A Salute to the Deuce! A Collection of Winning Deuces from the Goodguys Top 12 Awards
It’s the Year of the Deuce! This year marks the 90th anniversary of the 1932 Ford, affectionately known as the Deuce to hot rodders around the world. Long considered the quintessential hot rod, no vehicle has had a bigger influence on the hobby than the ’32 Ford.
The introduction of the Flathead V8 helped cement the ’32 Ford’s place in automotive history. The first low-priced, mass-produced V8, the engine soon served as a springboard for the performance aftermarket to develop and flourish. And the single-year body style of the Deuce gave it an almost mythical appeal, with a handsome form-following-function design that carried through from the upright grille, to the clean and simple body lines, to the aesthetically pleasing frame rails that looked great when hot rodders removed fenders and running boards in their quest for speed.
Goodguys will be celebrating the Deuce in a variety of ways throughout the 2022 event season. We thought we’d start by taking a look back at some winning Deuces – ’32 Fords that have won coveted Goodguys Top 12 Of the Year awards through the decades. The cars showcased here are some of the biggest trendsetters and coolest ’32s from the past quarter century. Even better, they all still look bitchin’ today. After all, a Deuce never really goes out of style.
’32 Ford Roadster
Some styles never fall out of fashion, like Bob Rothenberg’s full-fendered Deuce roadster, which won Street Rod of the Year in 1998. The car employed many time-honored traditions: a Pete & Jake’s chassis (built by Pete Eastwood himself) with a quick-change rearend and big-and-little Real Rodders wheels; a mostly stock but extremely well-fitted body; and a tastefully chopped (2-inches) windshield. Under the hood was a rare (one of 74) all-aluminum ZL1 427c.i. big-block Chevy for visual and seat-of-the-pants impact. Finished with a tasteful rolled and pleated interior, Bob’s metallic blue roadster was so timeless it would have looked just as fashionable in 1978 as it does today.
1932 Ford Roadster
Leonard Lopez got his start in motorcycle and USAC Midget racing, so it’s no surprise that the hot rods he’s created at his Dominator shop in the past quarter century frequently have a strong competition influence. Leonard’s personal Deuce roadster added enough refinement and flair to capture the Goodguys Street Rod d’Elegance crown in 2001 thanks in part to a smooth body coated in Ferrari Red paint and a curved-glass windshield. Even the power came from a refined source – there was a finely detailed and well-dressed Cadillac Northstar V8 breathing through those polished side pipes. Polished Halibrand wheels provided sparkle, while European-style tan leather upholstery finished off the cockpit in fine style.
Kugel Muroc Roadster
Kugel Komponents ushered in the new Millennium by offering exclusive Muroc roadster packages consisting of stylized steel bodies built by Marcel DeLay paired with custom Kugel chassis featuring independent front and rear suspensions. They sold 20 in total – 10 highboys, and 10 fendered roadsters. Nick Barron bought one of each and had them built into matching red rods. The full-fendered beauty was built by Mike’s Street Rods and featured an LS engine, 4L60E transmission, Boyd Coddington wheels, a DuVall-inspired windshield, and a beautiful tan leather interior by Gabe’s Custom Upholstery. The car has traded hands several times since 2001 and is now in the Matranga Collection alongside the 2020 America’s Most Beautiful-winning ’55 Chevy.
’32 Ford 5-Window Coupe
George Poteet’s very traditional ’32 five-window coupe was built by Dave Lane at Fast Lane Rod Shop. Poteet wanted a hot rod with decidedly ’60s style and Lane delivered with a traditional chassis using a dropped front axle, ’41 Ford front wishbones, ’36 Ford rear wishbones, a Winters banjo-style rearend, and a triple-carb Ford small-block dressed with vintage T-bird valve covers. Subtle body mods included a sneaky 1-inch top chop and roadster quarter panels, all covered in Henry’s favorite color. White and yellow upholstery provided some contrast (and matched the wire wheels), while a ’40 dash and steering wheel and a ’64 Galaxie shifter (rowing a five-speed transmission) completed the period theme.
