1932 Ford Hot Rod

FRONT 3/4 VIEW

1. The late Bob Gregorie, longtime chief designer at Ford, once reminisced that he believed the beloved '32 Ford grille, last of the vertical designs, was created by the engineer who designed the Model T transmission. Masterpieces, both of them.

2. What you see below this curving longitudinal line is the actual frame, altered at both ends to achieve a lower stance for the vehicle. A lot of rework has considerably stiffened this chassis.

3. The cut-down windshield adds to the aura of sportiness and provides an adequate view because of thin pillars that barely exceed the average human interpupillary dimensions, rendering them virtually invisible.

4. This is a "Carson top." Real ones were made in Amos Carson's shop in Los Angeles from 1935. They were padded and did not fold but could be lifted off, and more than 5000 were allegedly produced before the last was made for George Barris in 1965. Like Kleenex and Xerox, Carson is now a generic term.

5. This mirror may look like an aftermarket addition, but it was standard on all Deluxe '32 Fords. A good thing, because you surely can't see much with the center mirror.

6. Gross matched the shape of the standard Ford hood side vents to create these custom top-of-hood louvers.

7. These Guide 682-C sealed-beam lamps come from a General Motors subsidiary and were common to many cars of the '20s and '30s. Today the fashion is to use genuine '32 Ford lamps, but that was never part of the canon in this car's reference time.

8. No disc brakes in the reference period? This car has them, the ultrarare Kinmont disc brake assemblies, of which fewer than 300 sets were reputedly made.

9. Gross says the slight vee in the headlamp support bar is elegant, matching the slight vee of the grille. He's right.

10. But maybe not in bending a vee into the tube between the frame horns. An old California hot-rodder I know, a member of the Road Runners in the 1940s, thinks it's "a little too cute-it should be straight." He's right, too.

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