports.
After using thin applications of filler around areas that
they had reworked, the car was cleaned and painted with NCP-271 high build
primer and block-sanded, then this was repeated. When this was dusted off,
the body and exterior parts were moved in to the huge down-draft paint booth
and sprayed with NCP 1990 "wet on wet" sealer to promote good
adhesion of the final paint, the PPG Giallo Yellow (DBC 84902-SC) basecoats.
The frame, rear end, and other body-color parts were also
treated to a session in the booth. After all this prep, what really gives
the shine and protection to today's paints is the three coats of DCU-2010
two part clear, which HR&CS bakes for 40 minutes at 140 degrees F. These
two-parters are actually thermo set plastic, so without that "cooking"
capability, the material will never become evenly "cross-linked"
or fully cured inside. Once cured, the sun can't do any harm, even on the
hottest days! After the parts were given two days of rest, the boys put
the finish to the finish with more than a few man-hours of wet sanding,
proceeding to finer and finer grip papers. Lastly, they did the complete
compound/buffing drill and two stages of glaze.
There's much more to the story, so next month we'll bring
you the details of all the post-paint activities. We gotta tell you, when
you see this car's color in print or in person, you'll grin! SR
Brakes: Stainless Steel Brakes, 11470 Main Rd., Dept. SRM, Clarence, NY 14031, (716) 759-8666,
Gauges: Dakota Digital, 4510
West 61st St. North, Dept SRM, Sioux Falls, SD 57107, (605) 332-6513, www.dakotadigital.com
Wheels: Wheel Vintiques, 5468
E. Lamona Ave., Dept. SRM, Fresno, CA 93727, www.wheelvintiques.com
Engine: Gen III Performance, 4615 Serigraph Ct. Dept. SRM, Oceanside, CA 92057, (760) 505-8419,
Transmission: TCI Automotive, 151 Industrial Dr., Dept. SRM, Ashland, MS 38603, (662) 224-8972,
Paint: PPG, 19699 Progress
Dr., Dept. SRM, Strongsville, OH 44149, e-mail: email@example.com, www.ppgrefinish.com
Radiator: Walker Radiator Works,
694 Marshall Ave., Dept. SRM, Memphis, TN 38103, (800) 821-1970
Fan: Cooling Components, 3948
I-40, Dept. SRM, Proctor, AZ 72376, (901) 336-6194
Shifter, Cables: Lokar Performance Products,
Inc., 10924 Murdock Dr., Dept. SRM, Knoxville, TN 37932,
(865) 966-2269, www.lokar.com
Wiring/Electrical: Painless Performance
Products, 9505 Santa Paula Dr., Dept. SRM, Fort Worth,
TX 76116, (800) 54-WIRES, www.painlessperformance.com
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, 2324 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA.,
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services
and sells parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.