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."

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.

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.

Facts & Figures
Mike Stallings
Fresno, California
1932 Ford highboy roadster

CHASSIS
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
ENGINE
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
TRANSMISSION
Make GM Turbo 350
Shifter Gennie Shifter (Denver, CO)
Trans mods mild shift kit
Driveshaft Inland Empire Driveline (Ontario, CA)
BODY
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
INTERIOR
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
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