What Is It?

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We went back before the 1950s and lost a few readers along the way, but still the 1932 Ford roadster was recognized by a number of our respondents.

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What Is It?  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
What Is It?

The picture last week showed an artist’s rendering of the rear of a 1932 Ford roadster, an icon in the world of customized hot rods still popular today.

Why a rendering stead of a photo? Because the image was provided in an e-mail by Priya Vaswani, on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service, which has unveiled a limited edition of postage stamps called Hot Rods Forever.

The two stamps depict a 1932 Ford “Deuce” roadster designed by Derry Noyes. One shows a red ’32 Ford from the front; the other is the picture we showed you: a black roadster with orange flames on the body.

Chosen randomly from the correct entries was the name of Gary Engen, of Augusta, who wrote:

“I can’t believe I found the answer to this week’s contest while at my local post office. Yep, it is a rendition of the 1932 Ford roadster Model B (‘Little Deuce Coupe’) found on the new 2014 U.S. Postal Service stamp series called Hot Rods Forever.

“One stamp depicts the rear three-quarters shot of a black Deuce roadster shown in this week’s contest, while the second stamp shows a front view of a red ’32 Deuce roadster.

“The Beach Boys made it one of the most famous cars in the history of hot rodding when, in 1963, they recorded their hit song Little Deuce Coupe.”

The other readers identifying the vehicle were:

AIKEN: Bob Ennis said: “It is hard to tell from just an artistic rendering, but I have to go with a 1932 Ford coupe, affectionately known as ‘The Little Deuce Coupe.’

AUGUSTA: Robin Kitchens said: “It could be either a ’31 or ’32 Ford. The same picture is on the Forever stamp.

John Hayes said: “I’m not up to date on artistic renderings of cars, but I think I’ll say this is a ’32 A Model Ford. It looks like it could also be a ’30 or ’31. Tough to ascertain!”

Lowell Fritsche said: “I believe I’ve got it. I have studied the drawing and it’s a 1929 Model A Ford with the fenders stripped off to make more clearance for the mud.”

Walker Mobley Jr. wrote: “The picture appears to be that of a 1932 Ford ‘highboy’ (fenderless) roadster. It looks like it has ’42 to ’48 Ford taillights and a tubular rear bumper or horizontal ‘nerf’ bar configuration. The roadster body configuration shown in this picture could easily be a 1928 through 1934 Ford because the doors, cowl and grille shell are not shown.

“Along with the roadsters in this year span, the three- and five-window coupes were very desirable cars for street rodding. Quite a few times the ’39 Ford taillights were used on the panel just below the trunk lid where the ’42 to ’48 units are shown. These were a teardrop-shape unit which were very attractive in this application.

“In the early to mid-’50s when I would ‘eat, sleep and breathe’ these cars the flathead Ford and Mercury engines were the thing to have in one of these cars. The small-block Chevy engine came out in 1955, (265 cid) and this very quickly became the engine to have if you could find and/or afford one. This engine was and probably still is considered one of ‘sweethearts’ of American engines along with the 289 Ford engine with so much aftermarket equipment being available.

“As always, keep these coming, they are a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the news we see, hear and read about today.”

Travis Starr identified the 1932 Ford roadster and said he owned a 1931 Model A coupe a few years ago that was all original.

CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “Lipstick and Steel. That’s the name of a Model A hot rod a friend of mine built for his wife one year for her birthday. It was dark metallic gray with the name written prominently along the bottom edge of the doors in neon pink. At the end of the name he actually had put that pink paint on his lips and then applied a kiss at the end. For this guy, that was the truest, most honest expression of love.

“They were a couple of contradictions, her with her quiet, prim and proper diminutive stature and he with his 6-plus feet stature and an equally towering ego and bravado. It worked for them as she was his moral compass and the fiscally responsible one allowing him to indulge within reason his anything-with-a-motor-and-4-wheels passion. For his everyday drivers, he preferred Jags, Mercedes and Vettes, but there were always hot rod projects in the works. That is, when he wasn’t having to replace a blown engine or transmission in those daily drivers. He wasn’t the most gentle of drivers.

“He had been through several iterations of other hot rods before this one and had actually driven it around himself for a while, but it was an unfinished, raw brute. It was loud, danced all over the road, had no power assist and only rear brakes!

“Oh, and it was fast. I believe that it was the cause of at least one license suspension. They lived on a major through street and right in front of their house, it nearly looked like a drag strip launching area.

“After his wife beat liver cancer, he finished it off for her adding brakes to the front with power assist all around. He actually sought professional help in rebuilding the suspension so that it would keep all four wheels firmly planted on the ground. He then gave it a real interior and that gray steel paint job with hot-pink accents. I also think that he quieted it down a few decibels as well. She loved it!

“Sadly they are no longer with us. She enjoyed Lipstick and Steel for nearly two years before succumbing to a recurrence of the liver cancer, and he followed her a couple of years later to what I will always believe was a broken heart. But oh, the memories they have left behind.”

EVANS: Larry Heath wrote: “1932 Ford: Appears to be a roadster that has been the subject of a hot rod treatment. This is noted by the tubular rear bumper, flames on the side, and absence of the rear fender. Ford introduced a new model in 1932 replacing the Model A of previous years. The big news was the introduction of the ‘flathead’ V-8 engine.

The 1932 Ford became probably the most popular car ever for modification into a hot rod version.

These cars were plentiful and easily modified and became very popular after World War II with those seeking more performance at a reasonable price. The Beach Boys sang about these cars in the song Little Deuce Coupe, and they have also been used in numerous movies and TV shows. Reproductions are available today and can be built into whatever version you desire.”

Paul Perdue said: “How about a 1931 Ford roadster. All the pictures out there and you have to put an artist rendering as the clue.”

HEPHZIBAH: John Williams thought it might be a Prowler.

LOUISVILLE, GA.: Bob Holbert wrote: “In believe the car is a 1932 Ford Deuce coupe, perhaps the most famous breed of hot rods ever. To this day, replicas show up everywhere and the real ones, when available, command serious prices on the market. Not bad for a little Ford that was largely used by traveling salesmen to go from city to city because it was small, light and easy to drive. It also featured a rumble seat.

“It also was the first Ford to have a flathead V-8 giving it far more power then anything on the road. It became a hot rodder’s dream because it could be easily modified. The fenders could be removed as well as the hood so one could fit a bigger engine in the open compartment. I still remember Elvis driving the convertible version in the movie Loving You.

MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski said: “This week’s photo is of an artist’s rendering of probably the most iconic hot rod ever, a 1932 Ford highboy roadster. “

Jeff Keevil said: “Today’s car is a hot rod classic – a ’32 Ford roadster. These cars are so popular that you can buy entire brand-new steel reproduction bodies for them!”

Joe Bert said: “You’ve got a 1932 Ford roadster, a highboy. America’s first sports car (not the Corvette). After World War II, soldiers returned and customized them and made them faster and ran at Bonneville with them. They are 80-plus years old and still popular today. Keep up the American classics; we sure appreciate it.”

PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson wrote: “Could this possibly be a hot rod? How about a 1932 Ford roadster?”

THIS WEEK’S CONTEST

Can you tell us the year, make and model of this pickup? Don’t forget: It’s a pickup. If you know what it is, leave a message at (706) 823-3419 or e-mail glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

Please tell us your name and telephone number and the city you live in. It helps if you spell your name for us so we can include your response along with everybody else’s.

You have an extra week to respond: midnight July 8.

A winner will be chosen randomly and your names will be printed Friday, July 11.

– Glynn Moore,

staff writer


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