The composite Deuce highboy...
The composite Deuce highboy was one of the last ones to come out of Harwood Street Rod Shop and covers a 2002 Lexus V-8 engine and transmission powertrain.
Don is a member of the California...
Don is a member of the California Roadsters out of Orange County in \Southern California.
Tires are 185/14 on 14x6-inch...
Tires are 185/14 on 14x6-inch Early Wheel Company-painted steelies while the rears are 225/60 on 15x8s.
The Kugel full independent...
The Kugel full independent suspended rod managed a respectable 12.35 seconds at .81 g-force on the 200ft skidpad.
The 230 rear-wheel horsepower...
The 230 rear-wheel horsepower Lexus V-8 pulled the 2,280lb roadster through the1/4-mile in 12.72 seconds at 110.66 mph with the 50-to-80-mph time at 3.22 seconds.
Gerardo Hernandez of Long...
Gerardo Hernandez of Long Beach, CA, beautifully massaged the slick body and brilliant black paintwork.
The 2002 Lexus V-8 sports...
The 2002 Lexus V-8 sports 262 inches and a handformed engine cover by Doug Kruse.
On the 420ft slalom course...
On the 420ft slalom course the highboy managed 6.56 seconds at 43.80 mph.
The chassis is a duplicate...
The chassis is a duplicate of the Kugel Muroc without the bright work stretched 7 inches over a stock '32 Ford frame yielding a 114-inch wheelbase complete with Kugel IFS and IRS. The brake package is based on Wilwood fronts and Corvette rears, all operated by a Kugel pedal assembly, master cylinder, and a 5-inch booster.
Street rods are all about individuality. Yes, I know we are living in the era of 1-800 cars, a Deuce in every garage, and black is beautiful, but even these cars still have a great deal of self-expression. While wandering the isles of this year's Grand National Roadster Show we came across a black Deuce highboy roadster--how blas. Or so one might want us to believe upon first glance.
Don Prieto of Torrance, California, is the owner/builder of this month's Track Test hot rod. Yep, it's a black Deuce highboy roadster, which should just about seal its fate in the annals of "been there, done that," but such wasn't to be the case. Don is a longtime rodder who has accumulated an illustrious career as a Bonneville and drag racer, author (his latest effort is titled Hot Rod Chronicle, published by Publications International Ltd), and currently handles many auto manufacturers' press fleet vehicles. In other words, Don is a car guy, has been a car guy, and will always be a car guy. Before getting too deep into the roadster story, let's make sure we cover some of Don's friends who helped piece the project together: Richard Graves, Perry Price, and Jeb Scolman.
Back on track, after looking at his highboy it became apparent that this was more than your basic screw-together hot rod. Immediately you note the full Kugel independent suspension, the racecar-inspired interior, but then the magical moment all of us look for happens as the defining element that makes this car different is discovered. The powertrain is straight from a 2002 Lexus LS430, which includes the V-8 and overdrive tranny (complete with shifter). The 4.3L engine--or 262 cubes, since hot rodders measure in cubes not liters--produces 290 hp at the flywheel and propels, and we do mean propel, this 2,280lb rod down the street and strip very nicely.
Before heading to the track, here's a bit of background on the Deuce: It's based on one of the last Harwood '32 Ford roadster composite bodies to come out of the Tyler, Texas, hot rod shop. This renowned 'glass manufacturer added 4 inches to the door and then Don had Steve's Custom in Torrance, California, make a longer hood to accommodate the extended wheelbase (nearly 114 inches). The grille shell is a filled '32 while the insert is an aftermarket repo. The body- and paintwork was aptly handed by Gerardo Hernandez (who works for Richard Graves) of Long Beach, California, then the car was painted in black--what else? In keeping with the racecar influence you will note there's virtually no chrome plating anywhere on the car--all by design.
Don's past rodding experiences and his current vocation have taught him the luxury and benefits of a well-handling car. He wanted this highboy to be something special in the handling world--both performance and highway driving. He opted to base the chassis on a Kugel Muroc, without the plating as he says, which takes a 1932 Ford wheelbase of just over 106 inches and adds 7 to it. From here the chassis is fitted with the respected Kugel independent front and rear suspension. The car features four-wheel disc brakes (Wilwood front and Corvette rear), coilovers, and a Currie 9-inch rear centersection with limited slip and 3.96:1 gears. The steering is another "mixed" relationship, utilizing a Fiat rack-and-pinion, Toyota Tundra truck trunions, and Honda steering column, which passes over the engine and not below in the conventional method. (This was done to gain the necessary clearance around the Lexus V-8.)
The tire and wheel assortment is straight out of the hot rodders' "bible." A combination of 14x6 and 15x8 Early Wheel Company painted steelies, chrome-trim rings and lil' caps wrapped with Toyo big 'n' littles that measure 185/60/14 in front and 225/60/15 in back.
On the highway the Deuce really performs with the best of them as the full independent suspension yields a new car ride with ideal handling over the bumps and lumps found in all of our traveled roads. In the meantime, engine performance allows for smooth and reliable characteristics such as easy start, traffic idle with no overheating issues, and smooth (while assertive) acceleration in any situation. Oh yes, did we mention that the roadster still brings in 24-plus mpg! Not bad for a car that can accelerate through the 1/4-mile in 12.72 seconds at 110.66 mph with the obligatory passing segment of 50 to 80 mph in 3.22 seconds. Hmmm, seems like Don is getting his performance and economy at the same time. Ah, rodding in the perfect world.
