Just the Facts
Year: 1932
Make: Ford
Model: Tudor
Owner: Ken Thurm
State: California

Like the Rolling Stones used to sing: "You can't always get what you want." When you buy cars, or even parts thereof, off the Internet, it seems like you're always rolling the dice, wondering if what is pictured or described will even be half the quality of what you get. Sometimes it works out but, for a lot of people, it doesn't.

Ken Thurm knows about this newly minted fact of life all too well. After checking out a 1932 Ford sedan on eBay, he made the deal and bought the car based on what he saw and read. But it was misrepresented—so bad he couldn't even use the cowl they shipped with the rest of the parts. Ken wanted to build a "family" car because he, his wife, Tina, and their 10-year-old grandson, Matthew, couldn't all fit very well in the roadster or 1932 truck he also owned.

Ken, who owns a company that manufacturers motorcycle and ATV trailers that can fold up and tuck away in the corner of a garage, is a pretty hands-on kind of guy. So he took building his own hot rod something of a challenge (and what he couldn't do, his buddies helped out), and really went the extra mile to produce something spectacular.

The project took about five years to complete, and started with 1932 framerails from ASC, which Ken shortened 2 inches, creating a wheelbase of 104 inches. Ken also modified them by creating a new swept-up front frame section that provided a kick of 3 inches but also a curve that is pleasing to the eye. The rear was then kicked 6 inches. Where the main section of the frame meets most of the body, Ken stepped the 'rails down a few more inches, which allowed the body to sit lower without channeling the body, but he also added boxed tubing inside the framerails to add strength. A Winters quick-change (3.50:1) went in along with a set of 42-inch ladder bars, and Ken made his own antiroll bar.

Ken used a Model A leaf spring and SO-CAL Speed Shop shocks up front, and drum brakes are on each corner ('94 Ford in the rear, 1939 Lincoln up front) along with Wheel Smith wires (15x4 and 15x7) shod in Firestone 5.00 and 8.20 tires. Ken also made his own steering column, and came up with a unique steering design to go along with it. Wanting as much foot space as possible when in the driver seat, he moved the Schroeder cowl-mount steering box up under the dash as high as he could. In order to not produce bumpsteer, moving the box up would have created a very long Pitman arm, thus radically changing the steering ratio. To have a shorter Pitman arm (and the correct geometry), Ken installed a second steering box of his own design inside the sedan in the kick panel area. The output shaft now pokes out of the body at the right spot, and he figured out the right size sprocket to run to achieve the right 18:1 steering ratio. It's connected to the Schroeder box via a chain drive, and everything works as it supposed to, though it's a bit unconventional.