People are involved in street rodding for all kinds of reasons-for many it's a hobby, others it's a business, some got hooked as kids thanks to a relative, and then there are those who just love cool things on wheels. To make things easy if you ever have to describe Mike Stallings, all you'd have to say is "all of the above."
Mike Stallings brought together...
Mike Stallings brought together a variety of elements in this timeless roadster. Hot Rods & Custom Stuff was not only responsible for the chassis but a host of other cool stuff like the spreader and headlight bar mounting Guide lights. Front suspension is from Pete & Jake's, while brakes are SO-CAL.
Although his name may not be the household variety, Mike's Fresno-based firm, Wheel Vintiques, is probably familiar if SRM is found in your abode. Mike's involvement with things with wheels came early in life. As a kid he built reversed steel wheels with his father by removing the centers, turning them around in the hoops, and stick welding them back together. He started a garaged-based endeavor of his own in 1993 that today occupies a 30,000-square-foot-and-growing manufacturing facility producing more than 80 styles of cast alloy, steel, wire, and billet wheels.
Along with the challenges of managing a growing business, Mike's automotive love spans the gamut from hard-charging circle-track sprinters to the blistering performance of straight-line Funny Cars, but street rods-particularly the traditional '32 Ford type-are also objects of his affection. Taking all his automotive interests into consideration, it's not surprising that a number of influences came into play when Mike decided to build the roadster you see here. The highboy would combine a variety of early styling elements such as the front and rear lighting, steeply raked windshield, and of course the one-off wire wheels; the racing influence of the big Hemi with zoomies at one end and the quick-change at the other is unmistakable; and the fit, finish, and execution is as state-of-the-art as it comes.
After the concept of the car was established, Mike enlisted the aid of some of the most talented people in the business to make it happen. Randy Clark of Hot Rods & Custom Stuff was called for one of his signature dropped, pinched, and stretched Deuce Steel chassis and a Brookville Roadsters body sits on top of that. Joe Bettencourt built the 392 Chrysler with most of the parts, including the adapter that allows the use of a GM Turbo 350 transmission, coming from Hot Heads.
Once the chassis was complete and the engine was installed, Rob Fagundes and the crew at Custom Concepts made the sheetmetal as perfect as humanly possible before Rob shot what Mike calls a '50s gold and black paint combo.
Wheel Vintiques' abilities...
Wheel Vintiques' abilities are well represented here. The unique rollers are based on original '35 Ford centers; rims up front are 16-inchers and the rears are 18-inchers. Each is laced with 52 stainless spokes. Tires on both ends are Excelsior radials.
It goes without saying that having talented friends helps with a project like this one, and it certainly doesn't hurt to know someone in the chrome business either. Mike's brother, Jeff Stallings, owns Visalia Chrome, where all the plating was done.
Although there were lots of difficult decisions to be made during construction, the list of candidates was short when it came to picking an upholsterer for the roadster; the only name on it was Gabe Lopez. Considering the amount of thought and planning that went into every detail of this Deuce, Mike uncharacteristically gave Gabe absolute free rein to do as he would when it came to the interior; but who can argue that kind of decision-making given the results?
After two years in the making, wiring, plumbing, and final assembly chores were assigned to Mike's longtime friend and fellow Fresno resident, Jimmy Skoglund.
When it comes to building a '32 highboy roadster the real challenge is incorporating all the traditional elements that define the style while ending up with a car that is different from all the rest. That's what Mike Stallings wanted, and we'd say that's exactly what he got.
A 392 Chrysler sits under...
A 392 Chrysler sits under the ventilated two-piece hood top, and ported heads and a hydraulic Isky cam help the Hemi breathe. Vintage-style Dan Olsen breathers have been attached to the Hot Heads rocker covers.
HR&CS punched the louvers...
HR&CS punched the louvers in the trunk lid and hung a pair of '37 Ford taillights. Artist Stanley Wanlass designed the swoopy windshield, which was then executed by craftsman Dick Rodwell. The zoomie headers are ceramic coated.
Sitting on top of a vintage...
