1932 Ford Highboy Sedan - Back Then Again
A Tribute To Eastwood & Barakat's Ahead-Of-Its-Time Deuce
From the December, 2009 issue of Street Rodder
By Tim Bernsau
Photography by Josh Mishler
It's hard to imagine that there has been a '32 Ford highboy sedan built in the last 27 years that doesn't take some trace of influence, directly or indirectly, from the famous Eastwood & Barakat sedan from 1982. Eastwood built the chassis and Barakat built the engine. Together, they finished the car in not much time and for not much money, using stuff from their garages, plus lots of talent and taste.
Maybe you're old enough to remember when that red primered Tudor showed up on the cover of Hot Rod magazine's November '82 issue (the first primered rod to make it). The car was so remarkable in its time that HR Editor Leonard Emanuelson dedicated his entire editorial column to Pete "P-wood" "Eastwood and Rick "Bearcat" Barakat's ground-breaking sedan, which he described using the words "rawness" and "savagery," calling it "more animal than car," stating that it represents "what hot rodding was all about in the beginning," and admitting that it inspired his own plans for a hot rod project. Gray Baskerville continued the laudation in his feature story inside the magazine, calling it the "12-week wonder" and "the world's fastest rusto rod."
If you're not old enough to remember all that, you can probably still appreciate the coolness of the car, but might be scratching your head as to why it caused such a big commotion. The answer is that in 1982, building a low-buck, primered, traditional hot rod using parts out of the garage (which is what Eastwood & Barakat did), wasn't what a lot of rodders were doing. Earlier that same year, Jamie Musselman's '33 roadster won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award, making Boyd Coddington a household name, which helped establish the smooth, high-tech, contemporary style that would be prominent for the next dozen or more years. That's why a homebuilt, flat-finished, 11-second budget bomber had people staring in slack-jawed astonishment. The fact that the sedan vanished not long after it appeared only added to it's legendary status. It's equally hard to imagine that Eastwood & Barakat could have possibly predicted that the car they put together cheap and quick would one day be called one of the "75 Most Significant '32 Fords Of All Time" and the inspiration for so many other hot rods, including the one you're looking at right now.
Bill Paul is friends with Jason and Jerry Slover at Pete and Jakes Hot Rod Parts in Peculiar, Missouri, and first saw photos of the original E&B sedan-smoking its enormous rear tires-on the cover of the P&J catalog.
"It screamed hot rod," Bill remembers. And it compelled him to build a tribute. Nota replica-a tribute. Bill wasn't trying to do what Eastwood & Barakat already did, but to do what Eastwood & Barakat might do if they were building the same sedan today, using easily available and affordable parts and technology.
The project started in 2004 with an original steel body. Instead of keeping the buggy spring rear suspension, which would mimic the suspension on the E&B sedan, Bill called the Slovers and ordered a P&J 3100-series '32 Ford chassis package, including fully boxed 'rails with a tubular X-member, a 4-inch drop I beam, hairpins, performance ladder bars, and Viper rear coilovers.
Like the E&B car, Bill's sedan runs a Chevy small-block mill, but unlike the 355 Rick Barakat built in '82, Bill stepped up to a 434ci Dart Little M block with SB2 aluminum heads. Matt Driskell at Driskell Enterprises did the machining and assembly on the engine, dyno'd at 711 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque.
Ron Kesler got to work on the exterior steel, slicing 2 inches off the top (less than the 3-inch chop on the E&B car). A Rootlieb steel hood and Brookville grille with a Vintique insert were part of the rebuild. Jeff Wilson's primer job and the bright orange paint on the chassis evoke the look of the old sedan that the new one is meant to honor. Bob Bond's lettering, modeled after the original Eastwood & Barakat graphics, completes the homage.
Barakat's small-block was...
Barakat's small-block was a low-buck hot rod piece, maybe with a crack or two. Not likely with the 711-horse 434 Dart Little M pulling Bill's sedan. The air cleaner is owner built. Water flow was reversed, using an electric water pump under the passenger side motor mount to cool the heads first; it never runs hot, even when idling for extended periods.
"I tried to keep the interior...
