Home-Spun Fun – The 2022 Speedway Motors Traditional Homebuilt Heaven Winner
“You only show high-dollar pro-built cars and trucks in your magazine!”
That’s a common critique we hear at Goodguys, one that gets aimed at a lot of publications and automotive media sites. And while it’s true that we showcase a good share of high-end builds, Goodguys has never forgotten that this great hobby is fueled by the midnight oil burned by countless do-it-yourself enthusiasts pursuing their passion in home garages and workshops.
Goodguys and Speedway Motors celebrate the DIY ethos of hot rodding with the Traditional Homebuilt Heaven award. This award is chosen from the Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven area, which is one of the most popular Saturday Special Parking Areas at Goodguys National events. It’s a great way for do-it-yourselfers to show off their hard work and for Goodguys to reinforce the quality and creativity that comes out of home garages.
Congratulations Greg Otte for his 2022 Traditional Homebuilt Heaven winning ride! Greg will receive a gift certificate, jacket, and more prize swag from Speedway Motors. Read more about his ride below.
“I’ve been involved with street rods since I could walk,” says Gret Otte, who grew up in central Iowa helping his father, Bud, work on cars and spent summer vacations attending rod runs and car shows. “My Dad probably had 15 ’32s over his lifetime,” Greg says, so it was only natural he’d start on his own Deuce project well before he even had a driver’s license.
“I got this when I was in eighth grade, in pieces,” Greg says of his ’32 Ford three-window coupe. That was back in 1976, and he and his father spent a couple years building it into a bucks-down street rod that Greg could drive in high school. They took the body back off the frame when he was a high school senior and redid the chassis with a triangulated four bar rear suspension and a fresh front suspension. By the early-’80s it was back on the road as a maroon full-fendered street rod with wire wheels and a 350c.i. small block engine and was enjoyed for nearly two decades in that form.
“In 1999, I decided I wanted a highboy,” Greg says. “I took it kind of the traditional route.” His father helped him give the coupe a makeover by losing the fenders, filling the top, and removing the cowl lights. The chassis was updated with a Posies spring, Super Bell dropped axle, and Pete & Jakes four bar front suspension. The Center Line wheels were replaced with 15-inch steelies painted body color and topped with ’47 Ford hubcaps. And the body was treated to fresh paint courtesy of Greg’s father – a custom-mixed hue based on Volkswagen Baja Red. “My Dad painted probably 10 cars that color,” Greg says. “They called it Bud Otte Red.”
Fast forward another two decades and the coupe got a little more freshening courtesy of the forced downtime most of us had due to the pandemic. “During Covid, I replaced a lot of parts, and most of what I got came from Speedway,” Greg says. This included things like QA1 adjustable coil-overs for the rear suspension, a new Walker radiator, a fresh Mustang steering box, stainless Tru-Ram exhaust manifolds, new headlight mounts, LED taillights, and a four-spoke steering wheel. That wheel tops a chrome tilt column, and the interior is also home to a Lokar swan-neck shifter and white-face VDO gauges.
Greg now owns a pair of Deuces, as the three-window shares garage space with a Victoria. He’s quick to note the coupe is “nothing fancy.” The paint is almost a quarter century old. The maroon vinyl upholstery dates back to 1981. There’s no carpet. The 350c.i. small-block and TH350 transmission were both sourced from a junkyard years ago. But it’s the memories he’s made over nearly 50 years, and the pride of working on the car with his late father, that makes this simple Deuce an extra special street rod for Greg.