The fun part about reading A Guide to Building A Street Rod, the 1932 Ford Roadster is twofold: first, you get to see a step-by-step account of how this very cool looking highboy was built, and second you get to see it finished at the same time. Not only on these pages, but at any of the National Street Rod Association events this summer, you can see the roadster in action.
This year's steel-bodied highboy is a Brookville '32 Ford roadster painted in PPG basecoat Deltron 2000, called DBC for short, and the color is PN 84902-SC or Giallo yellow. The fabrication, painting and assembly were aptly handled at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff (HR&CS), which is located in Escondido, California, and owned by Randy and Peaches Clark. The frame comes from the HR&CS product line, called Deuce Steel, and the framerails feature an upswept forward section. This treatment allows the car to maintain a highboy build style, while sitting much lower than a highboy resting on conventional Deuce 'rails. This "new" stance is reminiscent of a channeled rod with its "low" attitude without yielding any of the interior space so often sacrificed with a channeled rod. Dare we say the best of two worlds- looks and comfort?
From here, Pete & Jake's Hot Rod Parts (P&J) along with Su0per Bell Axle Co. supplied the traditional front and rear suspension components that include a lightweight Alum-I-Beam drilled axle, P&J Viper shocks, hairpins, batwings, shackles, a Teflon button-fitted transverse leaf spring, and a Panhard bar. Back again from last year's Road Tour is Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation with the Force 10 Elite series (four piston per caliper) billet calipers for the four -wheel-disc brake system. In front are the 11-inch vented rotors and Elite series calipers, while in back the rearend was stripped of its standard drum brakes and then outfitted with another set of SSBC Elite series calipers. Also in back are pair of smaller SSBC Elite series calipers, which serve as parking brakes operated by Lokar E-brake cables.
The powertrain is based on a 345-inch LS1 EFI engine from GEN III attached to a TCI 4L60-E transmission. The Currie 9-inch Ford rearend (3.70 gears) is outfitted with 31-spline axles and a limited slip. The steering chores fall to Flaming River, which supplied the Vega-style box, column, and Banjo-style wheel. Though these, steering controls a set of Wheel Vintiques slotted billet wheels wrapped with 145R15 rubber in front and P265/70R16 rubber in back.
HR&CS stitched the interior, including the carpeting and trunk area, while relying on the Wise Guys to supply a '28-34 black leather upholstered bench seat and matching material for the door and kick panels. The seat slides fore and aft for driver comfort, while the seat base flips up and the seat back folds forward to allow easy access into additional storage under and behind the seat. Other interior appointments include a Flaming River column and wheel, Lokar floor pedals and emergency brake lever, and a Vintage Air Compac heater and air conditioning unit. A focal point of any interior is the dashboard, and ours features the latest gauge panel from Dakota Digital outfitted with digital instruments. The Dakota panel features "windows" that match the slots in the wheels, which furthers the traditional theme.
Another focal point of any street rod is the lighting. Lights can "light" up or "destroy" a car's appearance, not to mention functionality. The staff at HR&CS fabricated the evocative headlight stands/shock mounts from stock Deuce headlight bar severed ends and raw steel tubing. They topped the fabricated stands with '34 Ford commercial headlights. The commercial lights aren't quite as big as the originals but the still fill the gap between the grille and the wheel area better than conventional sealed-beam headlights. Stock headlight buckets were stainless, but in our case they were painted in body color. Since these headlights mount lower on the car, the HR&CS crew filled the headlights' stock wire holes and drilled new holes further back in the headlight shells. They spanned the gap between the body and the headlights by fabricating new headlight wire conduits.
In back, '50 Pontiac taillights were a sure hit, but something "extra" was needed. Clark gave it some thought and decided to "french-in" the repro taillights just below the decklid. (Rumor has it HR&CS is making duplicates of these in fiberglass for use with glass or steel bodies.)
Well, here we go again, with the 2004 PPG / STREET RODDER Road Tour highboy Deuce roadster off an running down a highway near you. But the story doesn't end here, oh no. Keep reading each month to follow ol' what's his name (you know, Jerry Dixey!) and see what he's up to. Next year is the tenth anniversary of the Road Tour and we think you will thoroughly enjoy what's coming.