Sitting on top of a vintage Weiand intake manifold is a trio of modern 97 look-a-like fuel injectors from RetroTek. A Joe Hunt mag-look HEI supplies the ignition spark as well as the signal for the fuel injection.
To give the world a clear...
To give the world a clear view of the Winters quick-change, HR&CS modified the bottom of the gas tank. They also contributed the suspension combination of four-bars, Panhard rod, and Bilstein shocks. Disc brakes are Wilwood.
The custom pulleys and alternator...
The custom pulleys and alternator mount are evidence of Jimmy Skoglund's abilities as a machinist. Note how the pulley extends to the rear to cover the water pump's snout.
Mooneyes gauges are used to...
Mooneyes gauges are used to monitor engine functions, LimeWorks supplied the steering wheel and column, the column drop is by HR&CS, and the shifter is a Gennie.
Gabe Lopez built the custom...
Gabe Lopez built the custom seat, and then covered it and the side panels in Buckskin leather. Each door has been equipped with a handy storage pouch with a flap.
The attention to detail is...
The attention to detail is obvious everywhere you look, and that includes the trunk.
Facts & Figures
1932 Ford highboy roadster
|Frame / Manufacturer ||Hot Rods & Custom Stuff (Escondido, CA) |
|Wheelbase ||109" |
|Modifications ||stretched / pinched |
|Chassis plumbing ||stainless by Jimmy Skoglund |
|Rearend / Ratio ||Winters quick-change / 3.00:1 |
|Rear suspension ||Bilstein (Poway, CA) coilovers |
|Rear brakes ||Wilwood (Camarillo, CA) discs |
|Front suspension ||Pete & Jake's (Peculiar, MO) Hot Rod Parts |
|Front brakes ||SO-CAL Speed Shop (Pomona, CA) discs |
|Master cylinder ||Corvette |
|Steering box ||Flaming River (Berea, OH) |
|Front wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintiques (Fresno, CA), 16x4 1/2" |
|Rear wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintiques, 18x5 1/2" |
|Front tire make ||Excelsior from Coker (Chattanooga, TN) |
|Rear tire make ||Excelsior from Coker |
|Gas tank ||Hot Rods & Custom Stuff |
|Make ||Chrysler |
|Displacement ||396 (.030" over 392) |
|Assembly ||Joe Bettencourt |
|Pistons ||KB hypereutectic |
|Camshaft ||Isky |
|Water pump ||Chevrolet |
|Cooling fan ||Cooling Components |
|Radiator ||Walker Radiator Works (Memphis, TN) Z-series |
|Alternator ||GM 1-wire |
|Heads ||stock cast iron |
|Valves / Springs ||stock Hot Heads Research & Racing (Lowgap, NC) replacements |
|Rockers ||stock non-adjustable |
|Valve covers ||Hot Heads |
|Manifold / Induction ||RetroTek (Corona, CA) |
|Ignition ||Joe Hut mag / HEIs |
|Headers ||zoomies by Steve Kent |
|Mufflers ||Harley-Davidson baffles |
|Make ||GM Turbo 350 |
|Shifter ||Gennie Shifter (Denver, CO) |
|Trans mods ||mild shift kit |
|Driveshaft ||Inland Empire Driveline (Ontario, CA) |
|Body style / Material ||roadster / steel |
|Body manufacturer ||Brookville Roadster (Brookville, OH) |
|Hood ||Rootlieb (Turlock, CA) |
|Hood Hinges/support ||Hot Rods & Custom Stuff |
|Grille ||Brookville Roadster |
|Bodywork ||Custom Concepts |
|Painter ||Rob Fagundes |
|Headlights / Taillights ||Guide / '37 Ford |
|Windshield ||Wanlass / Rodwell |
|Dashboard ||Brookville Roadster |
|Insert / Gauges ||Bob Drake / Mooneyes (Santa Fe Springs, CA) |
|Steering wheel ||LimeWorks (Whittier, CA) |
|Steering column ||LimeWorks |
|Interior mirror ||Bob Drake (Grants Pass, OR) |
|Seats ||custom by Gabe Lopez (Bloomington, CA) |
|Upholsterer ||Gabe Lopez |
|Material / Color ||buckskin leather |
|Carpet ||tweed |