A Winters quick-change is suspended with a transverse leaf spring, P&J's shocks, and contr
The Flatty is a 200-horse French Army motor built by Dave Tatum displacing 295 inches with
Gabe Lopez stitched the red and white tuck 'n' roll over the Glide bench seat while an idi
A drilled Pete & Jake's I-beam axle is outfitted with '55 Buick drum brakes, P&J's shocks,
Navarro intake supports three Stromberg 81s topped with Thickston air cleaners.
Don Smith of Mansfield, Texas, can have his pick of any Harley-Davidson he chooses-you see, he owns the dealership. However, these days, Don and his lovely wife Carolyn, both active members of the Arlington Area Street Rods, have become a bit more comfort oriented, and are more into things with four wheels, and we're not talking about motorcycle sidecars either. Whenever the Smiths want to go cruising, they motor down the highway to the melodious sound of a four-stroke French Army Ford Flathead V-8 engine rather than the customary "Milwaukee Vibrator." We cordially invite STREET RODDER readers to take a look at Don and Carolyn Smith's awesome-looking, Roy Red 1932 Ford Tudor highboy. It's a real beauty.
"I've always wanted to build a '32 highboy ever since my high school days," Don said. "Of course, raising a family, and building up one of the most successful H-D dealerships in the Southwest took precedence. Then about five years ago, I bought a 'cheapie' fiberglass '32 Ford highboy roadster. The car was running, but the quality just wasn't there."
Eventually Don was able to trade the roadster body for a steel '32 Ford Tudor sedan body, which he painted Kyrlon red primer, and installed it onto the chassis.
"I was going for that 'beater' look," he said. "But after about a year or so, I grew tired of it. I sold the chassis, minus body and wheels, and decided to start all over again."
In the interim, Don had not only purchased a SO-CAL Speed Shop '32 Ford chassis, he also became the proud owner of a (Dave) Tatum Engines French Military Ford V8-60 Flathead engine. It appeared as though the time had finally come for Don Smith to build his dream car.
"I loaded up all the parts and pieces, and headed down to Roy Pigford's Beach City, Texas, street rod shop," Don said. "We decided to go for the '50s look, which took about a year's time, and a lot more money than I care to admit. But the results were well worth it."
Starting with the chassis, Roy and his crew straightened the front framehorns prior to installing a SO-CAL dropped front axle complete with Ford radius rods, front spindles, and hydraulic shocks, all from SO-CAL, along with a Chevrolet Vega steering gear. Front brakes on Don's fenderless Tudor come in the form of a set of Buick finned-aluminum drums with a pair of 15x5-inch Ford steelie rims (with '46 Ford hubcaps,) rolling on 600x15-inch Coker Tire Firestone reproduction bias-ply rubber.
Out back, Don's sedan features a 4.11:1-geared Vaughn Winters aluminum quick-change rearend riding on an array of SO-CAL parts, including the rear leaf spring dampened by a set of hydraulic shocks, and the pair of Lincoln drum brakes in the rear. Also along for the ride is a pair of 15x6-inch steel reverse rims with '46 Ford hubcaps, and 820x15-inch Coker Tire Firestone track roadster whitewall rubber.
Powering this wild creation is the aforementioned Tatum Engines 295-cid (3/16x4 1/8-inch) French Military Ford Flathead engine block outfitted with a Ford 4 1/8-inch stroker crank, a set of Ford 21A connecting rods, a set of 8:1 compression Ross Pistons, a special grind Tatum cam, Johnson lifters, a Melling oil pump, and specially adapted Cornhusker 409 Chevy water pump. A set of vintage Sharp Engineering aluminum Flatheads are also part of this combination, and feature hardened valve seats (for unleaded pump gas), along with a combination of Chevrolet intake and Ford exhaust valves. A set of Iskenderian Cams valve springs and retainers are included as well. Induction comes in the form of a John Nelson-polished Navarro Tri-power intake sporting a trio of Thickston-filtered Stromberg 81s. The ignition system on this little beauty is from the folks at Vertex firing a set of Champion plugs through Packard spark plug wires. And finally, a Roy Pigford-fabricated set of headers featuring Harley-Davidson baffles handles the exhaust. All told, Don's Flathead import produces 200 hp.
When it came to the transmission, Smith and Co. again took the high road by selecting a Standard Transmissions- built Borg-Warner T5, five-speed manual transmission using a Pigford-fabricated shifter along with Hays clutch and pressure plate. The final link in the '32's powertrain comes in the form of a 43-inch Ft. Worth Axle & Gear driveshaft.