’32 Ford Roadster
Roger Ritzow’s understated Deuce roadster was one of the first early street rod efforts for builder Troy Trepanier. The Pete & Jake’s frame was kicked up and C-notched in the rear, while the front was recontoured and sectioned to achieve the slinky stance. Those “vintage” 16- and 19-inch wheels were carved from billet aluminum, and the Flathead V8 had electronic fuel injection hidden under vintage Hilborn stacks. Subtle body tricks included raised rear fender reveals, a stretched hood, and a tucked and reshaped fuel tank. Brushed nickel plating, hidden wiring and plumbing, gray Jim Griffin-stitched leather and other quiet touches all combined to make this and unassuming yet sophisticated street rod.
1932 Ford Tudor
The Hot Rod of the Year award started out as a regional honor, with finalists selected at multiple events and a winner determined at year’s end. Doug MacLanders qualified with his bitchin’ Deuce Tudor and never looked back! Powered by a dual-quad ’57 Chrysler Hemi, the chopped and louvered highboy sedan had classic hot rod touches like a dropped and drilled axle located by hairpins, 15- and 17-inch American wheels, and deep black paint. Finished off with yards of gray leather tuck ’n roll upholstery and a three-spoke steering wheel inside, the British Columbia-based Deuce showed the other finalists what classic American hot rodding is all about.
Paul & Erik Hansen
1932 Ford Roadster
Keeping a traditional feel while crafting a car flashy enough to attract top honors can be a tricky balance, but that’s what happened with “Sedeuced,” Paul and Erik Hansen’s ’32 Ford roadster built by Steve Moal, Tom Walsh, and other noted craftsmen. It started with a Moal-built tubular chassis with torsion bar suspensions, a forged aluminum front axle, and a custom rear center section machined by Lil’ John Buttera. A highly detailed 383c.i. stroker engine and Tremec transmission were part of the mechanical package, while the heavily massaged body was adorned with sleek speed blisters and screens, in addition to the beautiful Darryl Hollenbeck PPG paint. Finished with elegant Sid Chavers upholstery, Sedeuced was a true standout street rod.
’32 Ford Roadster
A classic Deuce with early Ferrari influence was the concept behind Dennis DeCamp’s F-32 roadster built by Barry White’s Street Rod Repair Company. The elongated aluminum body was designed by Chris Brown and hand formed by Marcel DeLay before being painted PPG F-32 red. White’s crew crafted a custom chassis with an Indy-style inboard front independent suspension, quick-change IRS, and an aluminum Jon Barrett-built 427c.i. Ford Windsor V8. The custom-carved wheels had obvious Ferrari influence, as did the custom dash, instrument cluster, and steering wheel, while the Gabe Lopez interior wore details like brushed aluminum door panel inserts and stainless seat cushion trim. You could study details on this one for hours.
1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Even in 2007, it seemed unusual for a 36-year-old hot rodder to capture the Hot Rod of the Year title with a largely owner-built Deuce coupe. Larry Brunkala’s black Ohio-look hot rod, built with the help of friend and future Precision Hot Rods business partner Danny Tesar, had all the goods, though – a dropped and drilled Super Bell axle, So-Cal Speed Shop hairpins, and skinny Halibrand spindle-mount front wheels paired with massive ETIIIs out back. The stout small-block Chevy engine was fed by Enderle EFI and provided plenty of punch. Gazette editor Kirk Jones summed it up best when he said the coupe “sounds really wicked and scares kids.” Sounds like a hot rod to us!
’32 Ford Sedan Delivery
George Poteet and Dave Lane make a pretty dynamic duo, as evidenced by two Street Rod of the Year wins five years apart. This ’32 Ford sedan delivery received Lane’s usual dose of extensive-yet-subtle modifications, like shortened doors, lengthened quarter panels, and modified inner steel door panels from a ’32 truck for a more utilitarian feel. The frame even used modified button-head bolts to appear riveted together. Custom 16- and 18-inch wheels were modeled after Divco milk truck wheels, while the triple-carb 327 was impeccably detailed. The cargo area inside used wooden slats and panels, leaving just the seats to receive the Carhartt jacket fabric upholstery. It was simple in appearance, but certainly not in execution.
