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FOR SALE: 1932 Ford Roadster

by Dave on February 1, 2020

Gary_at speed



When Gary decided to put his roadster up for sale, I started buying lottery tickets. Seriously. This car’s special. It’s one of those remarkable hot rods that an experienced fabricator built for himself. Simple and traditional, it employs original Ford parts throughout. But Gary’s a machinist, so the tolerances in this roadster are more akin to NASA than pre-WWII Detroit. It’s obvious in the fit and finish. But it’s even more evident in the things you can’t see, like the absence of shimmies, shakes or rattles in the suspension, the buttery smooth transmission, the head-jerking performance of the big flathead, and the wonderful road manners.

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The car pulls from idle to over 5000 rpm smoothly and quickly, with no stumble or hesitation. With its 26 tooth Lincoln Zephyr trans and 3.54 ring and pinion you can easily hit 60 in first gear, 80 in second, and outlaw status in third.


The engine is a powerhouse. Built from an unmolested ’48 59L block, its 1/8 inch bore and 3/8 inch stroke pump it up to 286 inches. The machine work, balancing and assembly was done at Gary Howard’s Flathead City in Grants Pass, OR. Detailed specs are outlined below, but of special interest are the heads.


Gary and partner in the roadster Jim Tipper detail the new Evans heads.

We don’t have to tell you who Earl Evans was. His speed equipment was considered by many to be the best available and powered many cars to track and land speed records. A couple of years back Evans Speed Equipment was persuaded to recast some of Earl’s heads from his original tooling. Ten sets were cast, of these six were finish-machined. Gary’s roadster got Set Number Five.

The polished intake is also an Evans, an original, as are the three big chrome Stromberg 48 carburetors. This three carb setup required repositioning of the generator so Gary machined a handsome, one-off side mount along with a new bearing mount for the fan.


Inside the block are a Scat 4 1/8 inch crank and H-beam rods, Ross pistons, and a Schneider 400SR cam. The Evans heads were milled specifically to handle the cam’s mighty .386 lift. Fired by a modified Mallory distributor, the balanced internals drive the car through a 26lb Weber flywheel and McLeod 10.5 inch clutch. Headers are Fenton and Gary built a stainless straight pipe exhaust system with just enough baffling to keep the neighbors at bay. The big motor, lumpy cam and straight pipes combine to produce a rumble so delightful it can’t even be put into words.

Gary and his partner Jim Tipper wired the car using traditional cloth-covered wire from Rhode Island Wire. They also installed a radiator from Walker. The car always runs cool and strong, even on the hottest days in our relentless beach town traffic.


The chassis is made up of ASC rails, a Model A front crossmember, and a ’34 Ford-style center and rear crossmember from Brookville. The front end combines a forged Chassis Engineering dropped and drilled axle with stainless hairpins and a pair of Pete & Jakes’ shocks. All of it, including the ’46-’48 Ford backing plates and modified So Cal scoops, is either plated or polished.


The rear end combines a ’36 Ford banjo and original spring with a pair of Monroe tube shocks. Rear brakes are ’40 Ford. As noted above, the ring and pinion have been updated to a highway-friendly 3.54 and the entire rear end protected with one of Gary’s ingenious pinion seals. These machined seals prevent lubricant in the banjo from drilling its way up the torque tube, starving the banjo and flooding the transmission – a concern in all early V8 Ford cars, especially those sitting on a rake.

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For comfort and handling the roadster is shod in tall, skinny Excelsior Stahl radials, 5.50-16 in front, 7.50-16 out back. Of special note are the wheels. In order to run original-style ’32 hubcaps on the Vintique wheels, Gary milled a set of adapters out of four solid, billet aluminum blocks.


An earlier photo of the car, before mounting the Excelsior Stahl Radials and Kaiser taillights. The low, 5-digit California ’32 plate is a rare one.

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Missed by most people, the subtle ’47 Kaiser taillights are just different enough to leave knowing roadster fans scratching their heads. They don’t repop these babies.


Steve’s Auto Restorations (Portland, OR) punched 100 louvers in the Brookville decklid. Gary punched another 50 in the hood top to match.

The body, grille shell and insert are from Brookville, the firewall is original Henry Ford. The louvered deck lid is from Steve’s Auto Restorations. All of it, including the chassis, is shot in mile-deep Centari 99A Pitch Black.

