The evolution of a hot rod

As I was looking through my digital photo album I ran across some older pictures of your Humble Editors 1932 Ford five window coupe.

I have not done a ton of things to this car but it is amazing how the look and feel of a hot rod can change with rather simple modification. As a hot rod can be an extension of your personality so it is important to make it the way you like it.

Here is how it looked at one point:

1932 Ford rear

 Fenders made from ’36 Ford spare tire covers in the front, home made in the rear.

Olds motor in 1932 Ford

 1956 Olds power plant.

 1932 Ford Five Window Coupe

OK, those slicks has to go and so does the drag race “high in the nose” look.


1932 Ford Five Window Coupe Firestone 2

Dropped original heavy axle and Firestones pie crust tireas changes the car completely.

 1932 Ford Five Window Coupe no lettering

Loosing those silly numbers on the side certainly helped to clean up the car.

At this point I started to like the car but something was still missing…

1932 Ford 5 window hood

 Aha! A hood! Yup, that added greatly to the lines. It completes the car and it flows great. Mmmm…something is still missing!


1932 Ford 5 window rear

 Yes, that’s it. Fenders. It puts the old back in to the car. This just shows how versitile the 1932 Ford is. It can be built in many ways and look great.

This car is now sold and Your Humble Editor is looking for something new and fun, Well, something old and fun. Like a 1937 Ford cabriolet. Know of any? Let me know.


1932 Ford hot rod: The fendering is finished

1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

After all the fenders had been test fitted I shot the inside of the fenders with etching primer and then applied a rubberized undercoating. This prevents “tneds”  That would be “dent” backwards as the rock would leave the tire and make an “outie” Get it?


1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

Also, the wheel wells got a shot of the undercoating as well.


1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

I made these simple upper shock mounts that clears the fender.


1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

Then it was time to squirt some paint on the frame rails as well.The rear quarter panel was not painted when I originally painted the cowl and doors to remove the ugly lettering so this was a good opportunity to make sure everything match.
Puh, that was a long sentence!


Back in the “showroom” for assembly. The Volvo wheel is just temporary until I get new rear rims. I ordered new 16’s with 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern in order to solve the axle width. This way I can eliminate the adapter and save an inch. Hopefully it will be enough as I really don’t want to tear down the rear axle this year.


Yup, the whole damn shop is red. My interior decorator is going to be sooo pissed!

The white paint on the headers was peeling badly and now would be the time to fix it.

As I will not run hood sides and the fenders and top hood with sort of picture frame the engine it better look good. This looks cleaner.

So how did it come out? Pretty damn good I think, It certainly changed the look and feel of the car.


The OE frame horn covers fits better than the repop


I was concerned that there would be too much red but the chrome acorns and adding a chrome license plate frame it looks pretty balanced.


The not so faux Olds engine is nicely framed between the hood and fenders.

I plan to change the top insert to black and also the dash and steering wheel should be black. For right now I just plan to drive the crap out of it.

1932 Ford: The Fendering continues…

Rolled the car out for a look-see. Looks good.


After bringing the front fenders together the front apron fits well. Also, the stock head light bar looks great.


The original rear frame horn covers fits much better the the aftermarket parts. The rear wheels are just 5:00 size so it can roll. Once I get a new axle built I will will be able to fit the 7:00 for some additional rubber rake. Now we can blow it apart for paint.

1932 Ford five winda…fender install up-date

Burning the mid night oil on this one. I don’t want it to interfear with my day to day business so I get to work on this at night. Soon we will have hot rod weather in Washington state and this car needs to be READY for action!


After some slicing and dicing of the rear fenders they finally fit the body I am finally pretty happy with the fit. Applying Swedish Volvo standards to eighty year old American cars can cause hair dramatic loss though.


In the Uh-Oh department…You have heard the expression “Cause and Effect”…Well, this is a good example…I caused it…by hanging fenders…the effect is now that the axle width does not work with the fenders. Acually, multiple issues going on here. The axle is too wide and the wheel is not really centered in the wheel opening. The latter is a common deuce problem.

Now what? I will have to shorten the axle. If I tear it down I should fix the parallel ’36 rear bones as they are not really part of a good suspension. They should connect in the middle like stock. If I change the wish bones I need to re-route the exhaust. Then I may go to coil springs or coil overs for comfort.

Don’t you love hot rodding??!!



1932 5W Ford up-date

This is the reproduction rear frame covers. They are about an inch short as they are supposed to reach the fender. Also, the alignment with the fender is totally off. The distance from the fuel filler neck is also off.


Photo: Chris Shelton

This is how it’s supposed to look like.There is simply way more material and a larger curve to meet the fender.

This is a special car…it is the world famous Gray Baskerville’s roadster.

Interesting story: The tank on this car came from Pete Henderson’s roadster. It’s the one made famous for racing (and beating) the quarter horse back in 1940 or so. It was removed from Henderson’s car when it was channeled in the ’60s as Gray’s tank had holes in it.

Well, back to the subject in hand. I called the supplier and was told they know it does not fit but that’s all we got. My question was: Why do you sell it then? Answer: “that’s all we got”

Whatever…they will now get it back. What a waste of time! I have located a set of originals and I look forward to get them.


1932 Fender install project

The unboxed center of the frame still has the holes for the foot boards so I figured the location is pretty much the gospel. After installing the boards I can work from there.


So far so good. Stay tuned.

’32 Ford: Let’s get fendered…is that a verb??

Starting on this project…”luckily” the previous owner filled the fender bolt holes with mud. I just drilled through it and tapped out the cage nuts. Now I can hang the rear fenders.

We will see how the new fenders fit this 80 year old body.

The frame is not boxed in the center…that’s a good thing. The foot boards bolted up very nicely. now it’s time to test the fit of the front fenders.

Stay tuned…

Project 1932 Ford Five Window

I just did a quick and dirty mock up with the new fenders and it looks great. Now I am thinking a different color on the fenders like gloss black. Painting the fenders red oxide,  tank and the frame sides maybe too much…red oxide?? Gotta think about that.

I am using a model B head light bar sans the V8 insignia for a cleaner look. I am digging the stock height head light bar. I think we have seen dropped bars on street rods since the eighties to the point we think that is the way it should be. Well, not so fast. This is the way Henry did it and that is good enough for me. This is also bringing the “old” back to the car if that makes sense.

I can’t be Milner for ever.

Just to see the these front fenders and head light bar mocked up like this is VERY motivating. The car has a nice stance and rake now and I can only imagine how it is going to look with everything installed.

1932 Ford fenders

I did have a bit of an epiphany thought…I decided to order a full fender kit from Brookville. I can do a lot but I am not a body man. The original fenders are very nice but the certainly needs some massaging.

 Can’t wait to get this fitted…stay tuned.

See the old pages for how this project started.