Cale & Bridgett Kern
1932 Ford Tudor
Cale Kern and his family finished a yearlong thrash on their ’32 Ford Tudor the night before it competed for Hot Rod of the Year. “The only thing we didn’t do as a family on this car was the upholstery,” Cale said. “My wife, Bridgett, did a lot of the design and chose the colors and look of the car. She also handled all the final sanding and prep of every panel on the car. My 7-year-old daughter, Carlee, was right there with me every day, building the engine. She lapped the valves!” Highlights on this cool sedan included a 1½-inch top chop, 1-inch channeled body, Winters quick-change rearend, 401c.i. Buick Nailhead V8, ’40 Zephyr dash, and red-and-cream pleated upholstery.
1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Arizona hot rodder Joe Schott commissioned Mike and Randy Way of All Ways Hot Rods to craft this bitchin’ blue ’32 Ford coupe designed by Jimmy Smith. The Way brothers started with a rare Dearborn Deuce coupe body and a Boyd Coddington chassis modified with bobbed front frame horns and inboard coil-over shocks and rolling on one-off 18- and 20-inch Coddington wheels. A painted and polished LS1 resided behind those hood blisters, connected to a 4L60 transmission. A custom grille and one-off stainless trim complemented the body, which was bathed in bright House of Kolor Oriental Blue paint. Camel leather upholstery adorned the interior, which also featured three onboard cameras, an LED video screen, and a DVD player.
’32 Ford B-400
Class and craftsmanship were a winning combination for Doug Cooper’s ’32 Ford B-400, the Deucenberg, built by Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop. The car began as a Tudor sedan and was transformed by JHRS into the rare B-400 body style. Besides the altered roofline and cloth-covered, lift-off aluminum top, the car featured suicide doors, a narrowed grille and cowl, angled A- and B-pillars, and meticulous fit and finish, all under rich BASF Bordeaux red paint. The chassis used a beam axle and coil-over rear suspension – along with Dayton wires – to achieve that perfect hot rod rake. With an impressively detailed LS6 under the hood and Paul Atkins-stitched leather inside, the Deucenberg exhibited both hot rod style and classic elegance.
’32 Muroc Roadster
As the founder of a successful supercharger company, it was natural for Jerry Magnuson to have a bitchin’ roadster. He bought one of the 20 limited-production Muroc roadsters – a roller package consisting of a Foose-designed, Marcel DeLay-built body on a Kugel chassis – and spent several years adding personal touches like hidden headlights, a custom dash, and an LS1 with an intercooled Magnacharger. Then he commissioned Foose to do the finish work, including two-tone butterscotch and champagne paint and custom trim. Foose also designed the wheels and the interior, which was stitched in two-tone leather by Jim Griffin. Magnuson’s Muroc was a triple-crown winner in 2010, taking home Goodguys Street Rod of the Year, Street Rod d’Elegance, and America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod.
1932 Ford Roadster
Floyd Williams grew up drag racing in Southern California, so it was no surprise that his Deuce Roadster built by Dave Lane at Fast Lane Rod Shop had a distinctive ’60s-style street-and-strip vibe. Polished big-window Halibrand wheels wrapped in Hurst cheater slicks helped set the theme, along with skinny Real Wheels front wheels on a Magnum 5-inch dropped axle and So-Cal hairpins. The small-block Chevy engine was topped with Hilborn stack injection, fitted with a Joe Hunt magneto and Corvette valve covers, and connected to a Tremec five-speed sending power to a Winters quick-change rearend. DuPont Super Jet Black single-stage paint and diamond-pleated black upholstery carried the theme all the way through on this badass Deuce.
