My coupe was a father and son project. The car was inspired by a picture of my dads first car that hung in our garage. A 32 ford 5 window highboy. I always wanted a car like that. I am in Tool and Die, so I’m pretty picky. My Dad, Punk DeBaar, was a mechanic and was a huge help. He was 76 years old when we started on it. He would work on it all day then some more when I got out off work. That means a lot of 12 hour days on it.
Year/Model 1930 Ford Coupe
Body Type Henry Ford steel body with a Brookville 1932 grille shell.
Chassis 1932 rails and front cross member from JW Rod Garage. JW pinched and decked the rails for the model A body. They also welded the front crossmember and full length boxing plates in. I changed the kick up in the rear and built the rear crossmember for a 1940 rear spring. The rear wishbones are from Shadow Rods and the spring mounts are from SoCal. Everything is welded to a 1957 ford 9″ rearend. The X member was formed from sheet metal by myself. The front suspension is a 4″ dropped axle from superbell. The spring is a reversed eye from Speedway. Front wishbones are 1940 Ford. Stainless shock mount and headlight mount from Speedway.
Engine Specs 1965 Ford 289
Stock heads, crank, rods
10 1/2 : 1 compression
ARP rod bolts
Elgin cam .520 lift / .234@.050 dur.
Full roller rockers
Offenhauser dual quad intake with adapters made by myself to put 4 Holley 94 carbs on.
I also built the linkage and the fuel log
Vintage Cal Custom valve covers
Vintage Speed air breathers
C-4 Trans with a Hughes converter
Brakes Front: 1946 Ford Drums / Rear: 1957 Ford Drums
Wheels 16″ from a 1946 Ford
Tires Front: 450/475-16 / Rear: 700-16 from Coker
Paint Nason / Color- 1969 Mercedes Blue / Sprayed by John Ruiz in our garage
Interior All leather sewn by Joe Vieau
Dash – 1935 Ford, 1950 Hudson gauges, 1956 Ford switches, choke, lighter. 1955 column, Limeworks 1940 steering wheel.
Body / Metal Work 4″chop in the front and 3 1/2″ in the back. Body work by my dad and a family friend Conrad Dejong.
Before: Started with a perfect running and driving 30 year old restored car. I paid $8500 and sold $5500 of parts in 3 months. | After: A retired body man that restores model A’s helped to do the body work for the chopped top.
About the Build
What led you to build this specific car?
There was a picture of my dads first car that hung in our garage. A 32 ford 5 window highboy. I always wanted a car like that.
Are you a professional car builder?
No, it’s just a addictive hobby.
How long did the build take? (from zero to riding the car)
The car was built in a three-stall garage over 18 months. The chassis, chop, body work, and paint.
Other than yourself, whom else did you find invaluable as a relationship to make the car a reality?
I am in Tool and Die, so I’m pretty picky. My Dad was a mechanic, so it was get-things-done-fast for him. Working together was a good thing. If I would have built it alone I would still be working on it. If my dad would have built it, it would run and drive great but not had the look.
How often do you use the car?
The car is on the road 5 days a week when the snow is gone. Over 10,000 miles in the last couple summers.
When showing the car what do you tend to point out the most?
The car has a lot of small details.
What part of the build results surprised you the most?
How quick it was noticed and the awards it received the first year. It took less than 15 minutes for Street Rodder Magazine to find it when I unloaded it at Detroit Autorama. I have received awards from Brian Brennan (SRM editor), Chip Foose, Jimmy Shine. Also SRM Top100, best overall traditional hot rod at Detroit Autorama, Top Ten at the Syracuse Nationals (over 10,000 cars), Beater of the Year at Beatersville and featured in SRM.
What wisdom gained from your build experience would you offer to someone considering building a car like yours.
Start with a good car. A little money spent up front is money saved in the end.
Left: Custom motor mounts
Right: Custom gas cap by Kirk Brown from Crafty B
Left: All leather. Sewn by Joe Vieau
Below: Headers built by Dave
Share Your 32 Ride
If you own a 1926-1932 fenderless, highboy/vintage styled car and would like to share your build experience with the Fuel32 tribe, send us an email with a short description and a few car pics for review. We're always looking to celebrate the success of the vintage car craftsmen.