"I tried to keep the interior simple since E&B had basically none," Bill said. This was put together to get it to Indy, but it has since gone back to Bob Schumacher at Vintage Fabrications for an upholstery upgrade on the Wise Guys buckets, plus headliner, floormats, and other modifications.
The Pete and Jakes and Superbell...
The Pete and Jakes and Superbell sedan wears the minimal gloss finish that the E&B sedan, but not many others, wore in the early '80s.
Not gone and not forgotten,...
Not gone and not forgotten, it was exciting to see the current incarnation of the original Eastwood & Barakat sedan at the GNRS in 2007. We're glad Bill built his following the "once-was" '80s look of this Deuce-the car that may have inspired the whole traditional hot rod revival.
The whole point of the chassis...
The whole point of the chassis build was to keep it (reasonably) low-buck and (relatively) bolt-on. P&Js' components are off the shelf, but can pull the driver side front tire off the pavement.
Pete and Rick had their sedan done in 12 weeks. Bill tried to have this one finished by 2007, in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Deuce and the 25th anniversary of the Hot Rod article. Unfortunately, a long string of life circumstances that Bill compares to "a country song," stretched the build time from three years to five. With help from Pete and Jakes, family members, and friends, he was able to get it done for the Goodguys Hot Rod Nationals in Indianapolis this past July.
In 1982, Baskerville shot the Hot Rod magazine photos of the just-finished Eastwood & Barakat sedan at Orange County International Raceway where, in addition to doing the smoky burnout that would get Bill Paul's attention years later, the car made a few passes down the dragstrip, with a quickest e.t. of 11.59 at 117 mph.
The JD Wheels five spokes...
The JD Wheels five spokes don't depart too much from the Halibrands worn on the sedan that inspired this tribute. The front skinnies are Michelins; rear fatties are MTs or Hoosiers, depending on the function.
At Indy, Bill was eager to run his just-finished tribute car down the 'strip during the Goodguys Street Rod Shootout. When the fuel pump fuse blew in the staging lanes, he thought he'd missed his chance, but race director Larry Westerfeld arranged to let Bill make an exhibition run against a twin-engine dragster later in the event.
"After some scrambling, we got it running and came back to make a pass. The car had less than two miles on it at this point," Bill said, "so this was a just going to be a short-shift shakedown pass. It hooked and carried the left front tire an inch off the ground. The old sedan was just rocking it and beat that dragster with the two 496s. The e.t. was 6.81 at 104 in the eighth-mile, pulling a bad light. I shut it off at the eighth mark and coasted through the quarter-mile lights at 11.71. Not bad for a first pass. And I know it can go 9.90s in the quarter." The incredible thing, Bill told us, is that this is an off-the-shelf Pete and Jakes chassis. "The point is, you can put these parts together and go out and run 9.90 with it. That is what a hot rod is supposed to be able to do."
We mentioned that the original Eastwood & Barakat sedan disappeared shortly after making its big splash in Hot Rod-its whereabouts unknown for a long time. It eventually came out that the car had been totalled and sold for parts. We've since found out that the chassis ended up underneath a Deuce roadster owned by Joey DiMarco. The body was purchased by Dale Hammon, who used it to build an elegant black highboy. At the '07 Grand National Roadster Show, Hammon's hot rod was included in the exhibit honoring the "75 Most Significant '32 Fords Of All Time," displayed with a photo from its brief period as the Eastwood & Barakat sedan. The spirit of the long-gone original lives on in Bill Paul's tribute, still screaming hot rod.
The cowl vent is functional,...
The cowl vent is functional, but not like you think. Bill boxed the vent behind the dash inside the cockpit, rerouting air into the engine compartment, for a ram air system to feed cold air to the carburetor.
The film Gray Baskerville...
