Lime Gold. That’s What I’m Told

Lime Gold. That’s What I’m Told

For the past few weeks, I’ve had ’60s-style hot rods on the mind. Not the early-’60s, but rather the middle years—the time of metalflake, mag wheels, wild interiors and lots of chrome. While conducting some critical research earlier this week, I dug back into my stack of Pouplar Hot Rodding from 1965. As I thumbed through the yellowed pages searching for something completely unrelated, I came across a feature that I had never seen before. It was a simple two-pager showcasing the “Limefire Duece” (sic).

When I hear the name “Limefire,” a few different images come to mind. First and foremost, there’s the late Pete Chapouris’ Deuce highboy that appeared on the December ’88 cover of Rod & Custom and subsequently set the rodding world on its ear. Two decades prior, there was “Lime Fire,” an immaculate, Hemi-powered ’68 Barracuda Funny Car campaigned by Jim St. Clair, Jack Groner and Clare Sanders with a great deal of success. (For the record, the candy Lime Gold flopper is among my favorite Funny Cars of all time—but that’s an O.T. discussion for another forum). Today’s Limefire has nothing to do with roadsters or drag racing, but it’s a car worth revisiting nonetheless.

The Limefire Barracuda in motion, circa 1968

Back in the ’60s, Gerry Cappel of Whitter, California, decided to bring his vision of an ideal ’32 Ford to life. Starting with an unchopped five-window, he channeled the body four inches over the frame while keeping the fenders intact. Fiberglass fenders were used up front, while the rear ones were Henry originals. In his effort to keep things all Ford, Gerry tracked down a ’57 Thunderbird Y-block and outfitted it with an Isky cam, Grant rings, Edelbrock intake and a trio of Strombergs.

In genuine ’60s style, Gerry’s Deuce is all about the color. True to its name, the exterior was sprayed in a resplendent Lime Gold metallic, while the interior was trimmed in narrow pleats of black Naugahyde. According to the PHR feature, he even installed a stereo to play “Exotic sounds” (whatever those are).

Although I’ve never seen Gerry’s ’32 in person, its overall look reminded me of George Solimini’s Deuce three-window—a perfectly preserved survivor (with tons of history) that I got to check out at the old Rodder’s Journal headquarters on a cloudy Monday last winter. Sure, they’re different body styles, but there’s no denying that they’re variations on a theme. Both are unchopped, full-fendered, outfitted with chrome steelies and hubcaps, run multi-carbed smallblocks and sport custom interiors. Hell, they even have the same taillights.

Lime Gold or red, three-windows or five, both are prime examples of ’60s hot rodding. They certainly have my attention—how about you?

Joey Ukrop

Funny Car photo from MrBinFv, historic photos from PHR, June 1965, and opening image from the H.A.M.B. That’s Gerry’s brother, Ron’s, red Anglia on the left. 

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