The Un­ex­pected

Chip Foose’s ’32 Five-Win­dow Shocks the Stereo­type


Chip Foose’s ’32 Ford five-win­dow coupe

WWe’re very lucky at STREETRODDER. It’s sel­dom we get a heck­ler or a neg­a­tive com­ment on our Face­book page, but ev­ery once in a while there’ll be that one per­son for­get­ting to take their morn­ing happy pill and they un­load. They don’t like the large size of the tires, bright color of the paint, or the bil­let wheel de­sign has of­fended their sen­si­tiv­i­ties to the point of pub­licly ex­pressed out­rage. And typ­i­cally the mad rant is er­ro­neously flawed be­cause they don’t know the back­story.

An ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple is the fu­ture pre­dic­tive de­sign work of Chip Foose and how his dis­tinc­tive trend­set­ting style has the gen­eral pub­lic per­ceiv­ing the modern look must be all he likes. And this is where the big sur­prise that re­ally isn’t a sur­prise to any real gear­head comes in. Chip is just like the rest of us in our ga­so­line-fed sub­cul­ture and likes any­thing with wheels and doesn’t care how old it is.

Thanks to be­ing a mem­ber of Orange County, Cal­i­for­nia’s hot rod build­ing com­mu­nity, STREET ROD­DER had an in­side track and broke the news first in early 2016 that Chip was build­ing a nos­tal­gia-style

’32 Ford five-win­dow coupe. We re­ported: “For the

2016 SEMA show, Chip Foose is build­ing a ’32 Ford five-win­dow coupe that goes to­tally against the grain of the for­ward-look­ing and ex­tremely clean de­signs Chip has spent the last 30 years be­com­ing known for.”

In­spired by Dan Webb’s barn find ’32 three-win­dow hot rod in 2016, Chip told STREETRODDER this ’32 will be a sur­prise to a lot of peo­ple who know him for a par­tic­u­lar style of car be­cause so much ef­fort is be­ing made to bring it back to its orig­i­nal, pris­tine, stock form, and then hot-rod it like back in the day. “Imag­ine what a brand-new ’32 Ford coupe would look like only days af­ter it rolled off the show­room floor and into a state-ofthe-art, old-time speed shop”—and that’s the car Chip is cur­rently build­ing. That was writ­ten in 2016, but as we all know some­times our per­sonal projects have to take a back seat; Chip’s ’32 Ford coupe didn’t make its SEMA de­but un­til 2017.

Chip started with a known car. In­ter­est­ingly, this par­tic­u­lar ’32

Ford coupe has proper claim to a prove­nance of hav­ing a speed shop’s pro­pri­etor as one of its for­mer own­ers. To get the back­ground story we spoke with Kevin Bell, the guy who Chip got the ’32 from. Bell, a for­mer em­ployee of Wash­burn’s Speed Shop in Kala­ma­zoo, Michi­gan, said Jay Wash­burn owned the ’32 Ford be­fore he did and was pretty sure the Deuce had ar­rived in Michi­gan from Cal­i­for­nia and then re­turned to Cal­i­for­nia in 1979. Bell said to learn more facts we’d have to talk with Mike Luyendyk, an­other Wash­burn’s Speed Shop em­ployee who knows more about the his­tory of Chip’s ’32.

The first time STREETRODDER saw Chip’s ’32 Ford coupe was 10 years ago while it was stored in Bell’s Santa Ana, Cal­i­for­nia, aero­space ma­chine shop. Short of a ’50s-era re­paint, the Deuce pre­sented it­self as an ab­so­lutely un­mo­lested cherry, but as it turned out the car hav­ing spent time as a daily driver in the Rust Belt was hid­ing some can­cer­ous se­crets.

The salt Michi­gan used to melt win­ter ice on roads mixed with melt­ing snow stirred a cor­ro­sive liq­uid that found its way into all the nooks and cran­nies. Since very lit­tle was done by Ford to rust­proof un­seen ar­eas, rust thrived. It was a sur­prise; none of us sus­pected how ex­ten­sive the rust dam­age would be when the car was com­pletely dis­as­sem­bled for restora­tion. There was an ex­ten­sive amount of de­struc­tion from rust. STREETRODDER read­ers can view the dam­age dis­cov­ered and the met­al­work nec­es­sary to re­pair at

Chip’s friend Robert Mar­i­anich did the body­work com­plete to fi­nal metal fin­ish­ing at his metal shap­ing shop in Santa Ana, Cal­i­for­nia. At the be­gin­ning of Mar­i­anich’s ca­reer he worked shap­ing bod­ies for the Alexan­der Broth­ers, formed the alu­minum on May­nard Rupp’s ’66 Ri­dler-win­ning ’66 Chev­elle, and af­ter pro­duc­ing count­less coach-built projects moved onto the Big Three in De­troit as a hands-on de­signer and in­dus­trial en­gi­neer.

