Imagine a country roughly equal in area to the lower 48 states of the United States, but with only about 10 percent of the amount of paved roadswhere almost everyone lives within 30 miles of the coast and almost nobody lives in the middle. These factual tidbits haven’t prevented Australia from having one of the highest quality of life rankings and an impressive number of hot rodders, but for Australian hot rodders who love long distance driving, it can be a problem.
Peter and Toni Satherley, husband-and-wife hot rodders from Bunbury, Western Australia, came up with a solution to that problem. They decided to do their cross-country cruising in another country, namely the United States. Peter and Toni are STREET RODDER readers, so they know all about the annual Road Tour. Eventually, they said, we were tired of reading about these trips and decided it was time to do one. They own a few hot rods, trucks, and muscle cars back in Bunbury, but instead of shipping a car halfway around the world, they decided to find a car over here.
They had it all figured out. They would fly to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Street Rod Nationals in August, buy a hot rod at the Nats, and join the Road Tour to Bonneville. Plans changed when Toni found a car on the Internet that had been built by Adams Hot Rod Shop in Rydal, Georgia. That specific car wasn’t what the Satherleys were looking for, but they liked the workmanship and soon after contacted builder Chad Adams about building a ’32 roadster for them.
The Satherleys are originally from New Zealand; the Kiwi bird on the front spreader bar wa
Adams has used Kaenen fiberglass bodies from Melbourne, Florida, for several Deuce projects, including this one. The windshield was chopped 2 inches and the doors were stretched the same amount. No external hardware or trim was added in order to keep the lines as clean as possible. All that smooth ’glass is contrasted by the louvered steel hood from Rootlieb. A Kaenen grille shell frames the insert from Dale’s Manufacturing. Headlights are ’32 Ford and the taillights are ’50 Pontiac. A bone-colored BopTop from Sid Chavers Company is the perfect finishing touch. Paint was done by Adams. The Hummer Black was shot using PPG base and clear. Papa Studios in Mableton, Georgia, added the pinstriping, including some elaborate designs on the grille shell, decklid, and gas tank, plus a ’stripe along the beltline and accent ’stripes on all 72 louversnot to mention a few well-placed touches elsewhere on the roadster.
Adams says that most of the cars he builds roll on bias-ply tires, but since the Satherleys roadster was built to drive the wheels off it, wrapping those wheels in radials made more sense. Wide whites and a big ’n’ little combo keep the appearance traditional. Wheel Vintiques 15x5 and 15x10 steelies were painted to match the grille insert and dressed up with ’48 Ford caps and rings. Coker provided the 165R15 and P285/70R15 Silvertown BFGs. Brakes are 8-inch stockers in the rear with GM discs in front.
A finned alloy air cleaner and valve covers dress things up under the hood, and an Edelbrock Performer manifold and 600-cfm carburetor keeps the 350 Chevy crate engine happy. Custom pipes run from a pair of block hugger headers to the Flowmaster mufflers. The small-block is tied to a Turbo 700-R4 automatic transmission. The Ford 8-inch limited-slip differential has 3.5:1 gears. The rearend is held in place by a triangulated four-link suspension, with Aldan coilovers. American Stamping Rails, and a Model A crossmember were used to build the frame at Adams, where Dennis Elmore is the chassis expert. Lucky 7 Enterprises in Milton, Ontario, Canada, supplied the traditional front suspension components, including hairpins, drilled I-beam, spindles, and springs.
Lipstick red leather covers the door panels and custom seats. Like everything else on the roadster, the inside was finished by Adams Hot Rod Shop. The four-spoke Sprint Carstyle steering wheel from Lobeck’s rides on a Mullins column. The repro Deuce dash is filled with VDO gauges and accented with a little more of that pinstriping. A Kenwood stereo system provides the cruising soundtrack and A/C will definitely be added before the next long-distance trip.
The time elapsed between the day Peter and Toni called Adams and the day they drove their fresh ’32 out of Adams Hot Rod Shop was five months. Adams had put 250 shakedown miles on the brand-new Deuce. The Satherleys added almost 4,500 on the Road Tour from Louisville to Bonneville, then onto Las Vegas and Southern California, and up to Pleasanton, near San Francisco. Peter and Toni are back in Australia now, but the roadster is still in Northern California, waiting for them to return. The long term plan is to wear out the car crisscrossing the United States, they told us. And then there’s the lakes-style ’32 Tudor we have to talk to Adams about.
Although they bought their ’32 roadster sight unseen, Peter and Toni have seen plenty of s
This was two days later along I-90 through South Dakota.