Other performance benchmarks for the highboy include braking from 60-0 mph in 152.34 ft while 30-0 mph is accomplished in 34.27 ft. Did we mention that it can also negotiate the 420ft slalom course in 6.56 seconds at 43.65 mph? Again, all this while still a docile machine that can be driven on the highway or in city traffic with little or no discernable effort.
Yep, it's another black Deuce highboy roadster--or is it?
The Deuce managed good brake-test...
The Deuce managed good brake-test scores with a 60-0 mph stop at 152.34 ft and 30-0 mph at 34.27 ft.
The Kugel IRS is based on...
The Kugel IRS is based on a Currie 9-inch centersection with a 3.96:1 ring-and-pinion, inboard Corvette disc brake calipers and Kugel halfshafts.
The easy riding and driving...
The easy riding and driving highboy came in at a light 2,280 lbs.
The independent front is hardly...
The independent front is hardly noticed as the headlight bar serves as an upper support while the lower bar acts as a nerf and a means of tying together the lower suspension pieces.
The roadster exhibited lean...
The roadster exhibited lean that may have been controllable with a pair of anti-roll bars, which should have improved handling characteristics of this already well-handling rod.
We found the roadster to be...
We found the roadster to be an excellent riding car during our nearly 60-mile roundtrip between the magazine offices and our test facility at California Speedway in Fontana, CA.
The interior is a combination...
The interior is a combination of form and function with racecar-influenced aluminum accessorizing and the upholstered seats and carpeted floor.
Following the Lexus family...
Following the Lexus family of cars' theme, the roadster uses seats out of an Acura Integra with carpeting straight from a Lexus. The five-point seatbelts come by way of Crow Enterprises. The aluminum panels were formed at DP.
The center console sports...
The center console sports the aluminum work by Doug Kruse and DP while the shifter is straight out of a Lexus passenger car.
The steering wheel is a Honda...
The steering wheel is a Honda airbag model while Stewart Warner gauges are fitted to a Deuce dash.
Look carefully and you will...
Look carefully and you will see an internal tube framework (beneath the sheetmetal) that serves as mounting points for such items as the radiator and steering shaft support. It also stiffens the roadster, allowing for improved handling characteristics.
The heater vents are straight...
The heater vents are straight from an Audi TT while the pedals are racecar influenced--true hot rod items.
The taillights are Lexus IS300...
The taillights are Lexus IS300 trunk lights. The diminutive-appearing stainless steel rear bumper is actually a substantive part of the rear body as the bumper is four times the visible width as it runs "through" the body and hooks to the frame out of sight.
The roadster weighed in at...
The roadster weighed in at 2,280 lbs, with 1,030 lbs over the front axle and 1,250 lbs over the rear.
At the STREET RODDER Tech...
At the STREET RODDER Tech Center the Deuce recorded on the Dynojet chassis dyno a 230-max hp to the rear wheels at 5,900 rpm while 301.07 lb-ft at 5,800 rpm was the max torque reading. Not bad for an engine that is rated at 290hp at the flywheel.
1932 Ford Highboy Roadster
|60-ft ||1.90 seconds |
|0-30 mph ||1.27 seconds |
|0-60 mph ||4.23 seconds |
|0-100 mph ||9.79 seconds |
|50-80 mph ||3.22 seconds |
|1/4-mile e.t. ||12.72 seconds |
|@ mph ||110.66 mph |
|1/8-mile e.t. ||8.22 seconds |
|@ mph ||90.05 mph |
|60-0 mph ||152.34 feet |
|30-0 mph ||34.27 feet |
|SKIDPAD (average) || |
|200ft diameter ||12.35 seconds @ .80 g.force |
|(cones 70ft on center) || |
|420ft course ||6.56 seconds @ 43.65 mph |
|(at the rear wheels) || |
|Max Horsepower ||230.00 hp (5,900 rpm) |
|Max Torque ||301.07 lb-ft (5,800 rpm) |
|Front Axle ||1,030 lbs |
|Rear Axle ||1,250 lbs |
|Total ||2,280 lbs |
|Weight / Power Ratio ||9.91 lbs to 1 hp |
|Wheelbase ||114" |
|Rearend / Ratio ||Ford 9" / 3.96:1 |
|Rear suspension ||Kugel independent with coilover shocks |
|Rear brakes ||Corvette |
|Front suspension ||Kugel independent w/coilover shocks |
|Front brakes ||Wilwood Dyna-lite caliper w/ 11" rotors |
|Steering ||Fiat r&p |
|Front wheel make, size ||Early Wheel Co., 14 x 6" |
|Rear wheel make, size ||Early Wheel Co., 15 x 8" |
|Front tire make, size ||Toyo, 185/60/14 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Toyo, 225/60/15 |
|Displacement ||Lexus V-8 262ci |
|Manifold / Induction ||Lexus V-8, EFI |
|Ignition ||Lexus V-8, electronic |
|Headers ||Lexus V-8, factory manifolds |
|Type ||Lexus LS430 |
|Type ||Custom, 14-gal. w/ in-tank fuel pump (3/4 full) |