31 May Chopped, Channeled Hot Rod: 1930 Ford Coupe
Creemore Valley Classics VIP Stories #56
As a young boy I assembled a lot of model car kits. As with most of us, when I left home, I left the models, which my parents carefully packed into cardboard boxes. Many years later, when I was visiting, my mother said, “you are now taking all of them to your home.” I got rid of all but one, which was a Monogram kit, 1932, chopped, and channeled red Ford hot rod coupe. I always loved the look of this little car. I still have it. I knew one day that I would build a hot rod coupe to look like it.
My car dreams had to be put on hold for many years, as work and home ate up most of my time until the ‘90’s, when I was finally able to get into the old car hobby. I bought, built, sold, and traded a few cars, but was never able to find a decent affordable ’32 Ford 5 window coupe.
I eventually retired, and set myself a goal to build a few old cars. The first would be the hot rod coupe similar to that old red model, which was still on my shelf, and in my head, all these years.
I still could not find an affordable steel ’32 Ford coupe. I did find a very complete, decent, and never messed with, 1930 Model A Ford coupe, and decided it would be my hot rod. What I wanted to end up with, was a nostalgia appearing car that looked like it could have been built in the late ‘50’s or early ‘60’s, but with a few modern safety features. I studied the old small hot rod magazines from that era, which I had collected, when I was a kid. (the ones with the black and white pages)
I wanted to do as much as possible myself, in my home shop, but also wanted a real good basis to start with, which to me was a good straight frame, which Paul Horton fabricated for me in his frame jig. I spent 3 years building this car, and a lot more years collecting the parts I used. All of it was, as they say “a labour of love.” I never had a bad day in my shop even when things didn’t go the way I wanted.
The tubing frame is kicked up 7” in the rear, with an 8” Maverick rear end, and a 4 bar, with adjustable coilovers. The front is a dropped I beam axle, with ’48 Ford car spindles, adapted to disc brakes, and pete and jakes hairpin radius rods. Steering is by the hot rod standard, a Vega box.
The 1930 model A body, although in pretty good shape, still needed many patch panels welded in. I chopped the roof 4”, in filled the center roof opening with a 1965 mustang roof section, and channeled the body down 3” over the frame. The body is welded to a steel tubing sub frame with a steel floor, which is all bolted to the main frame. Most of the body wood was replaced with metal, but there is still some of the original 1930 wood, as well as some new wood. Once the body work was completed it was taken to Kerr Auto Body in Orillia, for final finishing and paint. Then the car was brought home, and everything was assembled for the final time.
The engine is a GM crate 350, dressed to look like an older 327, complete with triple Rochester carbs and a lot of polished aluminum and stainless. I also did my own polishing. The transmission is a 350 turbo, with a mild shift kit installed and a Lokar shifter. The rims are steel, 15×6” on the front, and 15×8” reversed on the rears, both with baby moon caps. Tires are Diamondback radial wide whites.
The car has been on the road for 3 summers, goes down the road straight, stops quick and straight, and is a blast to drive. Although I go to a few shows and cruise nights, mainly for the social aspect, and the great people I meet, it was built to drive and enjoy. And I do.
Owner: Cliff Watson