’32 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Phil Becker’s coupe was another Dave Lane standout that was chock full of hard-to-detect modifications like a ¾-inch top chop, a gently pie-cut hood, and a rear window leaned ever-so-slightly forward. Lane also built new splash aprons, cut and adjusted all the fenders, and reshaped the fuel tank and rear spreader bar to match the body contour. The butterscotch paint was a departure from street rod conventions but looked great paired with chocolate brown 15- and 17-inch Dayton wire wheels with matching leather upholstery by Dave Shober. The chassis used a dropped front axle, Winters quick-change rear, and a triple-carb small-block Chevy, with that special Dave Lane dedication to stance that set it apart from the pack.
1932 Ford Roadster
Michael Tarquinio’s original steel Deuce roadster was first built in the 1970s, then mothballed for nearly 40 years before Michael stumbled upon it in the rafters of an old Pennsylvania barn. Built with the help of G.I.S. Automotive, the classic-style hot rod was built on a So-Cal Speed Shop chassis with a six-carb ’57 Olds J2 engine fitted with aluminum heads and backed by a Tremec five-speed transmission sending power to a Winters quick-change rear. A Pines Winterfront grille, Zephyr fog lights and taillights, and butternut yellow artillery wheels augmented the Washington Blue body, while a ’40 Lincoln steering wheel and dash highlighted the red leather interior on this beautiful roadster.
’32 Ford Vicky
Builder Bobby Alloway brought his signature style to Dave Walsh’s gorgeous ’32 Vicky. Smooth, clean, and aggressive, the deep PPG black paint covered a flawlessly prepared body that was smoothed and stretched 3-inches. The custom chassis had a 5-inch dropped front axle, a quick-change rearend, and 17- and 20-inch Billet Specialties wheels providing that distinctive Alloway stance. Under the hood was another Alloway staple: a thumpin’ 502c.i. big-block Chevy mated to a Tremec five-speed transmission. The inside was just as clean and classy, with burled wood-graining on the dash, and tasty caramel-colored leather upholstery stitched by Steve Holcomb’s Pro Auto. Tasteful and timeless was the best way to sum up this sanitary Vicky.
1932 Ford Roadster
After racing Trans Am, Formula Atlantic, and IndyCar machines, Tom Gloy was looking for some street thrills and turned to Roy Brizio Street Rods to build this sleek, channeled, traditionally styled ’32 Ford roadster. The Brizio team narrowed the cowl and windshield, sectioned the grille shell, radically lowered the floor, and filled the rear quarters before Darryl Hollenbeck of Vintage Color Studio applied the Porsche blue paint. The body was supported by a custom chassis with a torsion bar suspension from Moal Coachbuilders, a Magnum front axle, and 16- and 18-inch ET knockoff wheels, with a Hilborn-injected 302c.i. Ford small-block and Tremec five-speed for power. Finished with red leather upholstery, it was a hot rod roadster with sports car sensibilities.
’32 Ford Fordoor Sedan
Built by Jeff Kinsey, Don Smith’s Deuce Fordoor stood out in a realm dominated by coupes and roadsters. The DuPont orange body was lightly wedge chopped, had the B-pillar removed (the front and rear doors inter-locked), and was channeled an inch over the custom Hot Rods by JSK frame. Quarter-elliptic springs, a dropped front axle, a Winters quick-change rearend, and Dayton wires wrapped in Coker tires completed the chassis. The vintage 312c.i. Y-block received modern EFI inside a Hilborn intake and was connected to a T5 transmission. The detailed interior incorporated dimple-die metal accents, sprint car steering, a clever suspended gauge pod/column drop, and Paul Atkins leather upholstery with glove-style stitching. This Fordoor was really double the fun.
