Let's try and capture the essence of a bygone era that lies just below the surface of these freshly minted shells by taking an in-depth look at both cars to see just what makes them tick.
We will begin with Jim Fleming of Washingtonville, New York. Influenced by Ed Roth, Tommy Ivo, and Mickey Thompson, it's clear there was a distinct path he would follow. Forty-plus years later, the kid from Brooklyn has over a dozen builds under his belt with everything from a hammered '54 Chevy custom to countless Ford coupes and roadsters all with traditional style and unique engine combinations.
Thanks to a right-on tire...
Thanks to a right-on tire and wheel combination, the car sits just right. Blending a pearlescent blue satin body along with a black chassis and gold wheels complemented by a grille guard gives the Dearborn Deuce body plenty of appeal.
It wasn't until recently though when he fell under the influence of a pair of coupes known as the Wicked Sisters owned by Ken Schmidt and Keith Cornell, aka The Rolling Bones of Greenfield Center, New York. Studying the coupes, Jim began to absorb everything that made them subtle in order to infuse their style into his next build. Knowing that he wanted a roadster, but also the ability to have a top for when the weather turned, his research brought him to Dearborn Deuce for their premiere '32 Ford steel convertible body. (Editor's Note: by definition roadsters do not have roll-up door windows, hence the Dearborn Deuce falls into the category of a convertible.) The body not only featured a fully disappearing convertible top, but also side glass for those cold and wet East Coast cross state runs.
Being a hands-on guy and knowing he would be taking on the build from start to finish, Jim contacted American Stamping Corporation (ASC) for a pair of their rock solid framerails along with their center crossmember to form a base. In preparation for the build, Jim spent countless hours at local swap meets gathering up the parts that would separate his Deuce from the rest. In designing the chassis he infused a number of classic elements starting with bobbed front and rear framehorns. From there he added a C-notch to the rear as well as a pinch to the front to get just the right look. Settling on a 107-1/2-inch wheelbase, Jim now began to plan out the front and rear suspension. In back, a Winters quick-change rearend and '36 Ford split 'bones were suspended into place along with a Model T rear spring and Girling lever shocks.
Up front an original '32 Ford axle was drilled with lightening holes and matched up to a pair of lengthened, split, and drilled '32 Ford 'bones and '40 Ford spindles. Combined with a Model A front spring the assembly was hung in place suicide-style while '36 Ford (rear) lever shocks soak up the bumps. For plenty of stopping power, Jim added '39 Lincoln brakes matched to classic finned aluminum Buick drums. Navigation was fashioned into a very tasteful cowl steering setup utilizing a Dodge Demon steering box and an owner-fabricated Pitman arm. Completing the chassis, steelies from Stockton Wheel wrapped with nostalgic-looking blackwalls from Diamond Back finish the look.
For plenty of dependable power on the long haul, Jim decided to build an engine that would fit the bill of a classic hot rod. Starting with a '54 Dodge Red Ram Hemi, he had Keller Auto Machine of Salisbury Mills, New York, massage the block to 241 ci. Once completed, Jim assembled the healthy V-8 with loads of go-fast goodies, including Ross slugs, a Clay Smith stick, and MSD spark while headers from Hot Heads dump the spent gases through a 2-inch stainless steel exhaust void of any mufflers. Linked to an '85 Chevy S-10 five-speed transmission topped with a B&M shifter, you just know this balanced, blueprinted, and dyno'd baby Hemi has plenty of gusto.