The film Gray Baskerville shot of the E&B sedan in 1982 is still in the Hot Rod files. Josh Mishler's '09 photos of Bill Paul's tribute car seem to be inspired by that photo session 27 years ago. Compare the photo on page 36 to Gray's choice of burnout pics.
|F A C T S & F I G U R E S |
|Bill Paul |
|Highland, Illinois |
|1932 Ford highboy sedan |
|Frame / Manufacturer ||'32 Ford / Pete and Jakes (Peculiar, MO) |
|Wheelbase ||106" |
|Chassis plumbing ||steel |
|Rearend / Ratio ||Ford 9-inch, Currie (Anaheim, CA) 31-spline axle / 4.86:1 with spool |
|Rear suspension ||Pete and Jakes drag race ladder bars, springs, Viper coilover shocks |
|Rear brakes ||Wilwood disc |
|Front suspension ||Pete and Jakes Super Bell Alum-I-Beam dropped axle, spindles, hairpins, |
aluminum shocks, Posies springs (Hummelstown, PA)
|Front brakes ||Superbell disc |
|Master cylinder ||Ford Mustang, Wilwood (Camarillo, CA) proportioning valve |
|Steering box ||Boregson-Mullins (Torrington, CT) cross-steer box |
|Front wheel make, size ||JD Wheels (Delaware, OH) 15x5, 2 1/2" backspacing |
|Rear wheel make, size ||JD Wheels 15x10, 4" backspacing |
|Front tire make, size ||Michelin, 135SR15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Mickey Thompson, 14.5x31x15 and Hoosiers Racing Tire, 29x11.5x15 |
|Gas tank ||20 gallon, Tanks (Clearwater, MN) |
|Make ||Dart Little M Chevy block, bored and stroked, balanced, blueprinted |
|Displacement ||434 ci |
|Machining / Assembly ||Driskell Enterprises (Wellsville, KS) |
|Crankshaft ||Callies Performance Products |
|Rods ||Callies Performance Products |
|Pistons ||JE Pistons 11.0:1 |
|Camshaft ||COMP Cams (Memphis, TN) solid roller, 0.650/270 |
|Water pump ||Meziere electric pump |
|Cooling fan ||SPAL |
|Radiator ||Walker Radiator brass (Memphis, TN) |
|Alternator ||GM |
|Heads ||GM SB2.2 aluminum cylinder heads |
|Valves / Springs ||titanium 2.18/1.65 |
|Rockers ||Jesel shaft mounted |
|Valve covers ||billet |
|Manifold / Induction ||Edelbrock 2962, ported / Holley Dominator 1050 |
|Ignition / Wires ||MSD 7AL-2 / Moroso |
|Headers ||owner built |
|Exhaust / Mufflers ||2 1/2" custom oval tube/custom |
|Other engine facts ||owner built air cleaner, reverse water flow to cool heads first, dyno'd |
at 711 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque
|Make ||TH350 by Coan Engineering (Kokomo, IN) |
|Converter ||Coan Engineering |
|Flywheel ||Meziere billet flywheel |
|Bellhousing ||JW Ultra bell, TCI pan, black powdercoated |
|Shifter ||Gennie |
|Driveshaft ||3 1/2" aluminum by Mark Williams |
|Body style / Material ||'32 Ford Tudor sedan / steel |
|Body manufacturer ||Ford |
|Body mods ||2" chop, boxed cowl vent, bodywork by Ron Kesler (Kansas City, MO) |
|Hood ||Rootlieb steel (Turlock, CA) |
|Grille ||Brookville steel with crankhole from Vintique |
|Paint type / Color ||PPG primer, custom color |
|Painter ||Jeff Wilson (Pleasant Hill, MO) |
|Graphics ||lettering by Bob Bond |
|Headlights / Taillights ||stock / Vintique |
|Outside mirror ||Vintique |
|Door handles ||Vintique |
|Other body items ||flip-up windshield, roll-up windows, cowl vent boxed |
|Insert / Gauges ||Pete and Jakes / Pete and Jakes and Auto Meter tach and oil pressure |
|Stereo / Speakers ||"not in a real hot rod" |
|Wiring ||Floyd Garrett (Independence, MO) |
|Steering wheel ||Pete and Jakes |
|Steering column ||Mullins |
|Pedals ||Owner built hanging assembly |
|Seats ||Wise Guys (Elkhart, IN) |
|Upholsterer ||Vintage Fabrications (Independence, MO) |
|Material / Color ||Ultraleather / black |