Before he was old enough to get his driver’s license, Mike Kerwin was interested in cars. Before he ever picked up a wrench, he was picking up car magazines, hiking around car shows, and searching swap meets. In the years since, he’s built a bunch of cars, but says he’d always wanted a Deuce. The chance to make that happen arose when he found this Tudor sedan on eBay and drove from Tucson, Arizona, to Dallas with his girlfriend, Amber, to pick it up.

It was just the bare body, the floor was gone, and the remaining steel needed serious attention. It looked like it had been resting on it’s left side in a riverbed, he remembers, but it had all the window moldings, the windshield, dash, door latches, window regulators, etc. And I was going to build a chopped, fenderless car, so I didn’t care.

That initial ambition was followed by three years when the Tudor body sat untouched while Mike built a shop and remodeled his house. When it came time to build the car, I hit it hard. I like the traditional hot rod look. I had a particular style in mind for this car and I worked very hard to stick to it. I love the lines of chopped sedans, and I spent a lot of time thinking about the chop. I wanted it to look good, but not chop too much. I’m 6-foot-3 and needed to fit in the car.

I saw a ’32 sedan at the L.A. Roadster Show a few years ago that the Kennedy Brothers had built. I sat in itit fit and it looked right. I didn’t have a tape measure with me so I used a sunscreen tube to measure the windshield. It turns out it was a 3-inch chop, so that’s more or less how I did mine.

In addition to that chop, Mike replaced or repaired the sheetmetal and fit the doors until everything fit like newbetter than new in fact. The Rootlieb hood actually is newsame with the Brookville grille and Vintique insert. The ’34 Ford commercial headlights are on SO-CAL mounts with a pair of Unity amber foglights mounted to the framehorns. The rear is notched for ’34 commercial taillights.

The ASC ’32 Ford framerails are step boxed for strength and beefed up with a custom center K-member from the Old Ford Store in Tucson. I used Peter Macey’s chassis jig at the Old Ford Store to set up the frame, Mike says. We made the centersection and I did the rest. The frontend components include split wishbones and a 4-inch dropped axle from Chassis Engineering on ’40 Ford spindles. The suspension includes Speedway shocks fore and aft. The rearend is a ’59 Ford 9-inch with 3.50:1 gears. A set of ’46 Lincoln drum brakes in front and stockers in the back slow the sedan. The ’35 Ford wire wheels are 16x4s all around, with the period-perfect choice of Firestone pie-cut skinnies measuring 7.50-16 and 5.00/5.25-16.

Maroon was always Mike’s color choice for the Tudor, but the finish evolved during the course of the project, ending up with a nostalgic appearance. Originally, I painted the car with Hot Rod Flatz deep maroon, he told us. I never really liked the flat paint so I buffed it. It turned out like an old laquer paintjob that had been polished out.

Mike chose tan mohair for the interior and Kustom Trim in Tucson upholstered the door panels and modified ’56 Volkswagen buckets with LeBaron Bonney original-style fabric. The original ’40 Ford steering wheel is mounted on an owner-modified shifter column. A SO-CAL insert in the ’32 dash houses Classic Instruments gauges.

The small-block Chevy nudges the look of the sedan into the mid-’50s, and Mike added Corvette valve covers to the crate 350 to give it more of the look of the earliest small-blocks. A chrome air cleaner tops the Edelbrock carb and manifold. Rams Horn exhaust manifolds feed into owner-built heat-wrapped pipes. The 700-R4 contributes to Mike’s goal of long-distance driveability.