Sometimes it takes a while to get the thrill of a lifetime. Jon Stroud is 62 years old, but he has been working toward this moment in time for most of his adult life. If his name looks or sounds familiar, it should be as Jon has, as they say, been around. Born and raised in Southern California, he spent 20 years after high school selling whiskey in his native territory but, on a tip from a neighbor, went to work for Boyd Coddington in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It was Jon’s job to get the parts for cars going together at the shop and keep all the employees well stocked with parts so they could turn out cars like CadZZilla in just six months.
Top up or down, Jon’s Deuce...
Top up or down, Jon’s Deuce roadster says old-school hot rod even though, other than the engine, most of the build was done with parts that are less than a couple years old.
After working for Coddington, Jon found a job with Greg Weld of Weld Racing Wheels for the next two years. About that time he also picked up a ‘41 Chevy coupe, which he eventually sold in 1995 when he was about halfway through his time working at Budnik Wheels. With the ’41 gone he picked up an olive green ’37 Ford humpback—a car he’d keep for 12 years. His sales expertise was again put to work when he hired on at McMullen Argus Publishing, working in the ad department on the very magazine you have in your hands right now. But it wasn’t until 2001 when he became a sales manager with the NSRA that Jon found a home. Now responsible for selling booth space and coordinating four events for the NSRA (and helping Bob Reynolds with the other seven national and regional events), it’s safe to say Jon has found his groove.
Gauges in the ’37 Ford dash...
Gauges in the ’37 Ford dash were reworked by Classic Instruments, and the ’37 radio has new guts and has been wired to work in tandem with Jon’s iPod. Sid Chavers did the tobacco-colored vinyl interior, which includes the Chavers-built bench seat. Juliano’s supplied the ’40 Ford steering wheel and the column-shift column, and Jon found the ’50s-era Montgomery Ward heater at a NSRA swap meet in Oklahoma City, and had it recored by Stanton Radiator.
But things weren’t as complete as he’d wanted, as this born ’n’ bred Southern Californian wanted a highboy Deuce roadster. Originally, Jon had aspired to own a full-fendered model but, as Jon says, “you adapt” and he began collecting new and used parts from all over the country. Jon’s neighbor, Don Mabe (a charter member of the Early Times Car Club), told him he’d help him build a ’32, and Jon took him up on the offer.
In some respects the car Jon ended up with looks like many other highboy Deuce roadsters out there, but that’s only if you’re looking at it from a distance, as there are some fairly unique aspects of this car’s design. Though the front suspension, with its I-beam axle from Chassis Engineering, Posies spring, Unisteer rack-and-pinion, and SO-CAL hairpins can be easily found, the rear suspension is something else. Mike Chrisman had built a cantilever arm system for one of Jon’s neighbors that operates coilover shocks that were laid over and parallel to the inside of the framerails, and the resulting ride was a smooth as glass. After Jon had taken a ride in the car he wanted one for his ride, too.
Tim Krausharr, whose experience extends to building cars for Bonneville, the drags, as well as dirt ovals, fabbed up the one-off rear suspension system for the 106-inch wheelbase frame, which came from the Deuce Frame Company with ASC framerails. In addition to the special suspension, a Winters quick-change (3.00:1) was employed as was a disc brake system from ECI. A 15x10 and 4.5-inch steel wheel combination from Stockton Wheel (with stainless caps ’n’ rings) were wrapped in Pirelli 155R15 and Michelin 31x10.50 tires.
The original idea for an engine came in the form of a 348 topped with three-twos but, because the engine’s design wouldn’t allow for a cooling fan to be centered in the radiator, Jon sold the 348 in favor of a 409. Usually the 409 has the same problem but not when coupled with a water pump from a 3-ton truck, which raises the center point of the Cooling Components fan to the middle of the radiator—a perfect combo. The downside was the raised pump would interfere with mounting the three deuces, so Jon opted for a single Edelbrock 650 carb to feed the engine. Taylor Engineering in Whittier, California, assembled the motor, which includes Taylor wires, Flowmaster mufflers, Moon valve covers, and a Powermaster alternator.