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Inside the cab close attention was paid to seat height and location; a couple of trips were made to the trimmer’s to get it just right. Seats are covered in oxblood-colored leather, sewn in a traditional tuck and roll pattern; the wool carpets are colored to match. The trunk is also fully carpeted and upholstered. Beneath the 2 inch chopped windshield and behind the original ’40 Ford Standard wheel sits a dash filled with Stewart Warner “Wings” gauges. Original Deuce dash knobs in any kind of presentable condition are virtually unobtainable these days. Dissatisfied with the quality of the repop knobs available, Gary took the machinists’ route and milled his own. Mounted beneath the dash is a super-rare Indy 500 fuel pressure hand pump.

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Planning a trip to the dry lakes? A bare metal hood top, also louvered, and a set of aluminum wheel disks are included in the sale. You can see the construction of the hood HERE.

While guys individually have their own favorite makes and models, they won’t argue that Deuce roadsters sit at the top of the hot rod food chain. Folks familiar with Gary’s car feel it’s among the best. It’s been featured (with pics by gifted automotive photographer Tim Sutton) in a multi-page spread in Hot Rod Deluxe. It’s also appeared in the pages of Hop Up, Rod & Kulture, and ThEnd, a Japanese magazine for traditional hot rod enthusiasts. Gary’s roadster has also been awarded the Goodguys’ “Period Perfect” award – not once but twice – along with their “Bruce Olsen Memorial” and “Outstanding Ford-in-a-Ford” awards.

Sorted out, tuned, and detailed, this roadster needs nothing except a new owner behind the wheel.




Owned & Built by Gary Evans and Jim Tipper


Brookville Roadster body, grille shell and insert

Steve’s Auto Restorations deck lid

Original Ford steel firewall

Windshield chopped 2 inches

’32 Ford commercial headlights

’47 Kaiser taillights


99A Centari single stage “Pitch Black” acrylic enamel


Leather tuck and roll, wool carpet – interior and trunk

Original ’40 Ford Standard steering wheel

So Cal six-gauge dash insert

Stewart Warner “Wings” gauges

Vintage “Indy 500” fuel pressure hand pump

Halon fire extinguisher


ASC ‘32 frame rails

Model A front crossmember

’34 Ford style X-member

Stainless spreader bars front and rear


Chassis Engineering forged 4 inch dropped axle; drilled and chromed

SoCal polished stainless hairpins and batwings

SoCal polished stainless Panhard bar

Vega steering box

Pete and Jake’s tube shocks, chromed


’36 Ford banjo rear axle

3:54 ring and pinion

’36 Ford rear spring, two leaves removed

Monroe tube shocks

Custom-machined torque tube pinion seal


’46-’48 Ford

Chrome backing plates

Modified and polished SoCal scoops


’40 Ford with parking brakes


16 x 4 1/2” Vintique steel wheels

5.50 – 16” Excelsior Stahl Sport Radials


16 x 6” Vintique steel wheels

7.50 – 16” Excelsior Stahl Sport Radials


1932 Ford mounted with custom-machined adapters

Additional set of Lakes-style full aluminum wheel discs included


’48 Ford 59L 286 cid engine – 800 miles since engine build

Machine work, balancing and assembly by Gary Howard, Flathead City

4 1/8” Scat crank

Scat H-beam rods

3 5/16” Ross pistons

Schneider 400-SR cam

Schneider hollow body lifters

Isky 185G valve springs shimmed .060

1.55” stainless valves

3 angle valve seats

All rotating mass balanced to less than 1 gram

Weber 26 lb steel flywheel

McLeod 10 ½” street/strip clutch

New Evans heads by Jaime Gonzales at Evans Speed Equipment

New castings from original Earl Evans patterns

67 cc chambers, steel spark plug inserts, 9:1 compression

Set Number Five of 6 sets completed

Original Evans 3X2 polished intake manifold

Original polished Stromberg 48 carburetors, rebuilt with new Stromberg parts

Modified Mallory distributor

Packard 440 plug wires, Raja terminals

Rebuilt starter

Fenton cast iron headers

Custom stainless straight pipe exhaust with spiral baffles


’39 Ford case and shifter fully rebuilt with

OEM ’41 Lincoln Zephyr 26 tooth gears

Updated ’49-51 Ford truck synchros


Dyna-Bat dry cell battery

Centech fuse panel

Rhode Island cloth covered wire

Walker radiator

California licensed as a 1932 Ford Roadster

with original year-of-manufacture plates

Approximately 800 miles on engine, 8000 miles on car


Two-time “Period Perfect” winner – Goodguys West Coast Nationals

“Bruce Olson Memorial Award” – Goodguys West Coast Nationals

“Outstanding Ford-in-a-Ford Award” – Goodguys West Coast Nationals

Featured in Hot Rod Deluxe magazine (July 2013) and Thend magazine (September 2013), also appearances in Hop Up and Rod & Kulture magazines

From → For Sale

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