One of the highlights of any rodder’s life in the past few years was the 75th anniversary of the ’32 Ford that was celebrated all across the United States, with events and gatherings to commemorate the one-year-only body style that has become the iconic representative of what a hot rod is.
One of those celebrations was an all-out party organized by the Petersen Automotive Museum, located on the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, California. With an all-star rock concert and hundreds of ’32s parked on all four floors of the museum’s parking structure, many thought it was a high-water mark when it came to special events.
But five years later, with the 80th anniversary of the Deuce soon at its doorstep, the Petersen Automotive Museum again felt obliged to honor the vehicle with another grand get-together and again went all-out in its efforts. Initially the plan was to have a few tours and cruises to local shops, a concert, a charity auction, and then an informal car show at the museum. But as more and more people wanted to come, the event expanded beyond its original confines and soon the museum had another blockbuster on its hands.
It started on Wednesday, when Vintage Air sponsored a cruise from the Petersen Automotive Museum and up Pacific Coast Highway to the Mullin Automotive Museum—a world-class collection of the finest marques of European and American automobiles. The group then went on to Mike Malamut’s Vintage Car Museum, which is full of fun (and odd) micro cars as well as postwar vehicles.
On Thursday, there were two cruises run simultaneously. One was a tour of Bruce Meyer’s just-finished facility that houses his personal car collection, which then went on to Galpin Auto Sports, where owner Beau Boeckmann has spent years collecting cars and artwork of Von Dutch and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. From there the group pressed on to the Nethercutt Collection, with 250 cars, including classic American vehicles (Packards, Cadillacs, and so on) and exotic European cars.
The other Thursday cruise also started at Meyer’s private collection, but then this group of rodders drove to Bobby Green’s Old Crow Shop, which is a spectacular hobby shop gone wild. Green’s cars included his record-setting belly tanker parked on the back of a vintage car hauler. Next door is Hollywood Hot Rods, run by Troy Ladd. Ladd’s shop is stuffed with customer projects, one of which is the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour ’40 coupe. From there folks traveled to H&H Flatheads, who specialize in vintage Ford motors. Their stash of engine blocks is mind-numbing, and inside the shop they have dozens of original foundry patterns that belonged to the late dry lakes racer Barney Navarro.
By Thursday evening everyone gathered back at the Petersen Museum Pavilion (an 18,000-square-foot tent located on the third floor of the museum) for an educational and interesting round table discussion moderated by automotive historian Ken Gross. Three panels of speakers covered the past, present, and future of hot rodding, with Tony Thacker, Alex Xydias, Greg Sharp, and Ed Iskenderian handling the “past” portion. The present was discussed by Roy Brizio, Pete Chapouris, Dave Lane, and Troy Trepanier, while the future was theorized by Troy Ladd, Chip Foose, Larry Erickson, and Stewart Reed. Each panel discussion was peppered with questions from the crowd, who also had taken advantage of a catered dinner.
Friday’s festivities began late in the afternoon when Fender Musical Instruments sponsored the evening’s charity auction and concert. A couple of Fender Stratocaster guitars, with artwork from Chip Foose and autographs by hot rod celebrities in attendance, were auctioned off for a total of $12,500. An autographed pedal car went for $3,000, and large event banner featuring Tom Fritz’s artwork sold for $5,500. The big-ticket item, a ’32 roadster built by Ron Atterbury back in the late ’80s, fittingly sold for $32,000. All in all, the auction was able to generate $62,000 during the evening to benefit the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation, a non-profit charity. But the evening wasn’t over with the auction, as blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band took to the stage and played well into the late-night hours.
But even with all that went before it, the biggest celebration was yet to come. On Saturday more than 300 ’32 Fords drove into the museum’s parking area in a show of force. No Model A’s or T-buckets with Deuce grilles were allowed in, no ’32 Chevys or Buicks—just Fords from 1932.
And nearly every type of Deuce was in attendance, from the expected roadsters and coupes, to sedans, woodies, deliverys, and a few unique European-bred ’32 Fords. A section of the parking structure also had booths of manufacturers who carry Deuce-related parts, as well as a couple of fine artists who were offering their ’32-inspired artwork for sale.
Though it didn’t run a true seven days, Deuce Week did manage to stuff seven days worth of celebration into just four days. So will there be another grand event in 2017 to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the ’32 Ford? Judging by the enthusiasm put forth by everyone involved in this show, you can probably bet on it. And, if you want to see more than 100 more photos from this event, you can find them at www.streetrodder.com.
There were hundreds of ’32s that showed up for the one-day show, and this is just a sampling.
Many more cars can be found at www.streetrodder.com
Nine hot rod shops from around the country were asked to customize and build a pedal car t
Three different panel discussions were held before the concert covering three eras of hot
Alex Xydias seated with Greg Sharp.
Troy Ladd paling with Roy Brizio.
Pete Chapouris discussing hot rods with Troy Trepanier.
The big ticket item for the charity auction was this ’32 roadster, built by Ron Atterbury
Chip Foose (right) holds up one of two guitars he decorated with artwork before Bruce Meye
The entertainment for the evening was blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. With vocalist