Just the Facts
Owner: Ron Limbrick
Imagine being a kid from, of all places, Thunder Bay, Ontario, living some 2,000-plus miles away from the birthplace of hot rodding. For a young Ron Limbrick, his only fix was to learn all he could through the pages of Hot Rod magazine at the local newsstand. Tearing into each new issue with the ferocity of a junkyard dog eyeing a stew bone, he was able to ingest plenty of the latest styles and power combinations fueling classic coupes and roadsters. The local fairgrounds also featured a half-mile dirt track with plenty of old jalopies tearing it up while chasing the checkered flag to help fuel his adrenalin rush.
Wheeling his bike on local streets one month shy of his 16th birthday, he was on the lookout for a rare glimpse of an iconic 1932 Ford. Being a dedicated student of the Book of Gow, his searching led him to come across the crown jewel of what he had been reading about, tucked in the back of a used car lot named Dominion Motors. Closer inspection proved it was a Deuce five-window coupe and he hastened to the sales office to talk with the lot agent to confirm it was indeed for sale. The year was 1955 and Ron wasted no time in agreeing to the $75 asking price. After some wheeling and dealing he was able to come up with the cash and with his parents' approval, brought the Deuce home. Weeks later he was able to take his driver's test in the coupe, and the rest was history. A slew of other vintage Fords followed and as he got older he never forgot the excitement his first car brought to the party.
Fast forward to 1998 to an article by Gray Baskerville in the January issue of Hot Rod titled "Clone Runners" where Chip Foose worked his magic on a number of classic hot rods to give them a '90s makeover. Ron was re-energized after seeing Foose's modern interpretation of Ray Bowle's 1925 Ford T roadster leaving a deep-seated impression on him.
By the year 2000 he had made friends with Bill Taylor who happened to be a short course starter during Speedweek at Bonneville. Ron was offered the opportunity to help work in the staging lanes and wasted no time in accepting the offer. That same year he was also able to make his first rookie run on the short course at 124.806 mph thanks to Chuck and Robert Duffin and their 1937 Chevy coupe. That was all it took to convince him that he needed to start the build of his 1927 Ford roadster, which he considers his hot rod thesis.
After doing plenty of research a decision was made to contact Darrell Zipp regarding one of his body and chassis kits. The Zipper Motors–modified roadster gave Ron the perfect ergonomic fit, allowing the driver to sit low and deep in the cabin. A deal was made and the base for the roadster was delivered to Ron's home shop in Thunder Bay. For a stout spine Zipper Motors used 2x3-inch steel tubing complemented by equally strong crossmembers and center K-member. To add plenty of nostalgia in the suspension department, a '46 Ford pickup rear was filled with 3.78:1 cogs and suspended in place by split 1939 Ford wishbones combined with custom Zipper Motors quarter-elliptic springs and friction shocks. Up front a 4-inch dropped Super Bell axle was deftly matched to '40 Ford spindles anchored in place by a pair of split 1939 Ford wishbones while Zipper Motors quarter-elliptic springs and matching friction shocks soak up the bumps. A Wilwood dual master pushes fluid through braided stainless lines to classic '40 Ford binders anchored at each corner. Setting the stance a set of 1935 Ford 16-inch wires shod with Firestone/Coker bias-ply blackwall rubber in big 'n' little combination set the pace. The icing lies in the custom spun aero-style wheel discs by Kevin Lee, combined with vintage Ford caps and aluminum inner wheel covers to deliver a tasty Bonneville-esque feel.
Having run early Ford 'bangers on the street starting way back with his original Deuce, Ron decided the roadster would need to fly with vintage Ford four-cylinder power. After laying out a template for the engine's design he contacted master engine builder Bob Baas at B&J Auto in Alexandria, Minnesota. Baas brought years of experience to the table and got started with a 1932 Ford B-block, which he bored to 201 ci. The internal rotating assembly was then balanced and consists of a stock Ford crank, rods, and pistons getting a bump from a B-grind cam. To add plenty of power to the mix a Riley two-port OHV conversion head reproduction by Charlie Yapp was combined with a rare Robert Roof two-pot intake capped with a pair of new Zenith updraft carbs wearing motorcycle air cleaners. For plenty of spark a vintage Wico Magneto restored by Andrew Johnson at Antique Speed and Machine lights the fire while spent gases are dumped through a stock porcelain-coated Model A manifold and 2-inch stainless tubing to a SuperTrapp muffler. The engine is an engineering masterpiece with all parts working in perfect harmony, creating a symphony of sound. To bring the power to the street a Bendtsen's Speed Gems adapter links to a warmed-over GM TH200C trans by Gary Jansekovich of Thunder Bay and pulls gears through a Lokar shifter.
Glazed in midnight black gloss, the body is accented by a rear rollpan, custom nerf bars,
With the loaded chassis complete it was time to focus on the body. Fresh from Zipper Motors the modified roadster body featured larger suicide-mounted doors. To inject his own personal elements Ron worked with the Zipper Motors hood top and track nose and had custom aluminum hood sides fabricated, which he fitted in place. From there he fabbed both hood top and side blisters as well as the rear bell pan residing under the turtle deck. The Art Deco–inspired escutcheons where the split wishbones meet the chassis were cast by his son Myles while the aluminum grille insert was by Dan Baker at Alumicraft. Neat headlights by Crafty B were complemented by a Lucas taillight and custom chrome-plated steel nerf bars by Ron. Once the body was completed everything was handed over to Shaun Hopkins of Thunder Bay to work his magic making everything razor sharp. He then filled his spray gun with plenty of Spies Hecker Permacron midnight black vibe and laid down a mile-deep coating.
To give his business office a fingerprint to match the rest of the car he contacted Mike Elliot Upholstery in Grand Junction, Colorado, to take on the task. A Zipper Motors seat insert was covered in yards of coffee Naugahyde with complementing door panels while the floors and kick panels received stylish fawn wool carpets. Westach dials monitor the vitals combined with a Scintilla magneto switch while a stainless marine steering wheel navigates the course through a reversed Corvair steering box. Final touches like the deluxe leather hood straps from Hot Rod Leather and exceptional attention to detail make this car a standout in any crowd. With Ron currently putting down miles on the roadster we just heard that he's going to get busy again since he just located his original Deuce five-window mothballed in Thunder Bay. A deal was made and it's now back in his home shop after missing for over 55 years. It doesn't get any cooler than that!
Mike Elliot Upholstery worked their stitching magic in the cabin covering the seats with p
Nestled between the driver and passenger seats you'll find a vintage Bendix Scintilla Type
The steering wheel is a marine unit while shifts are via Lokar and vitals are monitored by