Don Smith of Mansfield, Texas brought his 1932 Ford 4-Door Sedan to the 2014 Detroit Autorama here at the Cobo Center to compete in the Ridler Award judging. Watching their crew set up you knew they meant business. Everyone here at the 2014 Detroit Autorama says that this ’32 is a serious contender among the Great 8 finalists. Their car is a traditional hot rod build with old school look and paint. The strong point on this car is that it is technically perfect. It is as flawless underneath as it is on top. Hot Rods by JSK in Texas did all the design, build and assembly on this car. Their assignment from Smith was to “time travel” back to a period during the late ’50s and early ’60s when street rods like this were built. With that mindset they were to use mostly period type parts to build this rod. That means they literally had to fabricate almost everything on the car by hand. It is all new built from scratch. And it took about three years to complete. They told us they pretty much finished it just as they were loading it on the trailer to bring it here.
The body resembles a deuce Fordor sedan. But this is not an old Ford restoration. Hot Rods by JSK built a custom frame with an S arch over the rear wheels much like a ’33 or ’34 Ford. Then they fabricated the body the way it would look if it had been chopped and channeled. The back doors open like suicide doors on this 4-door car. When opened (see photo below) there is no B pillar to inhibit getting in which allows easy access to the interior. What Hot Rods by JSK did was to hide the center post in the back doors.
This beautiful hotrod has a well appointed, bored and stroked Thunderbird 312 ci V8 engine with chromed Laker style headers and short pipes coming out each side. They told us it was a real ’57 Y block that they used. They topped it with a rare Hilborne injection unit which was converted to digital. The transmission is a T-5 Chevy 5-speed with a custom designed shifter. A chromed Winters Quick Change was used to hook up the rear drive axle.
They used a Schroeder steering box to create a sprint car type system to turn the car. They made buckets for the gauges out of ’37 Ford taillights, and sent them to Classic Instruments for the hardware. The brakes were redesigned from a ’39 Lincoln.
The leather interior was done by Paul Atkins, known for his custom interiors.
Don Smith is an ex Pro-Stock truck driver with a preference for Deuce Fords. He has had a number of them in his collection.
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