Deuce Coupe – East Side Speed Shop’s 1932 Ford
Almost 13 years ago I heard about a pair of deuce coupe doors that were for sale along with a rough body that was in pieces. The price was very reasonable, heck it’s every young hot rodder’s dream to be able to buy a 32 ford coupe!
At the time I had a Model A coupe that was in pretty decent condition so I figured I’d possibly be able to sell it and make the ‘32 Ford happen. I ended up borrowing the money to buy the ‘32 and was then able to sell the Model A to pay back my friend…it all worked out in the end except I now had a much worse starting point of a project.
When I bought the deuce coupe the guy basically said “I’m selling you the doors, and giving you the body.” It was an old drag car with the cowl top and sides cut out for a blower (or injection) and headers, it had screw holes around all the windows for lexan instead of glass, and the deck lid was welded shut as well.
I slowly started collecting parts to build the car at my place – East Side Speed Shop in Minnesota. I had just recently built a Model A Tudor with a Buick Nailhead, and I really liked Nailheads so that was the direction I went with on the car. After many hours of work I had a beater ’32 that was drivable. I drove the car around for a few years and had a lot of fun with it.
As time passed my taste varied. I decided I wanted to change up the style of the deuce coupe bigtime, and go back to hot rodding’s roots…make it a flatty powered car. I yanked the body off the chassis and stuck it up on a shelf. I then wound up with a Brookville ‘32 roadster body in pieces so I assembled that on the coupes old chassis and sent that car down the road.
With some of that money I started locating parts for the new build. I borrowed a decent original frame from my dad, and found an old Dago dropped ‘32 heavy axle for it too. I also met a fellow that was street rodding his ’32 Tudor he had for many years. I bought many parts off him that would go into my car.
A few years went by and I figured I’d better start working on it or else I’d never get it done. So I slowly started piecing the chassis together. I had a pretty nice ‘36 Ford rear end so I shortened the torque tube to set the correct wheel base, and installed a set of 354 gears in it. I also ground the original ‘36 Ford rear spring to fit into the ‘32 spring pocket as I really didn’t want to modify the nice frame.
I installed the Dago axle in a set of un-split bones and used some ‘40 Ford spindles and brakes. I had a c69a Canadian flathead motor that was supposed to be good so I popped that in the chassis in front of a side shift ‘40 Ford transmission. After that I pulled the body down off the shelf and plopped it on the chassis. When I was bolting down the body I noticed half the holes didn’t line up, the frame was a little diamond shaped which resulted in the project getting stalled once again.
Fast forward another couple of years. I had been watching videos and seeing pictures of The Race Of Gentlemen (TROG) event in Wildwood, New Jersey. To say the least, I wanted to go. So I dug out my coupe and started back up on it again…this time hitting it hard.
I brought the car to a buddy’s body shop and they put it on the frame table and pulled it straight. It was a process but when it was done, it was right on. The car was basically all set up I just need to go through and finish some minor fabrication work and do some paint and body work, plus go through the motor. After digging into the motor I found the block was cracked. I pulled apart another 59A motor and it was also cracked, so a buddy of mine lent me another 59A flatty that was supposed to be a runner.
Time was getting short so I just stuck it in the car after a quick cleaning. I had an Evans 4 carb intake that I was going to run so I still went forward with that plan. It was topped with four Stromberg 81s, and set up with straight linkage. After a little carb tuning and re-jetting it ran really good on top of the stock flatty.
I had been approved for racing at TROG in October 2015, and had a few friends that were also coming to the event, so they picked me and the deuce coupe up along the way. As we were getting close we heard the weather wasn’t cooperating. We still headed out East hoping all would be good.
Our original plan had us hitting up the Carlisle Fall swap meet on the way out so we followed through with that. As the weekend got nearer we got news TROG was postponed…so close!! We decided since we were this close that it would be foolish not to make it to the Hershey Swap Meet, but couldn’t stay much longer than that. To say the least, I’m glad we made it…what an amazing swap meet. We headed back home after the swap…no racing.
After I got back I started driving my ‘32 on the street a lot. It functioned so well, and it felt great to have it back on the road after so many years off. But then winter came so it got stashed away again.
The TROG folks announced that they were going to be doing a East and West coast event, and that I could carry over my registration to either event of my choice. I really like the East coast and the people out that way, plus there were lots of friends out that way I wanted to meet up with…so East it was for me. They also bumped the event up to June hoping for better weather.
Needless to say it was a restless few months anticipating the event. June came and we headed out East again, and finally were able to make it to TROG, and it was all that I had hoped it would be. The cars were great, the people were great, and the event was amazing. It’s pretty invigorating to jam through the gears in the deuce coupe going down the beach!