Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop Builds a First-Rate 1932 Ford Chassis for the Goodguys 2023/2024 Grand Prize Giveaway 5-Window Coupe
As we announced back in November, Goodguys is getting back to hot rodding roots with our 2023/2024 Grand Prize Giveaway vehicle – a ’32 Ford five-window coupe. We’re really looking forward to seeing this Eric Black-designed Deuce come together in 2023 at Streamline Custom Designs using United Pacific body panels, a Ford crate engine from Roush Performance, and a host of other top-quality parts from the hot rod aftermarket.
Any rodder will tell you that a high-quality build starts with a strong foundation, and the crew at Streamline knew exactly where to turn for that: Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop. As you’re certainly aware, Alan Johnson and his JHRS team are renowned for their complete hot rod builds, including a long line of Deuces through the years. One thing those ’32s have all had in common is a killer stance. The team there really knows how to set up a 1932 Ford chassis, so we were thrilled when they agreed to help with the project by building a frame and assembling it with all the right suspension ingredients – including many components manufactured at JHRS.
This month we’re going to take a look at how that foundation was created as we watch the chassis come together at Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop. The team started with a set of frame rails and boxing plates from Shadow Rods. These were secured in a frame fixture at JHRS so the tubular center X-member assembly could be welded in, along with a JHRS front crossmember and a Model A rear crossmember from Pete & Jakes.
The front suspension came together using a transverse leaf spring from Hollywood Spring & Axle (a JHRS company), a Pete & Jakes dropped front axle, and Hot Rod Hole Shot wishbone-style radius rods from JHRS. Spindles, kingpins, and shackles are Pete & Jakes items, with RideTech polished covered shocks providing necessary dampening. The chassis uses proven cross-style steering with a Vega-style steering box from Borgeson and a JHRS steering kit.
Around back, a V8 Quick Change rearend from Winters Performance adds both nostalgia and versatility. It’s suspended using another Hollywood spring and located using JHRS Hot Rod Hole Shot ladder bars and a Panhard bar from Pete & Jakes. Another pair of RideTech shocks controls bounce, while a JHRS sway bar will help with handling.
Both the front and rear axles will be capped off with JHRS Kinmont Safety Stop Brakes. Modeled after the rare early-style disc brakes built for a short time in the late-1940s – and long prized by hot rodders – the new JHRS versions use similar vented brake covers and backing plates as the originals, but with Wilwood calipers and rotors inside for modern stopping power and serviceability. The distinctive appearance – combined with components like the Hot Rod Hole Shot wishbones – will definitely help to set this Deuce apart from the crowd.
The brakes will ultimately be paired with Classic Wide Five wheels from JHRS, another modern take on vintage-style hot rod parts. Those will get bolted on as the car gets finished up. For now, though, the chassis will roll around on a set of Guniwheels. These universal steel wheels with airless polyurethane rubber tread have gained a strong following with hot rod builders as a means for easily moving and rolling projects around the shop. Their narrow, lightweight design makes them easier to store and change out than conventional wheels and tires, and you never need to worry about flats.
What do you think – does the chassis look like a great foundation for a Deuce coupe? We think so! Take a look at how it came together, and then stay tuned for more updates on this cool coupe in upcoming months.
Photos courtesy Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop