The Goodguys 2023/2024 Grand Prize Giveaway ’32 Ford Five-Window Coupe is Finished, Fine, and Ready for Prime Time!
One of the best things about hot rodding in 2023 is the sheer volume of history from which we can draw inspiration. Speed enthusiasts have been modifying cars for more than a century now, and the mainstream form of hot rodding that took off after World War II has been with us for nearly 80 years. That’s a long time!
So, when Goodguys decided to get back to the roots of rodding and build a ’32 Ford for our 2024 Grand Prize Giveaway car, the question naturally became which “roots” we were talking about. Should it be a lakes-influenced ’50s-style rod, a drag-inspired ’60s ride, a ’70s-style resto rod, or an ’80s smoothie? In some ways, the answer is “yes” to all of the above!
This dashing Deuce five-window coupe designed by Eric Black and built by Streamline Custom Designs pulls in some of the best elements of the past eight decades of hot rodding. It has a paint color that could have easily come from a ’30s or ’40s Ford assembly line, full fenders like some of our favorite hot rods built in the ’50s and ’60s, fog lights like you might find on a resto rod, and a low stance that street rod builders perfected in the last couple decades. Throw in a modern spin on wide five wheels wrapped in radial rubber, and you’ve got a tasty mix of hot rodding’s greatest hits.
Blending styles is not always a recipe for success, but we think everyone involved in this build did an incredible job of bringing all these elements together into a cool and cohesive whole. And that was really the key to success for this Deuce – assembling the right team.
The crew at Streamline Custom Designs in Tooele, Utah, was a natural choice for building our giveaway Deuce. Shop co-owners Donnie Hall and Isaac Gonzales are both second-generation rodders with a strong interest in hot rod tradition, which you can clearly see in the shop’s top-quality builds. Not only that, both men were excited to join the long list of talented craftsmen who have built Goodguys giveaway cars through the years. “We’re honored to be a part of this process,” Isaac said.
Isaac and Donnie were adamant about bringing artist Eric Black into the process to guide the car’s design. Black is well versed in hot rod tradition, but also knows how to design truly distinctive hot rods by making the right tweaks and cuts – usually very subtle ones that are almost imperceptible but make the finished car significantly better. Black is also a master at incorporating fresh elements that look right at home on a traditional-style build.
A high-quality hot rod begins with a strong foundation, and we turned to Alan Johnson and his team at Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop to build the chassis. The JHRS crew knows exactly how to set up a Deuce chassis and give it a great stance. They started with frame rails and boxing plates from Shadow Rods and then welded in a tubular center X-member assembly, a JHRS front crossmember, and a Pete & Jakes Model A rear crossmember. The front suspension uses a transverse leaf spring from Hollywood Spring (a JHRS company), a Pete & Jakes dropped front axle, and JHRS Hot Rod Hole Shot wishbone-style radius rods. Spindles, kingpins, and shackles are Pete & Jakes items, with polished shocks from Ridetech. The chassis uses cross-style steering with a Vega-style steering box and steering kit from Borgeson.
Around back, a V8 Quick Change rearend from Winters Performance is suspended with another Hollywood spring and located using JHRS Hot Rod Hole Shot ladder bars and a Pete & Jakes Panhard bar. All four corners are equipped with JHRS Kinmont Safety Stop Brakes, which have vented brake covers and backing plates modeled after original Kinmont brakes from the ’40s but benefit from modern Wilwood calipers and rotors inside. Bolted to those brakes are 16×5- and 18×7-inch JHRS Classic Wide Five wheels, a modern take on late-’30s Ford wheels that further enhance the car’s vintage attitude. They’re wrapped in Diamondback Classic radial rubber.
There’s an important deviation from tradition found under the hood of the coupe, where you won’t find a Flathead, or even a small-block Chevy, but instead a 347c.i. stroker small-block Ford V8 from Roush Performance. It’s built with premium internal parts, a roller camshaft, and aluminum heads, and topped with a Borla stack-style throttle body EFI system controlled by Holley Terminator X fuel injection management and MSD ignition. It’s a setup that straddles the line of vintage cool and modern finesse.