1932 Ford Roadster
Al Nagele wanted a ’32 Ford roadster with a modern European sports car twist and came up with the “Deuce Flyer,” a slick silver bullet that he designed and had crafted by the talented team at Roadster Shop. The custom chassis used a Pete & Jakes dropped axle and a potent LS engine topped by dual quads and backed by a Tremec transmission. The highly modified Brookville Roadster body featured raised rear wheel wells, a reshaped cowl, a stretched hood with louvered sides, and bright pewter paint that matched the spokes on the Billet Specialties wheels. Sculpted brown leather covered the seats and side panels, with center-mounted Classic Instruments in the dash and a wood-grained rim on the custom wheel.
1932 Ford Tudor
George Poteet’s GTP ’32 Ford Tudor, built by Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop, was a bad-to-the-bone black sedan that was not nearly as simple as it first appeared. Slightly sectioned frame rails and custom-machined wishbones were just a couple of tricks on the chassis, which also employed JHRS’s Kinmont-style brakes, a Winters quick-change, and 16- and 18-inch magnesium wheels. Keith Dorton built the 312c.i. Y-block engine, which had custom Hilborn injection and a Bowler-built Tremec five-speed. The sleek body received a tapered chop, narrowed B-pillars, raised and re-arched rear wheel openings, a custom hood, and flawless PPG paint. An innovative wood floor complemented by leather upholstery and Classic Instruments gauges completed this lean, clean, and mean jaw-dropping machine.
Phil & Debbie Becker
1932 Ford Victoria
Owner Phil Becker and builder Dave Lane had a winning combination with “Miss Vicky.” This understated, incredibly detailed Victoria was started by Phil with a Moal chassis and Winters quick-change rearend rolling on 15- and 17-inch Dayton wires. The smoothed Chevy V8 sports Borla stack injection with custom air cleaner assemblies and is backed by a Bowler-built 4L60E. Lane’s subtle body tricks include a barely chopped windshield, a pie-cut and lengthened hood, recontoured fenders, and many other subtle tweaks under Nardo Gray paint. A ’39 Lincoln Zephyr gauge cluster adds distinction inside, along with elegant black leather upholstery.
1932 Ford Tudor
Nathan Powell and the team at Goolsby Customs wanted a timeless look for Nathan’s sedan and hit it out of the park with this two-tone beauty. A Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop chassis delivers a great stance with a dropped front axle, JHRS wishbones, RideTech shocks, JHRS Kinmont-style brakes, and 15- and 17-inch Wheelsmith artillery-style wheels. The 383c.i. stroker V8 is dressed like a vintage Chevy mill with Corvette valve covers and a ’Vette-inspired air cleaner on the FAST EFI system. The body has been treated to minor mods and major fine tuning and finessing, along with BASF Celedon Mist paint, Cumberland Green accents, and black fenders. Moore & Giles leather and vintage Lincoln fabric finish off the cabin in style.
1932 Ford 5-window Coupe
Built by Steadfast Manufacturing, Norman’s five-window coupe has that bad-to-the-bone attitude with stretched wheelbase, agile rake, and classic-looking 16- and 18-inch wheels from Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop wrapped in Firestone rubber. The wedge-chopped top, sectioned hood, flush-fitting roof insert, and other nips and tucks are bathed in deep black PPG paint complemented by a bronze finish on the Pines Winterfront-style grille and nickel-plated trim. The Aaron Blatter-built 383c.i. stroker small-block Chevy offers plenty of rumble under the hood, fed by triple Rochesters from Hot Rod Carbs and backed by a 700R4 transmission. Inside, more custom metalwork is complemented by distressed diamond-stitched Relicate leather upholstery by M&M Hot Rod Interiors, Classic Instruments in a Greening dash insert, and a one-off steering wheel.
It’s been a few months since this article was originally written for the 2022 Goodguys Yearbook and there have been four more stunning 1932 Ford’s chosen for Goodguys Top 12 awards: John Hornbrook’s 3-Window Coupe – 2021 Hot Rod of the Year; Gary DeVine’s Roadster Pickup – 2021 Street Rod d’Elegance; Pat Gauntt’s Coupe – 2022 Street Rod d’Elegance; and Mike Whitney’s Roadster – 2022 Hot Rod of the Year.
Photos from Goodguys archives