Every once in a while, a car deal comes along that you simply can't refuse. It happened to Paul Gilligan, of Vancouver, Washington. Word got around Portland, Oregon that in a building in Oregon City there were two floors filled with only '32 Ford parts. Some story, you're thinking, but it was true. It was all for sale, not cheap, but affordable.
So Paul and his son, Steve, bought the whole works from James Cameron. James's stash included enough parts to build four '32 Ford five-windows, two '32 Sport coupes, and three '32 pickups. In addition, there was a stack of frames and a knocked down roadster body. They then rented two 12x12x42-foot storage units in which to put all the stuff. Every day for five months, Paul would make a list of what he might need for this '32 coupe. He would then go to the storage unit and do his parts picking for the project. His son did most of the marketing for the spare parts they felt they wouldn't need and, by the end of six months, the storage units were empty. All the goodies the guys wanted to keep were now kept in the garages of Paul and his two sons, Steve and Mike. Up to this time, Paul had been known as the guy for '40 Ford parts; now he was going backwards.
Paul then took the pieces earmarked for this coupe and mocked up the car to see what it would look like, and to free up some space. Paul has quite a collection of cars, both finished and unfinished, so he had to do some juggling to make room for the coupe. The body was purchased by James Cameron from a man in 1990, who said he had owned it since 1975. Before that, a Jerry Jones had it, and wrote his name in the undercoating on the rear floor. When Paul got this body, it was in gray primer, with all the glass and garnish moldings still installed, so bolting everything together for a quick look didn't take long.
A full house '53 Merc Flathead...
A full house '53 Merc Flathead with three pots was the top of the heap, in the early days of hot rodding.
He sorted through the frames for one he thought would work well with this body. First, he added a Model A Ford front crossmember, which lowered the car an inch in front. To this, he added a dropped axle that came from the original stash, fitting it with '40 Ford spindles and brakes. He also used original '32 shocks, front and back, along with a stock spring. He then fitted a '32 Ford rear crossmember with a '40 Ford crossmember centersection at the spring mount, to help add clearance for the '40 Ford rear axle. The chassis also features a '32 Ford pedal assembly and steering column (which was modified with a '40 Ford upper collar to match the '40 Ford steering wheel). The steering box is from a '50 Ford F-1 pickup. For rollers, Paul used early Ford wheels, with 15s up front and 16s in the rear and shod them with traditional Firestone Deluxe Champion wide whites. Between the 'rails went a very popular powerhouse in the form of a '53 Mercury Flathead. Bored and stroked and outfitted with an Isky cam and Offy aluminum heads, the V-8 was machined by Tabor's Automotive Machine in Vancouver, Washington. Roger Wollam of Camas, Washington, bolted all the pieces together, and buttoned it up with an Offy intake manifold mounted with three '50 Ford 8-BA carburetors. The exhaust was fabricated by Mad Max Creations out in Washougal, Washington. All of this horsepower is transferred to the rear through a '39 Ford transmission built by John Rumsey, in Hood River, Oregon, who used a Schiefer clutch.
Keeping the body for himself was a smart move on Paul's behalf. You see, Paul does his own body and paint, and he outdid himself on this coupe. He used R+M Uno Poppy Red to finish off the project, so you won't miss it coming down the road. Comeau Lettering of Vancouver, Washington, did the traditional striping, and the killer nerf bars were handmade by Mad Max Creations. The headlights are the tried and true Guide lamps, with a set of stock '39 Ford taillights taking care of the rear.
The interior is period-perfect,...
The interior is period-perfect, with white tuck 'n' roll, '40 Ford wheel, and Stewart Warner gauges. Real hot rods have three pedals.
'39 Ford teardrops, pinstriping...
'39 Ford teardrops, pinstriping by Comeau, nerf bars by Mad Max Creations, and all that red paint makes a great statement.
|F A C T S & F I G U R E S |
|Paul Gilligan |
|Vancouver, Washington |
|1932 Ford five-window |
|Frame / Manufacturer ||’32 Ford FoMoCo |
|Wheelbase ||106” |
|Modifications ||Model A Ford front crossmember |
|Chassis plumbing ||steel |
|Rearend / Ratio ||’40 Ford 3.25:1 |
|Rear suspension ||Mono leaf Durant spring (Newport Beach, CA) |
|Rear brakes ||’40 Ford |
|Front suspension ||Dropped axle / stock wishbones |
|Front brakes ||’40 Ford |
|Master cylinder ||’40 Ford |
|Steering box ||’50 Ford F-1 |
|Wheel covers ||Baby Moons |
|Front wheel make, size ||Ford 15x4.5 |
|Rear wheel make, size ||Ford 16x5 |
|Front tire make, size ||Coker (Chattanooga, TN), 15x5.60 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Coker 16x6.50 |
|Make ||’53 Mercury |
|Machining / Assembly ||Tabor Machine (Vancouver, WA) Roger Wollam (Camas, WA) |
|Crankshaft ||Iskenderian (Gardena, CA) |
|Rods ||FoMoCo |
|Camshaft ||Iskenderian |
|Water pump ||Speedway Motors (Lincoln, NB) |
|Cooling ||mechanical fan |
|Radiator ||Walker (Memphis, TN) |
|Heads ||Offenhauser |
|Manifold ||Offenhauser |
|Headers ||Mad Max Creations (Washougal, WA) |
|Exhaust / Mufflers ||Mad Max Creations |
|Make ||1939 FoMoCo |
|Clutch disc ||Schiefer |
|Trans mods ||John Rumsey (Hood River, OR) |
|Driveshaft ||Mad Max Creations |
|Body style / Material ||5W / steel |
|Body manufacturer ||FoMoCo |
|Bodywork ||Paul Gilligan (Vancouver, WA) |
|Paint type/color ||R+M / Poppy Red |
|Painter ||Paul Gilligan |
|Graphics ||Comeau Graphics (Vancouver, WA) |
|Headlights / Taillights ||Guide / ’39 Ford |
|Bumpers nerf bars ||Mad Max Creations |
|Dashboard ||'32 Ford |
|Insert / Gauges ||Stewart Warner (Lancaster, PA) |
|Wiring ||Mad Max Creations |
|Steering wheel ||'40 Ford |
|Steering column ||'32 / '40 Ford |
|Interior mirror ||'32 Ford |
|Seats ||'32 Ford |
|Upholsterer ||Dave's Upholstery (Vancouver, WA) |
|Material / Color ||Marine vinyl / white |
|Carpet ||Plush nylon black |