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1932 Ford Roadster - Double Trouble

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1932 Ford Roadster - Double Trouble

artdodge artdodge
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/06/09
09:33 PM

When I first saw the concept drawing for this car in the March '09 issue I thought, "nice idea, but it's all wrong."  Then when I saw the car in person at GNRS, I just shook my head in disbelief.  This car is so fundamentally wrong on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start.

So let's start with the most obvious -- if "Big John" Mazmanian had built a roadster, it would have been powered by a 392 Chrysler Hemi, not an Ardun-equipped flathead!  If you are at all familiar with Mazmanian's car, this would be a big no brainer.  In fact, during the mid-to-late-sixties era that this car reflects, flatheads were mostly gone from drag racing and certainly didn't exist at all in the supercharged street roadster, altered, competition or gas classes.  If not a Hemi, at least a 327 Chevy, 394 Olds or Nailhead Buick would have been more appropriate than an Ardun-flathead.

Secondly, a car like this would not have had the 18" diameter 12-spokes in front, and certainly not if built by Mazmanian.  He would have most likely used polished Halibrand kidney-beans or spindle-mounts.  If 12-spokes would have been used, they'd be the smaller diameter version.

Next, no street roadsters, gassers or altereds in those days had the rear radius rods, much less hairpin radius rods, mounted outside of the frame rails.  Any competion car would have had the same set-up that Mazmanian used on his modified sports Corvette and Willys gasser -- big beefy ladder bars mounted inside the frame.

Then there's the painted Moon fuel tank.  Nice touch, but totally inappropriate.  Any car from the mid-sixties era, and certainly a car built by Mazmanian, would have had a fully-polished tank with a mirror-like finish.

Let's also not forget that a competion car equipped as this one is, with headlights, taillights, windshield and full interior, would have been considered a street roadster and required to have fenders -- cycle-style in the front and bobbed stock fenders in the rear.

And where's the parachute?  A supercharged car like this, even with the Ardun motor, would have easily run in the tens, which would have required a 'chute.  There should be a big black 'chute pack mounted below the deck lid abouit where that center nerf bar is located.

Like I said, so many things on so many levels.  Which is too bad, because it is a well-finished car.  The red plexiglass dash panel is an especially nice touch.  Unfortunately, the car as a whole was ill-conceived.  Steve Kormondy may be no stranger to traditional hot rods, but it's pretty obvious that he doesn't know jack-all about sixties drag cars or the particular features of a Mazmanian car.

While we're on the subject, what the heck is a '32 "heavy" axle?  In over forty years of hot rodding and drag racing, I have never heard or even seen that term before.  Except for the overall width and spring perch spacing, all the Ford front axles were basically the same from 1928 to 1948 -- and they were (and are still) called an "I-beam" axle (except for the '37 Ford tube axles).  And how do you call an axle "heavy" when its been drilled for lightness?  Hello!

And when did a '32 Ford frame become a "perimeter" frame?  Again, this is a term that was never used in recorded automotive history to describe a Duece chassis, or any other early Ford chassis.  Period.  Ever.

The term "perimeter frame" wasn't even introduced into automotive lexicon until the mid-sixties, and then by General Motors for the new chassis under their full-size and mid-side cars.  And even though the frames used by Ford in the mid-fifties qualify as a perimeter frame, they didn't use the term until the sixties to designate the full-size Galaxie chassis.

While it's true that a '32 Ford chassis is indeed a perimeter frame, as it does follow the outer perimeter of the body, it was nevber called by that name, even by Ford.  Now it seems that every time I open a rodding magazine, I see that term used and mis-used to describe both Duece frames and Model A-style ladder frames.  What's up with that?

Are there any editors or writers left that know even basic hot rod terminology?  Have any of you ever cracked an issue of Hot Rod or Rod & Custom from the fifties or sixties?  Based on the way you mis-use even the simplest of terms and glorify ill-conceived cars, I would say . . . not.  

RandC Kevin RandC Kevin
User | Posts: 62 | Joined: 07/06
Posted: 05/07/09
10:10 AM

That’s what we call editorial liberty. Nobody said the roadster was a legal race car or even an exact recreation of something that would have raced in the Sixties. It’s obvious that by that time the Flathead was dead in any serious drag racing efforts.

As for the term “heavy” axle and your never hearing it, you need to get out more as it’s a pretty common term. I’ll include a couple links for you to do some research. The first one is an article we did a year ago.