The engine also benefits from a pair of custom headers from Stainless Headers flowing into a custom stainless steel exhaust system built using Borla pipes and mufflers. Wicked Fabrication supplied adapters so we could install Y-block valve covers, and then Streamline customized those with wire separators and Offenhauser breathers from Speedway Motors, plus custom emblems from Greening Auto Company. Lokar supplied the vintage-style plug wires, oil and trans dipsticks, and throttle cables. Finishing touches include a March Performance accessory drive system and a Powermaster alternator and mini starter. The engine is backed by a dyno-tested Tru-Street 4R70W four-speed automatic transmission from Bowler Performance.
One of the best things about this Deuce is that we didn’t need to start with 90-year-old sheet metal. Instead, a fresh five-window body was assembled using reproduction panels from United Pacific. This allowed the Streamline crew to forget about rust repair and focus on finessing the details and making a cool car even cooler.
We debated a little on whether to chop the top, and how much. Ultimately, we decided on a subtle 1.5-inch slice. Donnie planned and executed the cuts perfectly, and the resulting height seems just right. “A lot of people won’t notice it,” Eric Black says, “they’ll just wonder why it looks so good.”
Beyond the lowered lid, other subtle mods include slightly extended front fenders, shortened rears, custom rear frame horn covers over shortened frame horns, and a tucked Tanks, Inc. fuel tank. Donnie filled the cowl vent and made all the adjustments necessary to get the Rootlieb hood assembly fit like a glove. Up front, ’34 commercial headlights were mounted to a lowered headlight bar, with amber fog lights added for a distinct look. The spreader bar is curved to flow better with the fenders, and Donnie modified the grille insert to give the effect of a vintage Winterfront unit.
When Donnie finally rolled the body into the paint booth in late spring, the color he mixed up using PPG materials seemed perfect for this neo-classic coupe. It’s a desert beige hue with extra green mixed in, and the resulting earthy tone seems very fitting for a ’30s-era hot rod. Like the car, it’s subtle, classic, and tasteful.
Inside the coupe, the Streamline crew lined the firewall and floors with DEI Boom Mat to insulate the cabin from heat and noise. They also mounted a Vintage Air ComPac Gen II climate control system under the cowl and used an American Autowire fuse panel and harness to connect all the electrical elements, including a complete Kicker audio system.
Cody Nebeker at Seams Impossible Interiors gets credit for the beautiful upholstery work, which consists of distressed leather from Apex Leather and custom Gucci cloth inserts expertly stitched over a WiseGuys bench seat, with matching door and side panels. Custom square-weave carpet covers the floor, while overhead there’s a rich-looking suede headliner. Finishing touches include interior handles from United Pacific, a Speedway Motors rearview mirror, and switches from So-Cal Speed Shop.
The completed coupe strikes a beautiful balance between classic and contemporary. It has a traditional and almost timeless look and feel, yet incorporates modern design elements, comfort features, and performance, not to mention the first-rate craftsmanship and attention to detail we’ve come to expect from the best contemporary street rods. In other words, it’s a distinctively dashing Deuce that reminds us why ’32 Fords have endured as hot rod icons for more than 90 years. And perhaps best of all, next summer it could be yours!
See How The Car Came Together from Start to Finish!
7-Part Build Series:
Part 1 – Introduction | Part 2 – Chassis Fabrication | Part 3 – Chopping the Top | Part 4 – Metal Fabrication
Part 5 – Engine & Mechanicals | Part 6 – Body & Paint | Part 7 – Interior & Final Assembly
You Can Win This Deuce!
One lucky rodder will fire up and drive away in this dashing Deuce coupe at the Goodguys 2024 Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Until then, you can check it out at Goodguys events through the end of 2023 and first half of 2024.
Registered Goodguys participants have a chance to qualify as finalists to win the coupe through the Goodguys Sunday Lucky Ticket program. Simply fill out the Sunday Lucky Ticket from your registration packet and drop it in the yellow barrel prior to the Sunday awards ceremony at any Goodguys event. We’ll qualify one lucky finalist at each event leading up to Columbus. Online entry is also available at www.good-guys.com. One current Goodguys member will also be randomly selected as a finalist prior to the 2024 Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals.
Photos by John Jackson