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Projects 1932 Cabriolet - The 'FlatCab' - A Real 'Barn Find' for Once

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Bored&Stroked, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Big Al
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,410

    Big Al

    hanging for an update.
  2. 38 coupe
    Joined: May 11, 2008
    Posts: 155

    38 coupe
    from Texas

    Do you have any pictures of the car driving around?

    Props for running the mechanical brakes. I find these work well, but require more maintenance than hydraulics.
  3. cmarcus
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 953


    Wow! Incredible story! Would love to see some current pictures as well!
  4. HelmuthBrothers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2007
    Posts: 718

    from New Jersey

    Love the story! Can't wait for more pictures. Makes you wonder how many of these cars are still out there, and how far you are from one.
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Dec 24, 2003
    Posts: 1,698


    Great read. Don't get too many chances to buy unmolested 32s so when you do you have to step up.
  6. vtmopar
    Joined: Jun 5, 2013
    Posts: 47

    from Vermont

    Nice story......I gotta ask, how much$$
  7. I posted these on another thread - here is the way I'm driving the car today. There are very few changes from the way I picked it up - as my initial goal was to see if I could get it on the road and experience it as close to how Earl built it as possible (later on I'll get the new heavily built 42 Merc mill in it, 39 trans, dropped axle, Bendix brakes, etc).

    But - it has been a blast driving it and feeling like I am in a 60 year old time machine . . . is kind of cool (something I've not done before . . . I always changed the shit out of things I've bought or pieced together). I'm in a rural area and about 5 miles from a quaint little town, so I love the back roads - especially in autumn.

    1) Engine: Decided to see if the 59AB in the car would run - just to see how well (why not?). Pulled the heads - had been rebuilt somewhere in it's past, no rust in the bores, valves looked good, etc.. Cleaned everything up, oiled the bores and put new head gaskets on. Pulled the oil pan, cleaned out the sludge - checked one main bearing (looked great), put a new 49-53 helical gear oil pump in it, new gaskets, called it good. Put new water pumps and a new fuel pump on it (mandatory). Replaced the 'hacked up' old front mount distributor with a angle-drive Vertex magneto. (wanted it to start easy and continue to run as long as there was fuel in it!). Replaced the generator cut-out with a 'voltage regulator' type - works great . . . 18 - 20 amps after startup. Cleaned out the carb with an airgun, sprayed all the linkages with WD40 and hit the starter button . . . fired right up! I ran some non-detergent oil in it for a 100 miles or so, then switched over to Mobil 1. The truth is, this dang old engine runs pretty damn good! It propels the car down the road in fine fashion - surprises folks that I can accelerate with them and stay up with the herd.
    2) Brakes - went through all the original mechanical brakes, new linings, some tuning on the rods (made 2 new ones), some clearance issues with the 'v looking actuators in front' - fixed all of them with the surface grinder. They work surprisingly well - more than fine for around town (have not taken it on the road).
    3) Wiring: Replaced the stock wiring looms (was shocked that they were 100% original, no mods, no splices . . . stock). New battery, etc..
    4) Tires: Put new tubes and tires on the 16 inch 'aftermarket' bent spoke and adjustable wheels. They are not 100% true - will probably get them rebuilt at some point. The tires were ungodly expensive - they are from Coker - called Excelsior Stahl Sport Radials. Yes - radials that look as close as possible to old bias ply. Truth be told - I wanted the car to track well and be as safe as possible - bias ply tires don't cut it with that old steering. (My opinion only!).
    5) Radiator: Had a new core put in it - they did a fairly decent job (still cost $850 - ouch). I wish I'd sent it out to Brassworks for a bit better job . . . I did a lot of work on the seams before I painted it. The geometry is about right, but the upper water outlets are not 100% at the right angle . . . so I learned an expensive lesson! It still will run a little hotter than I'd like - will use 'Skips' pumps on the new motor.

    I've put about 200 miles on it in the last month or so - has been a lot of fun. I won't have that many days to drive it this winter - but I'll take it out if there isn't salt on the roads. (Might try to put an old heater in it as somewhere along the way it had one - has the holes in the firewall for the water lines).

    Here she is . . . haven't even cleaned it up much other than one hand wash! Interior is dirty and ugly, top still has the raccoon prints on it!

    2014-10-23 16.52.38 copy.jpg 2014-10-23 16.52.51 copy.jpg 2014-10-23 16.53.40 copy.jpg 2014-10-23 16.55.01 copy.jpg 2014-10-23 16.55.27 copy.jpg
  8. If I told yah . . . would have to kill yah!

    With 75 people there to bid on it . . . you can guess that it did not go cheap. It was a fair price - and a unique situation where I just decided "Fxxx It - never going to see this again" - gave me some "Bidder Balls" to roll the dice. I'm happy that I went for it, because it has already given me some great experiences that I would not have had with any other car (at least that I've ran into). I'm fortunate to have been in a position to take advantage of it . . . once in a life deal is my guess.
  9. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,684

    from NC

    Good for you man! That's an awesome story and incredible find! Can't imagine how big you must be smiling when driving her around! Wow!
  10. gonzo
    Joined: Dec 24, 2003
    Posts: 1,698


    "You never paid too much money for a deuce, you just may have bought it a little early". Unknown oldtimer someplace.
  11. Now that is some GREAT inspiration for me this weekend - as I'm taking a 10 hour trip to look at yet another damn 'Deuce'! :)
  12. Right on man! Gnarly kinda' feller you are. Gotta' love that kind of walk in this life. Not everyone is so lucky. Opportunities few and far between. Strut brother !
  13. Right on dude! Now being from SoCal and hanging out in OZ (Australia for those who don't know) - appreciate when I hear the word 'Gnarly' - doesn't rear it's fine head here in Ohio!. A very common term in my clan would be 'Gnarly Brah!' . . . and those who get it . . . get it . . .

