At the turn of the century, it was arguably the Honda Civic that best defined inexpensive performance tuning, and in the '50s it was the Tri-5 Chevys. One of the earliest platforms to gain a huge following among young people looking for a cheap way to go fast was the classic '32 Ford Highboy Roadster. This week, Jay Leno's Garage looks at one of the very first vehicles that defined the look of the hot rod heyday.
This '32 Ford was built in the '40s and graced the cover of the fourth issue of Hot Rod Magazine back in 1948. All of the hot rods that you see shining at car shows today owe a serious debt of gratitude to this roadster. It bears all of the cues that define the look, including a notched frame and hidden door hinges. Under the three-piece hood is a flathead V8 boasting all sorts of period modifications, including copper cylinder heads. It was seriously fast in its era too, and proved it by reaching 112.21 miles per hour on a dry lakebed in 1947.
These days, this hot rod is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Although, if you can't make it to California to see it, the United States Postal Service is celebrating this Ford with one of its two hot rod Forever stamps. Like Jay says in the video, in terms of hot rodding, "it all comes back to this." Check out the video to learn more about this rolling piece of tuning history.Permalink | Email this | Comments
After one of the worst winters in recent memory for much of the country, summer is finally here. It's time to drop the top, open the sunroof or at least put down the windows and take a long drive. The United States Postal Service is celebrating the season's sun in automotive style with two new hot rod Forever stamps.
Both stamps depict classic '32 Ford hot rods. One shows the car from the front at a low angle in red (pictured above), while the other depicts the car from the back in black with flames running down the side.
To introduce the new stamps on their first day of availability, the USPS went straight to the source at the National Street Rod Association Street Rod Nationals in York, PA. They were unveiled by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Car Crazy host Barry Meguiar and NSRA Special Events Director Jerry Kennedy.
The hot rod stamps are available now in booklets of 20 from your local post office, or they can be purchased online. The Post Office is also selling a framed 7-inch by 9-inch print of the art featured on the stamps for $19.95, through its website. Scroll down to read the full announcement of the new stamps.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If you're going to build your own hot rod, you'll want to start with a '32 Ford 5-Window Coupe. Favored by American servicemen returning from World War II, the '32 Ford remains the very icon of the hot rod to this day. The trouble is there were only so many of them made in the first place, and finding one today can be a challenge. That's where reproduction models come in.
The aftermarket is replete with companies that will sell you a fiberglass body in the form of a '32 Ford coupe, but quality can be hit or miss. So to help meet demand among hot rod builders and enthusiasts, Ford has teamed up with United Pacific Industries to offer officially licensed body shells.
Announced at the SEMA show in November, the '32 Ford 5-Window Coupe body is made from stamped steel according to original specifications from original machinery where possible or reproduced machinery built to the same original specifications where necessary. The bodies are ready to accept vintage powertrains or crate motors from the Ford Racing catalog, and join the 9,000 other parts offered in the Ford Component Sales catalog - including similar reproduction bodies available for the 1965-70 Mustang and 1940 Ford Coupe. From there, the proverbial sky's the limit.Permalink | Email this | Comments