As a STREET RODDER editor, it's my job to be immersed in the hot rod hobby (hey, it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it), but as much as I hate to admit it, it's hard not to become somewhat jaded when I spend most of my waking hours scrutinizing hot rods of every description. Now, don't get me wrong-every hot rod is cool, and I love 'em all; it's just that it takes an awful lot to really stop me in my tracks. It doesn't matter if it's a quarter-million-dollar, professionally built car or a low-buck homebuilt-it has to turn my crank or I'm not gonna waste a megabyte on it.
The Deuce roadster you see here is one example of a rod that will get anyone's attention, jaded or not. It has the look of a master's creation-like it coulda just rolled out of Roy Brizio or Barry Lobeck's shop ... but it didn't. This beauty rolled out of the home garage of West Hartford, Connecticut's Gene Morin, a hot rod hobbyist just like you and me (well, a heck of a lot more talented than me, but hopefully you get my drift).
Gene's been roddin' since around 1957 and he's built more than his fair share of cool hot rods over the years (his A sedan was my favorite up until now), but, like many of us, his dream car was a Deuce roadster. About three years ago, he figured the time was right to step up to the plate and get it done. So, he took a ride by New Age Motorsports, a local Connecticut street rod manufacturer, and eyeballed one of the company's body and chassis packages. Pleased at what he saw, he loaded up his loot and headed home to get to work.
Gene proceeded to split his precious free time over the next three years between work, home life, the Wednesday Night Boys (a group of hot rodding characters he and I are both lucky and proud to call friends), and thrashin' out in the garage on the roadster. During that time, he not only assembled the components he'd collected, but fabricated everything he didn't buy. Plus, he performed the car's flawless bodywork and paint as well (just as an aside, Gene's the painter of choice for many rodders in the Connecticut area). As you can plainly see, Gene's efforts and talent resulted in one of the nicest homebuilt hot rods I've had the pleasure to photograph, and I'm sure it will not only bring years of driving pleasure to Gene, but also to those who are sure to admire it where ever it's seen.
Facts & Figures
Gene and Joan Morin
West Hartford, Connecticut
1932 Ford roadster
|Frame / Manufacturer ||'32 Ford / New Age Motorsports (Monroe, CT) |
|Wheelbase ||106" |
|Modifications ||C'd front & rear |
|Chassis plumbing ||stainless & braided steel |
|Rearend / Ratio ||9" Ford / 2.82:1 |
|Rear suspension ||triangulated four-bar, coilovers |
|Rear brakes ||drum |
|Front suspension ||5"-dropped I-beam, reversed-eye monospring |
|Front brakes ||early Ford drum |
|Master cylinder ||dual-reservoir |
|Steering box ||Vega |
|Wheel covers ||'46 Ford |
|Front wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintiques (Fresno, CA), 15x5 |
|Rear wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintiques, 15x8 |
|Front tire make, size ||Diamond Back (Conway, SC), 145/15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Diamond Back, 255/15 |
|Gas tank ||original '32 Ford |
There's nothing classier than...
There's nothing classier than a full-fendered Deuce roadster, and this one's a prime example.
Aside from the interior, one...
Aside from the interior, one of the few jobs Gene farmed out was the roadster's extremely stout SBC. The engine was built by Billy The Kid, a local performance-engine builder, and was treated to nothing but the best components.
Gene perfectly grafted in...
Gene perfectly grafted in a '40 dash and combined it with a beautiful Juliano's '40 column and '39 banjo for a really nice look. The glovebox door is operational and hides a top-of-the-line Pioneer sound system. Bob Mirek, one of the Wednesday Night Boys and proprietor of Bob's Auto Trim, stitched up an awesome leather interior that really adds to the roadster's high-class persona.
Gene's choice of a beautiful...
Gene's choice of a beautiful Juliano's column-and-wheel combination is one of my favorite parts of the car. Opting for the traditional-looking column shift is a pleasant change from the floor shifters we've all come to expect in a hot rod.
Gene's resto-styled roadster...
Gene's resto-styled roadster is undoubtedly nicer than a brand-new '32 Ford ever was. Its hot rod rake, wide whites, and flawless detail puts this baby in a class of its own. It's a testament to Gene's skills that a car of this caliber is completely homebuilt.