Chip was adamant the Deuce body was as faith­ful to orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble. Mar­i­anich ex­plained restor­ing the ’32 back to ex­actly as how it left the fac­tory in 1932 wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble only a few short years ago. It was the ad­vent of United Pa­cific pro­duc­ing a com­plete all-steel ’32 Ford body shell that made a stock floor restora­tion con­ceiv­able.

The chas­sis un­der Chip’s coupe is the same pair of stamped chan­nel fram­erails that left the Ford fac­tory at­tached to the afore­men­tioned body in 1932. Erik Hans­son at

Scan­di­na­vian Street Rod took the frame from a stocker to the best it could be for a pe­riod-cor­rect hot rod.

In front Erik re­verse plate boxed the rails hold­ing the plates in place with era-styled steel frame riv­ets. The Pete and Jakes tele­scopic shock damped front sus­pen­sion is a Mor-Drop heavy axle equipped with ’40 Ford spin­dles and Lin­coln drum brakes. The spring is a stock ’32 with re­versed eyes. The hot tip for its day, the Hud­son steer­ing box, was up­graded with early Ford F-100 in­ter­nals.

At the rear, Scan­di­na­vian Street Rod cut off the stock ’32 cross­mem­ber and fab­ri­cated a faith­ful fac­sim­ile of a Model T cross­mem­ber uti­liz­ing a Model T–style rear spring, thus al­low­ing the car to sit lower with­out bang­ing on the bumps. Mount­ing a Cy­clone quick-change rearend with ’36 Ford rear axles and wish­bones added ver­sa­til­ity, 3.94 gear­ing on the low side and 3.62 for the high side. Ditto in the rear for Lin­coln drums and Pete and Jakes tele­scopic shocks. A ’36 Ford torque tube con­nects the Cy­clone rearend to a ’39 Ford three-speed trans­mis­sion with a ’32 shifter.

In be­tween 25 lou­ver hood sides sits an H&H-built blown French block with Navarro heads. Chip smoothed and painted the block Art Chris­man style and Mike at H&H as­sem­bled the en­gine af­ter H&H did the ma­chinework. Max at H&H re­built the Italmec­ca­nica su­per­charger Chip had been hold­ing onto for a dozen years. Chip stretched the stock ’32 air cleaner 5-1/2 inches to sit atop two Stromberg 97s. It’s a cus­tom ex­haust sys­tem with spe­cial Mag­naFlow muf­flers. Chip says, “There’s about 150 hours in fab­ri­cat­ing the equal-length head­ers alone.” Cool­ing comes in the form of a brass and cop­per Walker ra­di­a­tor, note Walker was founded in 1932.

Although a 21st cen­tury cre­ation, the Coker Ex­cel­sior ra­dial tires don’t be­tray the look Chip was af­ter and greatly im­prove the ’32 coupe’s drive­abil­ity. The wheels (16x4 in the front, 17x5 in the rear) are Chip’s one-off de­sign specif­i­cally for this car.

Look­ing through glass by Ed­die Kotto, the re­pro­duc­tion ’32 Ford in­te­rior is a LeBaron Bon­ney kit cus­tom fit­ted by 714 Mo­tor­sports in West­min­ster, Cal­i­for­nia. Chip, along with Pete Mor­rell, wired the car, and Greg Cox at Artis­tic Sil­ver Plat­ing came through once again with show-qual­ity chrome plat­ing. Sans color sand­ing straight from the gun de­scribes the dark olive color Chip cus­tom mixed in BASF 22 line paint, start­ing with pure black and then slowly adding ochre. Painted in-house at Foose De­sign’s Hunt­ing­ton Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, shop, Chip and Steve De­man shared du­ties paint­ing the ’32.

It’s the sub­tle de­tails that dis­tin­guish Chip’s take on a clas­si­cally con­fig­ured ’32 Ford with his sig­na­ture touch. Stock di­am­e­ter ’32 Ford head­lights il­lu­mi­nate the road from a head­light bar Chip dropped 3 inches. At the rear Chip de­signed and fab­ri­cated tail­light stands to perch

’37 Ford tail­lights and a cus­tom bracket to sus­pend the li­cense plate.

For the dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence:

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