You often hear the phrase, "Do it once, and do it right."
The Ford Motor Co. took that approach with the introduction of its new 1932 Ford. Henry Ford and his son Edsel came up with V8 power and offered it to the motoring public in a simple and cleanly designed car, that has stood the test of time.
Today the Deuce is one of the most sought-after cars for everything from a factory restoration to the most modern street rod builds imaginable. The fact the '32 was a one-year-only design from Ford, they've become increasingly difficult to find and often need a great deal of metal fabrication to bring the body back into restorable condition.
Enter the aftermarket. There are several companies producing the '32 Ford bodies in both fiberglass and real steel, ready to be built with only final preparation and paint required. One company, Dearborn Deuce, in Branford, Conn., began producing a Deuce roadster body like no other in 2004.
The Dearborn Deuce convertible is an all-steel roadster body redesigned around an amazing, fully disappearing top assembly. In order to package a top such as this, the original '32 design wasn't a starting point, so a new body was designed around a hide-away top.
Several body design changes were made in order to package this top mechanism in a '32 roadster, keeping them as subtle as possible, to preserve the original look of the standard vintage '32 roadster body.
For Lorne Kines of Winnipeg, owning a '32 Ford three-window coupe in the 1960s was a highlight, and one he often thought of revisiting. His dream was to have a '32 convertible that was not only a turn-key show winner, but comfortable and driveable.
In 2006, he was at Back to the '50s and started looking at the build quality of many of the hot rods when he found Larry Ruth. Ruth has been building hot rods for 30 years and he owns L Ruth Engineering in Spearfish, S.D.
"I wanted a steel car, done once and done right, but without the hours of a new build from a project," Kines says. After meeting with Ruth, Kines ordered the car the way he wanted it and visited Ruth several times during the 2,300 hours it took to complete the project.
The Dearborn Deuce rides on a custom-built steel frame fitted with Kugel Komponents suspension. Unlike a typical A-arm suspension, Kugel uses twin pushrod rocker arms with hidden, inboard coil -over shock absorbers up front. Rack and pinion steering and disc brakes round out the package.
In back, Kugel supplied an independent rear suspension with a Winter's quick-change centre-section with inboard-mounted Wilwood disc brakes and chrome coil-over shocks. With all components finished in either stainless-steel or chrome, it's truly a work of art. Wheels are Billet Specialties knock-offs sized 17-inch up front and 20-inch in rear to give it that hot rod stance and are wrapped in Yokohama black-wall radial tires.
The powertrain is as modern and reliable as the rest of the build and features a Chevrolet LS1 Corvette engine with electronic fuel injection. Backed by a 4L60E electronic overdrive transmission, it's ready for the road.
For the body, it's been finished in base/clear Brandy Wine and features a taupe interior, stitched with kangaroo leather and ostrich inserts. Inside, we find a stainless-steel steering column with cruise control, Vintage Air heat and air conditioning unit, heated power seats, keyless entry, digital dash gauges and power windows. The top itself is a high-quality Haartz cloth in taupe. The rear window is glass with a chrome and polished stainless frame, giving the top that Old World look. It's a roadster that can close up tight with the side windows and keep out any weather Mother Nature can throw at it.
Finished in 2008, Kines has managed to roll up more than 6,800 kilometres on the roadster and has had it at several shows. It took top honours at the Fabulous '50s Ford Club Flashback Weekend last September in Winnipeg.
"Do it once, and do it right," is more than just a phrase. It's a testament to the fact quality never goes out of style.