PORT­LAND’S ROSE

Hot Rod Deluxe - - Roddin’ Scene -

PRE­SERVED.

Trad­ing a new bi­cy­cle for a ’32 Ford five-win­dow coupe? Sounds crazy, right? But that’s ex­actly what Ernie Martin of Port­land, Ore­gon, did in 1952.

Ernie had stum­bled upon an old Ford coupe. The owner wanted to get a bi­cy­cle for his son, and Ernie just so hap­pened to have a new bike. Ernie of­fered his brand-new Sch­winn rac­ing bike for the “piece of junk” ’32, as the orig­i­nal owner called it, and a trade was made.

Ernie en­listed the help of his brother to get the coupe home, but with one stip­u­la­tion: When they pulled up to their house, his brother was go­ing to cut the rope pulling the coupe and get out of there, so he didn’t have to face the wrath they ex­pected from their dad. As it turned out, though, their dad wasn’t too up­set with Ernie’s trade.

From 1952 to 1959, Ernie spent his time restor­ing and hot rod­ding the ’32 coupe. He changed the white paint to a Hunts­man Red fin­ish and had the in­te­rior done com­pletely in white Nau­gahyde

tuck-and-roll pleat­ing. He also added a 2 1 ⁄ 2- inch dropped front axle and a ’53 Ford rear axle.

Ernie then started work on the driv­e­train, hop­ping-up the orig­i­nal Model B four-cylin­der en­gine. It was re­ally some­thing, ac­cord­ing to Ernie. “None of the flat­head guys could beat it for the first two blocks.” Even­tu­ally, he swapped the four-cylin­der for a flat­head, and then a 265 small-block Chevy with an iron Pow­er­glide trans­mis­sion out of a ’55 Chevy.

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