Very few people can lay claim to having their cars featured in STREET RODDER multiple decades following the magazine’s debut in 1972, but George Jezek can. In fact, in just the sixth magazine ever produced (Oct. ’72 issue), you can find a feature on a candy blue, chopped-and-channeled ’31 sedan he used to own (with an article by Brian Brennan no less). Though the 70-year-old has owned several hot rods since, it can all be traced back to high school when he cruised around town in a ’49 Chevy custom (his first “serious” car) that he also took on the show circuit.
Everything on the 383-inch Chevy engine is finished in either Endurashine, polished, or pl
An architect by trade, you can probably guess George’s attention to detail has served him well in both his profession as well as his hobby, and you’d be right. His latest endeavor—a classically appointed Deuce roadster—is a great combination of vintage hot rod looks and contemporary parts and pieces.
When designing a commercial building or a residence, an architect will often be presented with a list from the client that contains specific elements they want to have included in the completed piece. The same method is used when building a hot rod, and the success of the finished design directly relates to not only how well the builder sticks to the design’s overall theme, but how well he understands the concept. As it turns out, George understands what a 1932 Ford roadster should look like.
Look close and you can see the peak added to the middle top of the dash, which carries the
Based in Waco, Texas, George started the project with an original ’32 Ford firewall (after filling its 53 holes) and built the car around it, spending two-and-a-half years in the process. The frame, set up with a 106-inch wheelbase, came from Pete & Jakes but was slightly modified to George’s tastes. Pinched just 3/4 inch, the frame has tubular crossmembers and a C-notch in the rear. To set it apart, the flair in the side rail was built up slightly and the front spreader bar was peaked. The rear spreader bar features a sculpted line in it that makes it appear like a reflection of the gas tank, which really isn’t a gas tank. The car’s fuel tank, from Tanks Inc., is located between the seat back and the trunk. The exterior tank, which is louvered, is just for looks as the notch for the rearend would have cut down on its capacity. The lower section of the stock tank is also raised so observers can see the rearend easier. The rear suspension parts include a Posies Model A spring with tapered ends and reversed eyes along with Pete & Jakes shocks and ladder bars. Up front is a Super Bell I-beam with the logo removed and lightning holes added, and Pete & Jake batwings and long hairpins work with the Pete & Jakes shocks.
Braking is handled by a set of Ford Motorsports 11-inch drums connected to a Winters quick-change rear (4.11:1) and, up front, vented Super Bell discs with four-piston Wilwood calipers. The rollers are polished kidney bean wheels from PS Engineering, with a 15x6 wrapped in 165R15 Arizonian tire taking up residence in the front while 16x8s shod in Coker/Firestone 8.90-16 rubber are found in the rear.
To put the “hot” in his hot rod, George chose a 383 crate motor from Pace, which is rated at 425 hp. With a 4340 steel alloy crank, forged 5.7-inch rods, aluminum alloy hypereutectic pistons, and a hydraulic roller camshaft, the small-block is put together well. Up top twin Edelbrock 500-cfm carbs feed aluminum Fast Burn heads (with a 2.00/1.55-inch intake/exhaust valve combo) and exhaust exits through Sanderson block-hugger headers, 2.5-inch exhaust tubing, and a pair of 30-inch Stainless Specialties mufflers. George’s roadster is a three-pedal model, with a Tremec TKO-500 five-speed used for gear selection.
The body, a Brookville Roadsters creation, has a handful of custom touches, including a modified rear beltline. Speedway windshield stanchions are used with a 2-inch chop, though the removable top (from Rod Top) had its center bow raised for a more pronounced profile. The ’32 radiator shell was filled and peaked and the four-piece hood from Rootlieb is covered in four rows of louvers (216 to be exact).
Cowllights from a ’32 Ford, used as turn indicators, mount to the framerails and copy the
George also prepped and painted (’40 Ford maroon) his car using a two-stage PPG urethane, though the inside section of the chassis (the area you see when you get down on your hands and knees to look under the car) is done in a bright Chevy pickup Torch Red, which usually surprises the observer. The exterior is finished off with a set of spun brass Autolamp headlights George found at a swap meet and then painted, the ’39 Ford taillights are from Bob Drake, and a pair of ’32 Ford cowllights were mounted to the framehorns and used as turn indicators. Inside the cockpit a Ron Francis Bare Bonz wiring kit links Classic Instrument gauges, and a 15-inch, ’40 Ford-type Lecarra steering wheel mounts to an ididit steering column.
You wouldn’t think a third seat from a Plymouth Voyager minivan would look right in a traditional-styled Ford roadster, but George made it work by narrowing it and reshaping a portion of it to follow the contour of the cockpit’s beltline. Ray Spears, from Granbury, Texas, covered the seat and other interior pieces in a buckskin-colored, rolled-and-pleated Naugahyde, adding euro-style square-weave carpet below. There are some other items in George’s interior that you can’t see, such as the heater unit up under the dash and the Rostra cruise control, whose controls are also mounted under the dash.
Subtlety is one of the hardest things to bring into a design, and there are many folks out there who have a ham-fisted approach to car building, but George Jezek understands what a hot rod should look like, and went about building a car whose look can only be described as timeless.