The next one was done by and quoted below:

1932 axles were the first Ford axles to be made with a slight drop. These axles are often referred to as '32 heavy axles. They are unique among early Ford axles in having a wider recess at the ends, and a slightly raised area on the front and back of the spring perch bosses in the shape of an I-beam. The spring perch bosses are two inches.  

jalopy45 jalopy45
User | Posts: 198 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 05/10/09
11:06 AM

Wow, Artdodge I wouldn't build or buy the car but I do appreciate the workmanship that went into it. But in a way it is representative of 60's when you assembled a car with whatever you had squirreled away in you garage and could afford to buy. I took a '32 3 window and cut the floor out with a cold chisel to channel it and then used a wheelbarrow for a firewall to make room for 326 Pontiac motor and hydro installed with angle iron in '64.  Would I do it now?? That car wouldn't be considered safe or reliable now, so no. As for the  heavy axle, like Kevin said there is a difference and the early 32 is closer to a model A in size and shape.  

artdodge artdodge
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/11/09
07:47 PM

Thanks for clearing up the "heavy" axle thing, but "editorial liberty?"  Give me a break.  The premis was "What if Big John Mazmanian built a roadster?"  Using all the other drag cars Mazmanian built and raced during the sixties as benchmarks, the simple truth is that he would never have built a roadster like that.  You glorified a car that missed the mark big time, and now like most all editorial types, you're defending your actions instead of admiting the truth.  You're just another editor with no credibility . . .  

RandC Kevin RandC Kevin
User | Posts: 62 | Joined: 07/06
Posted: 05/11/09
10:44 PM

John Mazmanian built drag cars that were fast and were indoor show winners. That's what the builders were going for. Besides a candy red show/drag car is always going to be associated with Mazmanian no matter what your personal opinions are. If you've done better let's see it. How does an editors credibility come under question when all we're doing is reporting on what the builder, owner, and designer had in mind when they built it? You might want to stick to Consumer Reports if you want to avoid editorializing.  

artdodge artdodge
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/13/09
06:17 PM

Ah, that editorial ego rears its ugly defensive head.  You'd rather tick-off a devoted reader than consider for a moment that someone other than you has a valid view or opinion.  So sad.  You know, except for Pat Ganahl, Jeff Smith and maybe that David Frieberger guy, you editorial squids are all the same . . .  

John Gilbert John Gilbert
New User | Posts: 27 | Joined: 09/07
Posted: 05/14/09
08:08 AM

Can you imagine a critique by artdodge on something someone built as a tribute to one of "Big Daddy" Roth's cars? Can't you all just hear a big turd drop down artdodge's pantleg as he discovers there wasn't enough dirt in the paint to be an original Roth car?

He is right on one thing though. All of those editor types are slimy squids just waiting to drop a big Baby Ruth bar into someone's swimming pool of creativity and corrupt the waters of conformity... Whatever that means.  

Thespecialist Thespecialist
New User | Posts: 20 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 06/24/09
10:01 AM

And then you get some guy high-jack another forum, you would think I would be too busy with the trucks than add another magazine to the list, serves me right.  

mazmanian mazmanian
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 07/31/09
09:20 AM

Big John did build a 32 roadster!! and I have it. He built it 30 years ago candy apple red of course and beautifull. We have won many a show with it. Now that he is gone his Son and Grandsons enjoy it and always remember him.  

jalopy45 jalopy45
User | Posts: 198 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 08/04/09
08:41 PM

I for one would really like to see some pictures of it. John was always a perfectionist and his cars were always top quality.  

wiredtonight wiredtonight
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 09/09
Posted: 09/21/09
11:18 PM

Ford Deuce Roadster

Here's a photo of the 1932 Black Ford Deuce Roadster. What can you say about this one guys. I sure hope would like some feedback about the car. By the way, I love the discussion here, I'm really enjoying it. Thanks.  

jalopy45 jalopy45
User | Posts: 198 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 10/10/09
03:42 PM

Okay I'll jump in, what's '32 on the car? Again for me this is a car I can appreciate the workmanship and design but it's not something I would buy or build.  This to me is a street rod, meant to be trailered instead of driven, I lean more towards the hot rods, meant to be driven and enjoyed. But I would enjoy going over the car to see what ideas I could rob for my projects. Grin