The great thing about the evolution of hot rodding over the past 20 years is that a vast array of great products, including reproduction bodies and frames, have come onto the market, allowing just about anyone to build the hot rod of their dreams. But that's also a double-edged sword, since anyone who knows which end of a wrench to grab was also building hot rods from all those great parts, with all-too-predictable results. I've seen a lot of poorly built rods, and they only serve to reinforce what the core of hot-rodding is all about craftsmanship and quality.
This gorgeous yellow '32 Ford roadster was clearly built with a real eye for detail, and it is precisely those details that give this car a big leg up over some of its competition. Not only was the entire car carefully thought-out and planned before construction even started (it's obvious), but every item on the car was carefully massaged and polished to perfection before it was installed. "Out of the box" just wasn't good enough for the builder of this car. Like I said, great rods are built by true craftsmen, not assembled like a kit. This is a great rod.
The body itself is a Harwood fiberglass piece with a smooth cowl and rolled rear pan, along with a Rootlieb 3-piece steel hood that opens from either side thanks to a Dan Fink latch. Harwood pieces are typically regarded as top-of-the-line, but as I said, nothing on this car was simply used "as is." The builder, J.R. Luksik (who is well-known in for his work on custom motorcycles), spent a tremendous amount of time getting the panels flat and straight, and the gaps on this rod are absolutely laser-straight and even. Fiberglass is a tricky substance; it's easy to work with, but really challenging to make it look perfect. Good quality base materials like the Harwood body make it easier, but creating a car this nice definitely takes some skill. Even the door jambs received the ministrations of a master before being sprayed with the Corvette Millennium Yellow topcoat. I mean, look at the reflection of the engine in the paint on the firewall deep and flawless with no distortions!
Detailing is where this car really shines. Check out the DuVall split V windshield, which gives the car a sporty, yet vintage, look. There's a stainless steel grille insert with a filled crank hole up front for a smooth appearance, and a "Hide-A-Tag" license plate frame out back that retracts the plate when the car is parked. And dig the custom-fabricated aluminum mirror stalks, fabricated by J.R. just for this car. Details, details, details! I am especially fond of the extra-large headlights, which give the front end a sense of scale and look, to my eye anyway, about ten times better than the little bullet headlights that a lot of rods end up with. The turn signals and parking lights are integrated into the headlights, so there are no extra bulbs or housings anywhere to detract from the pure lines of the roadster body. Out back, there are a pair of simple LED taillights and nothing else. Heck, the car isn't even pinstriped, instead letting the original style belt moldings do the talking and keeping with the cars monochromatic theme.
Of course, a real hot rod is all about the hardware, and this car doesn't disappoint. The small block Chevy under the hood is a 355 cubic inch screamer featuring World Products high compression heads, a chrome Edelbrock intake, and a cam from Speed Pro. Fuel is delivered by an Edelbrock AFB 650 CFM carburetor through a Billet Specialties air cleaner. A GM HEI distributor lights the fires, and a set of block hugging headers with a ceramic coating handles exhaust. Dress up comes from polished aluminum valve covers and a chrome thermostat housing, water pump, oil pan, and polished aluminum pulleys. Note the careful routing of all the hoses and wires to keep them out of sight super sanitary! The Walker Z-Series radiator and electric fan have been painted satin black to keep all your attention focused on the engine. The transmission is a reliable GM 700R4 4-speed automatic with a chrome pan and torque converter cover from Advanced Plating, and it twists a polished aluminum drive shaft. This roadster fires up easily, idles perfectly, and drives with a minimum of fuss. It isn't radical, over-cammed, with monstrous compression, just a potent small block that happily drinks premium pump gas and goes about its business without making you worry about it. After all, who wants to drive a hot rod when all you do is fret about it overheating or breaking down?
Underneath, the frame is also a Harwood piece with pinched and boxed rails, tubular supports, a drop-down transmission mount, and C-notches front and rear for that "in the weeds" stance. It has also been bobbed front and rear to keep everything clean and trim. The front suspension is fully chromed and polished, from the tubular axle with a 2-inch drop, to the monoleaf spring holding it all up. The 4-bar suspension is polished stainless, as are the Pete and Jake's "boinger" shocks, the cross steering assembly and the Vega steering box. Out back, there's a smoothed and filled Ford 9-inch axle bathed in the same Corvette Millennium Yellow paint as the body carrying a polished Strange aluminum center section packing 3.50 gears. It is all suspended on a set of stainless steel ladder bars with a Panhard rod, as well as a pair of polished coilovers with chrome springs. You'll also notice a set of Wilwood disc brakes up front, complete with polished aluminum calipers and backing plates, and stainless steel brake lines throughout. There's also a 16-gallon polished stainless steel gas tank out back and a custom stainless exhaust system fabricated by J.R. himself. Finishing off the chassis is a set of American Racing polished aluminum wheels, 15x4s wearing 145x15 Firestones up front and 17x8s out back wearing 275/60/17 Toyo Proxes radials for a trick twist on the "big-n-little" look.
The interior is all tan leather that was custom designed by Jim Tocco Designs and stitched together by Willis Workshop in Port Huron, Michigan. The seat is hand-fabricated from foam sheets, not an off-the-shelf piece, and it is just as comfortable as it looks. Carrying the theme onto the door panels is a traditional hot rod interior trick, and it has been done to great effect here, creating a cohesive interior that flows around the driver. The steering wheel is wrapped in matching leather and sits on a tilt steering column, while the gauges are from Classic Instruments and set into a chrome panel from Lokar. Keeping the interior dry if the weather turns ugly is a tan canvas Sid Chavers BopTop that is completely removable to keep the roadsters lines clean and unspoiled and cost more than $2500!
The trunk has been upholstered to match the interior, with stitching that looks exactly like the door panels. You'll note that the filler for the gas tank is stashed back here, and behind that panel in the center of the trunk are remote terminals for the battery and a remote connection for a battery charger/tender if you've seen the inaccessible locations some builders put the battery, you'll be grateful for this thoughtful little touch.
This car also comes with an envelope full of receipts for many of the parts that went into the build, a detailed summary sheet, and instructions for removing and installing the BopTop. The PA title says it is titled as a 1932 Ford, which always helps at registration time.
We've always got a variety of nice rods here at RK Motors Charlotte, and they're all nice. But as with all the cars we get, some seem to attract more attention for reasons that many folks just can't explain. This is such a car; maybe it's the yellow paint, I don't know. The build quality is first rate on this one, constructed by a well-known fabricator with OEM experience so he knows quality. The details abound, making this a first-rate rod that is ready to be driven and enjoyed by its next lucky owner. If Millennium Yellow is your color, then take another good, long look at this '32 roadster and call us now!
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What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.