Ford Roadster

Three Crowns Speed & Kustom is a relatively new shop in Reno, NV, with a well-defined mission. They hand-build high end hot rods with traditional components and vintage American V8 engines, finish them with vintage fabrics and Marine grade vinyl, and paint their creations in period ‘50s and ‘60s colors. The shop’s approach to high quality means that even parts that can’t be seen are completely finished.

’32 Ford “Deuce” roadsters are hardly uncommon in today’s hot rod scene. To capture the attention of experts, you need a combination of clean lines, theme consistency, interesting running gear, clever fabrication, a striking color scheme and something that’s best described as ‘attitude.’ This cream and blue beauty combines all of those desirable elements and more. Displayed at the 2007 Grand National Roadster Show in a hall filled with extraordinary rods and customs, it attracted a lot of attention.

A great hot rod starts with a great engine. Chrysler’s original Hemi V8 arrived in 1951 as a 331 cubic inch V8. By 1958, it was a 392 cubic inch powerhouse that commonly powered that era’s quickest Top Fuel dragsters. This roadster links a muscular, authentic, completely rebuilt, 450 horsepower, 392 cubic inch Imperial Hemi with a GMTH400 three-speed automatic and a Lokar floor shifter. The induction system is a rare Weiand triple manifold (1 of just 75 built) with a trio of Rochester 2G 2-bbl carburetors, topped with custom Crown-shaped intake stacks. An Isky camshaft, polished rocker arms, a Vertex Magneto-style HEI ignition, chromed valve covers, chromed oil pan and 4-into-1 headers round out the impressive mechanical specs.

Built on a rigid, So-Cal Speed Shop step-boxed ’32 Ford chassis, with a restored, stock Ford firewall, the razor-straight new Brookville steel roadster body features shaved door handles and ’50 Pontiac taillights. The frame was notched to clear a four inch drilled and dropped front axle. So-Cal provided hairpin wishbones and batwings, along with a set of Wilwood disc brakes hidden inside finned, ’58 Buick-style aluminum drums. Steering is a popular Vega box; the spindles are ’40 Ford. Rear brakes are ’59 Ford Police drums. The rear axle is a hefty Winters quick-change with V8 style axle bells. Restored Guide 682-C headlights, from a ’36 Pontiac, 16-inch steel wheels with custom ‘dog-dish’ caps and big-‘n-little Firestone bias-ply black-walls complete the vintage look.

Inside, John Duenas Custom Upholstery stitched up a stellar set of seats with theme-supporting NOS Chrysler Imperial fabric and Marine grade vinyl accents. The instrument panel had six custom Classic Instruments gauges. A ’56 Lincoln deep-dish steering wheel, modified by J.B. Donaldson, continues the traditional theme beautifully. Louie Feliz sprayed the period-perfect cream and blue scalloped finish, using paint chips from back in the day.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

450 bhp, 392 cu. in. Hemi V8 engine, GM TH400 three-speed automatic transmission, solid front axle with transverse leaf spring, solid rear axle with transverse leaf spring, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, front discs, rear drums. Wheelbase: 106"

Source: RM Auctions

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