Surfin' and hot rods have gone hand in hand since the days of the Beach Boys, but today's version of a surfin' safari more often requires a computer and the Internet than it does a longboard and a woodie wagon.
Case in point: Big Al Liebmann and his latest hot rod coupe. Not long ago, Al, a longtime rodder and drag racer, sold his '39 GMC pickup and began a search for a new hot rod. Though he travels extensively to street rod shows around the country, he didn't have much luck finding a vehicle that really piqued his interest-until he expanded his search to his home desktop.
We love traditional powerplants...
We love traditional powerplants in traditional hot rods. The 348 Chevy is pretty massive and has such a distinct design that it lends itself well to a slew of finned aluminum accessories. Plus, it provides tons of torque for a real white-knuckle ride.
One evening while surfing the Web, Al came across an offering for a Deuce coupe that really caught his eye. The '32 had been originally built in Wisconsin back in the 1980s but had since been sold and ended up in New York State. Its foundation was a modified '32 frame topped by a "real" steel Deuce five-window body; the fact that it was built in the traditional style and was powered by an early 348 Chevy was icing on the cake. A deal was struck after the usual back-and-forth between buyer and seller, and Al had a new set of wheels.
Once Al had the car in his mitts, he realized it was really solid and would need nothing but a few personal taste-type mods to transform it into his vision of the perfect hot rod.
The first changes made were to swap out the wheels and tires that came with the car for a set of Radir Tri-Rib wheels and a quartet of wide whites, and to add a selection of cool traditional-style accessories from O'Brien Truckers, the Charlton, Massachusetts-based manufacturer of cast-aluminum hot rod accessories. Al also had the old interior stripped out and new upholstery and carpeting installed to finish off the transition of the coupe from a great Internet find to his own Deuce Bigalow.
Al's coupe was a great Internet...
Al's coupe was a great Internet find, requiring very little in the way of added investment. Its traditional styling is pretty much timeless, and it has the perfect stance, while the scallops add a bit of pizzazz to the Deuce's gloss-black finish.
When originally photographed,...
When originally photographed, Al's coupe sported an Indian blanket interior, but he recently snapped and sent us this image of his fresh upholstery and carpeting-a nice improvement to an already nice car.
|Facts & Figures |
|Al Liebmann |
|Kinnelon, New Jersey |
|1932 Ford coupe |
|Frame / Manufacturer ||modified stock / Ford |
|Wheelbase ||106” |
|Modifications ||boxed, custom crossmembers & bracketry |
|Chassis plumbing ||steel |
|Rearend / Ratio ||8” Ford / 3.25:1 |
|Rear suspension ||four-bar w/ coilovers |
|Rear brakes ||Bendix drum |
|Front suspension ||tube axle & transverse spring |
|Front brakes ||Monte Carlo disc |
|Master cylinder ||T-bird |
|Steering box ||Vega |
|Front wheel make, size ||Radir (Montville NJ) Tri-Rib, 15x5 |
|Rear wheel make, size ||Radir Tri-Rib, 15x8 |
|Front tire make, size ||BFGoodrich, 165/75-R15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||BFGoodrich, 235/75-R15 |
|Gas tank ||custom, 18-gal |
|Other chassis items ||chassis mods by Lee Osborn (Pennyan, NY) |
|Make ||’58 Chevrolet |
|Displacement ||348ci |
|Crankshaft ||iron |
|Pistons ||forged |
|Water pump ||Chevrolet |
|Cooling fan ||SPAL (Ankeny, IA) |
|Radiator ||Walker Radiator Works (Memphis, TN) |
|Alternator ||Powermaster (Knoxville, TN) |
|Valve covers ||Offy |
|Manifold / Induction ||Chevrolet / Rochester 2GC (3), O’Brien Truckers (Charlton, MA) air cleaners |
|Ignition / Wires ||PerTronix (San Dimas, CA) Flame-Thrower / PerTonix |
|Headers ||coated iron manifolds |
|Exhaust / Mufflers ||aluminized steel / Cherry Bomb |
|Make ||Chevrolet TH350 |
|Converter ||ProTorque (Bohemia, NY) |
|Shifter ||Gennie Shifter (Denver, CO) |
|Trans mods ||All Star Transmission (N. Halden, NJ) |
|Driveshaft ||custom |
|Body style / Material ||five-window coupe / steel |
|Body manufacturer ||Ford |
|Body mods ||chopped 2 ½”, channeled 1 ½” |
|Hood ||Rootlieb (Turlock, CA) |
|Grille ||stainless |
|Bodywork ||unknown |
|Paint type / Color ||PPG / black, purple |
|Painter ||Alan Johnson Graphix (Blairstown, NJ) |
|Outside mirror ||Mac’s Antique Auto Parts (Lockport, NY) |
|Insert / Gauges ||custom / VDO |
|Wiring ||previous owner |
|Steering wheel ||Grant Products (Glendale, CA) |
|Steering column ||Chevrolet |
|Interior mirror ||Mac's Antique Auto Parts |
|Seatbelts ||Juliano's Hot Rod Parts & Interior Products (Ellington, CT) |