So much for the "steak," now for the sizzle! Roy and his crew began by chopping the Deuce a total of 2 inches, then they extended the rear quarters down around the Deuce's gas tank a total of 2 inches to partially conceal the gas tank and create the illusion that the rear of the '32 is actually lower than it is. With that done, Roy mixed up a special blend of PPG red basecoat and clear, which has since been officially named Roy Red. Dennis Ricklefs did the 'striping.
On the inside, Don's '32 features a Knecht-Auburn replica dash with Stewart Warner instrumentation, a '40 Ford steering column and wheel, and Jimmy Zieger tinted window glass. Also, including are the Bob Mayes-installed Painless Performance wiring, Glide Engineering seats, and of course, the car's award-winning Gabe Lopez-stitched red and white tuck 'n' roll upholstery.
Don's '32 made its debut at the 2006 Ft. Worth Rod & Custom Car Show where it captured Most Outstanding Street Rod honors. So, what is Don's next project? How about a pair of Pigford- built matching bookends: a '32 Ford highboy roadster and a companion '32 Ford highboy three-window coupe.
Facts & Figures
Don and Carolyn Smith
1932 Ford Tudor highboy sedan
|Frame / Manufacturer ||1932 Ford / SO-CAL Speed Shop (Pomona, CA) |
|Wheelbase ||106" |
|Modifications ||front framehorns straightened, rear kickup & boxed by Roy Pigford |
|Chassis plumbing ||SO-CAL |
|Rearend / Ratio ||Winters quick-change / 4.11:1 |
|Rear suspension ||SO-CAL with Pete & Jake's (Peculiar, MO) shocks |
|Rear brakes ||SO-CAL Lincoln drum |
|Front suspension ||Pete & Jake's dropped axle & shocks |
|Front brakes ||1955 Buick drum |
|Master cylinder ||SO-CAL |
|Steering box ||Chevrolet Vega, ididit (Tecumseh, MI) steering column |
|Front wheel make, size ||15x5 steel w/ '46 Ford hubcaps |
|Rear wheel make, size ||15x6 steel reverse w/ '46 Ford hubcaps |
|Front tire make, size ||Firestone, 600x15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Firestone, 820x15 |
|Gas tank ||stock '32 |
|Make ||200hp French Army Ford Flathead by Dave Tatum |
|Displacement ||295-cid 3/16x1/8 |
|Machining / Assembly ||Tatum's Machine |
|Crankshaft ||4 1/8" stroker |
|Rods ||Ford 21A |
|Pistons ||8.1 compression Ross |
|Camshaft ||Dave Tatum grind w/ Johnson lifters |
|Water pump ||409 Chevrolet |
|Alternator ||12V generator / alternator conversion |
|Heads ||Sharp, relieved & ported |
|Valves / Springs ||Chevrolet & Iskenderian |
|Manifold / Induction ||Barney Navarro w/ Thickston-topped Stromberg 81s |
|Ignition / Wires ||Vertex w/ Champion spark plugs |
|Headers/Exhaust ||Roy Pigford headers w/ Harley baffles |
|Other engine facts ||Cornhusker (Alexandria, NE) engine pulleys, polishing by John Nelson |
|Make ||Borg-Warner T5 out of a Chevy S-10 by Standard Transmission (Ft. Worth, TX) |
|Clutch ||disc Hays (Cleveland, OH) |
|Pressure plate ||Hays |
|Shifter ||Roy Pigford |
|Trans mods ||Standard Transmission |
|Driveshaft ||Ft. Worth Axle & Gear |
|Body style / Material ||1932 Ford Tudor sedan, all steel |
|Body manufacturer ||Ford Motor Company |
|Body mods ||2" chop & extended rear quarters around gas tank |
|Grille ||'32 Ford |
|Bodywork ||by Roy Pigford |
|Paint type / Color ||special "Roy Red" mix using PPG basecoat w/ clear |
|Paint ||by Roy Pigford |
|Graphics ||by Dennis Ricklefs |
|Headlights / Taillights ||Ford commercial truck & '50 Pontiac "blue dot" taillights |
|Outside mirror ||Bob Drake Reproductions (Grants Pass, OR) |
|Dashboard ||Knecht-Auburn replica |
|Insert / Gauges ||Stewart Warner (Lancaster, PA) |
|Wiring ||Painless Performance (Fort Worth, TX) by Bob Mayes |
|Steering wheel ||1940 Ford |
|Steering column ||Ford |
|Interior mirror ||Bob Drake Reproductions (Grants Pass, OR) |
|Seats ||Glide Engineering (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) |
|Upholsterer ||Gabe Lopez (Bloomington, CA) |
|Material / Color ||red & white tuck 'n' roll |
|Carpet ||red cut pile |
|Seatbelts ||Juliano's (Vernon, CT) |
|Other interior items ||window glass by Jimmy Ziegler |