    Okay - Couple Cocktails into the Night . . . Pontification Spews Forth . . . way the hell off topic!

    About the 'walk in life' - we should walk the best we can with whatever we have to work with, being grateful, but also pushing forward - working toward perfection, trying to get better and treating folks well along the way! Luck and timing play a role - but being at 'the table' gives us the opportunity to maybe prosper from the right time and the right place . . . cause we earned the chance.

    I spent most of my youth drooling over one of my idols 'Tom Hutchinson' - who had $4000 sets of Ardun heads for sale - no chance in hell for me. But the same dude sold me a nos SCoT blower setup for my 'regular' flathead for the seemingly high price of $400 (worked a lot of hours for that gem). Built a motor, drag raced it . . . kept it . . . have it today (1980 picture below - Antique Nats):


    Play it forward 35 years - actually found some Ardun heads I can afford . . . never once forgetting the first time I saw them and how badly I wanted them . . . the Good Lord blessed my hard work . . . . and luck and timing played a hand. I'll treat these gifts well - someday they will grace the hands of yet another hotrodder . . . hopefully one I'd respect.

    Take care my friend - as my Finn family would say, you have 'Sisu'!
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  14. MrModelT
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,659


    Incredible....mind blowing story. I have been following this for months now....absolutely perfect in every way.

    Do you have the fenders for it and are you going to run them?

    I think this car would be best suited with them.
  15. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    from Denmark

    I just read the whole threat. And I was so impressed with it, I hold my breath some of the way.

    I was so impressed I forgot to like the stuff you wrote. And I Like alot of things I read on here. :D

    You could say, I'm not bored, I'm stoked. Pun intended.
    Are there a Instagram-thing I can join, and see even more pictures? I'm new to instagram, but love to see alot more of this!!

    And those old pictures/stuff from the shop only adds to the great story.

    And I agree with Larry on those picture, that are naughty, and deserves in no way to be hiden again. :cool:
    Or was it the other way around
  16. Roupe
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Posts: 719


    Very cool! Glad the car went to a good home. Best thread I have read in a long time. Keep posting, please.............
  17. Super Streak
    Joined: Nov 22, 2011
    Posts: 259

    Super Streak
    from Florida

    This is by far the best car story I've read here. I like that you kept some of the things that had been with the car for all those years. Good luck with it, and keep us up to date on the car.
  18. Yes I do. Earl had them all stowed away in the rafters - right above the car. They are exceptionally good - no tears, no breaks, original tar from back in the day on the undersides . . . guess they did have 'undercoating' back in the day, you just had to drive on it to get it! I'm going to put the fenders, running board and hood back on the car - as that is the way Earl had it, so it deserves to go back together. I haven't put them on to date as I'm building the 42 Merc motor pre-war style and it will be done in the next month or so . . . it a LOT easier to work on the front end of the car without the fenders on it!
    bowie likes this.
  19. MrModelT
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,659


    Excellent :) I think that will certainly be the best you said, it is a time capsule for Earl's ownership and it would be sad to do anything other then preserve it.

    It has found an excellent steward. :)

    A pre-war dressed engine is the perfect direction. What are your plans for the '42 Merc engine? ......needs some cool, unique pre-war speed goodies. Maybe some bronze Federal-Mogal heads? :D

    I love everything about this thread:

    Your story - Amazing.
    Your attitude towards preservation and the entire ordeal - refreshing.

    This is so full of win...
  20. Thanks MrModelT - much appreciate the interest and comments. I'm fortunate to have been at the right place, at the right time and to have folks willing to share their pictures and history - was cool.

    Here is a link for the complete information on the 41/42 Merc engine build - it covers the extensive block work, cam, pistons, etc..

    Here are the actual heads I'll be running - they are in really nice shape, just a couple small things to fix. Notice the chambers - very different from all the repop ones your see today (these are his earliest design - probably 1939 or so):

    photo 1.JPG photo 3.JPG

    Here is the type of intake - the one shown is a repop, the one I'll be using is an original - has a lot of character. I don't believe this manifold was actually made pre-war, probably right after it. Eddie did make a couple pre-war, they used hot-water to heat the plenum . . . would love to find one some day!

    kiwijeff, Hotdoggin DaddyO and HEMI32 like this.
  21. Bad Eye Bill
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 841

    Bad Eye Bill
    from NB Canada

    Great story, I really enjoyed reading this thread. Well done.
  22. Great story....Congrats on your find.....what part of SoCal are you from? Why the move?
  23. This was a great story...Thanks for sharing it.
  24. I grew up in the Torrance area - went to Torrance High. I was in High School in the mid 70's - was the only kid with a hotrod out of the 500 or so that went there. Was fortunate that a lot of the pioneers took a liking to me - probably because I was one of very few teenagers who liked old hotrods (everybody else was into Mustangs, Camaros, etc..). So the old guys took me under their wings and taught me a lot about hotrods/flatheads . . . and more importantly . . . about LIFE!

    I moved to Ohio to get together with some guys I knew to put a company together - in the software business. Came here in the late 90's - but will head back out West sometime soon. Ohio has been good to me - but time to consider some moves . . .
  25. It's always great when a car and a man that are perfect for each other meet. Makes for great reading for the rest of us. I wish I was as articulate like you with your posting and lucky enough to own a great car like that as well.

    Looking forward to more.
  26. Are the Arduns going on this car?
  27. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,191


    Great story, love the car and the pics.

  28. We're about the same age.....I've never had a reason or opportunity to leave....When I hang it up I'll split my time between here and Kauai.....Thanks for sharing all your knowledge, much appreciated!
  29. I just found this thread, great read and awesome car

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