Ford Hi-Boy Roadster

A good part of the legend of the flathead V8 engine is embodied in the hot rod culture that emerged from its tuning, modification and performance. The flathead’s potential was never in doubt, and it did not take long for tuners to seize upon it and create ways to extract it. Through the hot rod’s evolution, one model emerged as the rodder’s favorite: Henry Ford’s 1932 Roadster.

The “Deuce” was the first V8-powered Ford and the first reasonably priced V8. Deuce Roadsters were dirt-cheap by the late thirties, and they were also light and amenable to modification with simple tools and basic skills. They ignited a revolution that spread from the back streets of California to the salt flats of Utah and throughout the United States, inspiring generations in magazines, television shows and iconic movies.

Over time, Deuce Roadsters evolved into two basic styles. The Lowboy’s body was channeled over the frame and frequently sectioned to reduce its overall height, lower the center of gravity and minimize wind resistance. The Highboy retained the stock body dimensions and mounting on top of the frame rails. It may have expended a few horsepower on frontal area, but it was a lot more comfortable for cruising.

This all-steel “hi-boy” roadster was built in the 1970s and benefits from a complete frame-off restoration and a full mechanical rebuild that was completed in 2007. Finished in a beautiful silver metallic that is nicely accented by a grey leather interior, this deuce sits on its original rails that have been boxed and features a full race-built 286-cu. in. H&H flathead V8 engine with a 1939 Ford three-speed manual transmission. A well known hot rod in Southern California, it also has a 1940 Ford rear end, a Duval windshield, and 16" Ford steel wheels. The owner tells us it is his favorite to drive from his personal collection and remarks that it “drives like a new car even at freeway speeds.”

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

286 cu. in. H&H flathead V8, 1939 Ford three-speed manual transmission, live axle suspension with transverse leaf spring suspension front and rear and four-wheel hydraulic drum bakes. Wheelbase: 106"

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Ford Hi-Boy Roadster