Wanting to give the car an aggressive ground-hugging stance, the team reworked the ’rails with a number of surgical alterations, starting with stretching the wheelbase to 114 inches. From there the ’rails were bobbed and pinched up front with a narrowed Model A front crossmember installed along with kicking and stepping the ’rails ahead of the firewall and eliminating the lower frame points. A custom-fabbed center crossmember was then added along with a Model A rear crossmember, which was lifted 3 inches to drop the stance height. The rear framerails were then C’d and bobbed, followed by the chassis being boxed for durability. In keeping with a post-war theme, it was important to design a suspension system that would stay true to the build. In back, a Rodsville quick-change centersection filled with 3.64:1 gears and matched to ’40 Ford axles assembled by Hot Rod Works was suspended in place with a combination of Rolling Bones ladder bars, inboard mounted Houdialle shocks, and a Model T rear spring to soften the bumps.

To bring an aggressive attitude to the front, a drilled ’48 Ford axle was deftly matched to ’39 Ford spindles and anchored in place by ’32 Ford split ’bones. Evening out harsh roads, Rolling Bones–designed friction shocks matched to a Posies leaf spring gets the job done. When everything has to stop, a ’40 Ford master pushes fluid through steel lines to ’40 Ford binders anchored at each corner while navigation goes through a Schroeder steering box. Planting the chassis on the pavement a pair of ’40 Ford 16x4 steelies wrapped in 5.00x16 Coker Classics up front and ’48 Ford truck 16x5 steelies out back capped with 7.50x16 Coker Classics complete the look, crowned by a set of vintage aftermarket replacement deluxe caps.

Knowing the coupe needed plenty of dependable power for the long haul, a call was placed to Rolling Bones master engine builder Jim Fleming of Washingtonville, New York, to whip up a stout Ford Flathead fit for the task. Starting with a ’49 Ford 8BA block, Fleming massaged it to 284 ci and loaded it with a 4-inch stroked Scat crank linked to Scat H-rods topped with Ross forged slugs, and an Isky stick. A set of Navarro heads matched to an Offenhauser two-pot intake crowned with a pair of Stromberg 97-series carbs spark to life thanks to a Vertex magneto while spent gases are dumped through Rolling Bones-fabbed headers. Linked to a Chevy S-10 five-speed trans the oats move rearward through a custom driveshaft.

To give the body a timeless look, combining equal amounts of speed and style, the team first hammered its lid 6 inches up front and 5-1/2 inches in the rear while also laying back the windshield. A Walden Speed Shop roof insert was laid in place followed by the cowl being laid down, frame covers and rear roll pan being fabbed, as well as the tail being tucked and rear wheel radius being massaged. The crowning touch is a heavily reworked ultrarare Canadian Cockshutt tractor grille accented by a custom hood and hood sides.

With the metalwork completed, the body and chassis were blocked to perfection, coated in a custom-blended PPG Salinas Special red vibe, and then treated to just enough rubbed-through patina. Sealing the deal, pinstriping legend Larry Hook of Cumberland, Rhode Island, laid his brushes across the surface, bringing everything to life. When it came to the interior less is always more, especially with an all-business hot rod like this.

For comfort, bomber seats by Frank Wallic were covered in vintage brown leather by Dore Dipasquale of Gloversville, New York, while textured rubber covers the floor. A modified ’34 Ford dash filled with a ’29 Pierce Arrow insert and gauges help monitor the vitals while a ’48 Kurtis-Kraft midget steering wheel plots the course with gear changes through a Rolling Bones shifter topped with a rare Knights of Columbus shift knob that belonged to Dick’s dad. With the coupe now showing over 3,500 miles on the odometer, Dick’s reliving his early days in Salinas with the car he always wished he’d had back in the day.

Zaragoza’s ’32 Ford Three-Window Highboy Coupe