SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford Coupe Jim Fortelny

2024 Meguiar’s Street Rod d’Elegance Finalist -1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

Most hot rods and customs are built to meet the dreams and desires of their owners, though it’s common for those aspirations to evolve once the project is underway. For Jim Fortelny, the goal for this 1932 Ford 3-window coupe was forever altered when he met Henry Wehr at Henry Wehr Engineering.

SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

“I was going to build this car as a driver,” Jim says. “After meeting Henry and finding his amazing talent, I soon changed direction and wanted to have a car built to showcase Henry’s talents and have something I could drive and be able to compete with some of the amazing builds you see in magazines. I think we have accomplished that.”

SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

Jim found the beginnings of the project in the corner of a friend’s shop. It was a fiberglass Ravon body on a frame with a dropped Super Bell front axle, wishbones, and a Winters quick-change rearend. It would ultimately get completed with Kinmont brakes from Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop and 16-inch knock-off wheels from Vintage Wheels.

SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

The 327c.i. small-block Chevy was built by John Hurley and features traditional elements like a performance cam, long-tube headers, vintage Tri-power carbs on an Edelbrock intake, and a magneto-look distributor. Henry Wehr’s handiwork can be seen with custom-machined pieces like the fuel rails and air cleaner, and fabricated elements like the valve cover centers and fan shroud. The engine is backed by a Tremec six-speed controlled by a custom shifter.

SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

The chopped body has ample hot rod attitude thanks in part to more than 300 louvers in the steel hood top, roof insert, and deck lid. Monroy’s Body Shop in Buellton, California gets credit for completing the bodywork and spraying the Porsche Slate Gray finish. Commercial headlights and ’32 taillights from Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop help finish things off, along with a race-style fuel filler on the rear quarter and a curved rear spreader bar.

SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

There’s much more Henry Wehr handiwork inside, where you’ll find custom-fabricated metal door panels, a trick transmission tunnel, and many other one-off parts complementing the brown leather upholstery by Rick Simmons. There’s even a vintage brass fire extinguisher mounted in the center of the modified Glide seat, not to mention custom pedals and handles. Moal Bomber gauges help complete the vintage theme. Custom finishes by Cap’s Coatings cover most of the custom-fabricated pieces.

SRDE Finalist 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe

Finished in time to compete for the Slonaker Award at the 2022 Grand National Roadster Show, Jim’s 1932 Ford 3-window coupe has delivered all of his objectives. “This car is not only fun to drive,” he says, “it has been a blast to show. Special thanks to my wife Carol for her patience, and my great granddaughter Taylee for her detailing.”

See the other Meguair’s Street Rod d’Elegance Finalists:

1934 Ford Roadster

1936 Ford Coupe

1937 Ford Sedan

Winner: 1932 Ford Phaeton

Photos by Michael Christensen and Damon Lee

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.