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Projects Dennis Wile 32 Coupe - 3Window

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 64crump, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    As some of you may have seen in this recent post regarding the 2014 Antique Nationals, our good Friend Dennis (Denny) Wile crashed his Original Steel 32 Ford 3-Window Coupe.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/2014-antique-nationals-pictures.931451/

    Luckily he was not hurt in the crash, and his safety equipment paid off big time. The car was a mess, and many thought it was totaled. Without any reluctance, or second guessing, the decision was made to rebuild. Almost immediately Dennis put the word out looking for a chassis. I have created this thread to share some of the amazing history of the car, and show photo's and progress of the build (re-build).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Here is the link to the YouTube Video his son Scott took on the run before the crash. He ran to the end of the track to check on his dad, but left the camera going in his pocket, so you can hear the announcer, and applause as Dennis exits the car.

     
  3. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Here is the car back at home in the garage
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    So enough of the bad photos, here is the Dennis Wile 32 coupe in better days.

    Antique Nationals 2007 - LACR
    [​IMG]
    Antique Nationals 2009 in Fontana with Dennis in his signature LA County Fire Shirt
    [​IMG]
    Burnout at Irwindale
    [​IMG]
     
    catdad49, Jeo3765 and loudbang like this.

  5. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Here is the coupe the morning of the race. Dennis is usually the first in line at the gate (4am), and gets his favorite number for the race (32). Bracket B-1 is for 10 second or less cars. He runs this car hard all the time, and has raced this coupe for over 40 years. His oldest son Scott, came home from the hospital in this car, and needless to say has been in the family for a long time.
    [​IMG]
    Oh, and that's 10 seconds with a small block chevy.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. n.z.rodder
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,016

    n.z.rodder
    Member

    Ouch! Of course you're going to rebuild it, then you're going to race it again as well.

    Scotty
     
  7. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,633

    clem
    Member

    Nice car! Will be again.
     
  8. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,102

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Wow, Lucky man. I remember seeing that car on YouTube wheel standing at Irwindale Raceway.
     
  9. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    thanks for the update
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  10. Thanks for starting this thread. I'm sure the body is tweaked a little but it doesn't look that bad. It' great to see he's getting right on the rebuild.
     
  11. Hamtown Al
    Joined: Jan 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,795

    Hamtown Al
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Virginia HAMB(ers)

    This serves as a painful reminder that things CAN GO WRONG; even for an experienced guy and a well tested car.
    Dang glad he came away OK. The car took a significant hit but it will be back and, given its history and its owner, it will likely be better than ever. At least that is my wish.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  12. 10 seconds with a small block Chevy. Yes, but not just any small block Chevy. It's 434 inches of Scott Shafiroff built killer SBC! I was at Ron Forman's shop the night Denny bought the coupe, then powered by a tired nailhead Buick. That was about '74 or '75. It was Denny's first car powered by something other than a flathead Ford. I've known Denny since 1973. When I saw the coupe at the end of the track after the crash, there was no doubt in my mind he would rebuild it, and race it again. He called me Monday after the crash looking for an original '32 frame.
     
  13. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Thanks Dean,

    Yes the engine and trans were saved. A small chip out of the trans case. The frame and chassis are getting built this week. They are going with a new boxed frame. Rear buggy spring with same 9" Ford rear, front I-beam axle.

    Engine and Trans Removed
    [​IMG]
    Engine and Trans Saved
    [​IMG]
    Body in is salvageable, needs some tweaking, but for the most part the impact was taken in the front frame, and fenders.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Here is the body removal party
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Stock Frame, C-channel, only boxed at the roll cage points. Cross member put on in the 60's.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    This car went consistent 120 - 130 mph in the 1/4.
    [​IMG]
    Exhaust cut-outs
    [​IMG]
    Pile of crashed Parts
    [​IMG]
    New Fenders
    [​IMG]
    New Grill
    [​IMG]
     
    catdad49 likes this.
  16. 39ChevyBob
    Joined: Jul 14, 2011
    Posts: 611

    39ChevyBob
    Member

    Antique Nationals 2014 024.JPG
    Thanks for the update! Great to hear it's being resurrected so quickly. Dennis with his game face on before the first run at the Nationals that day.
     
  17. Yes, thank you for the update. I figured Denny would have plenty of able bodies to help with the re build.
     
  18. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Since we all love the video of the wheelstand, I could not help but to post the stills. This was an amazing day, only I left early. So I do not know who took these pictures, so somebody has a good motor drive in their camera. Dennis said he saw the sky, but knew if he backed out of it, it would drop hard. He scraped the bumber, stayed in it, and gently laid it back down. No photoshop here. But a 180 shot proved to be more than he expected. he bent his front axle, and rear bumper. A little bit of work and they were back racing within a week.
    wheelieIMG_1838.jpg wheelieIMG_1839.jpg wheelieIMG_1840.jpg wheelieIMG_1841.jpg wheelieIMG_1842.jpg wheelieIMG_1843.jpg wheelieIMG_1844.jpg
     
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  19. ROBERT JAM
    Joined: Nov 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,244

    ROBERT JAM
    Member

    Incredible pic and fantastic car
     
  20. opunui
    Joined: May 29, 2014
    Posts: 75

    opunui
    Member
    from Honolulu

    Unbelievable!
     
  21. .....Looks like a lot of race cars where the HP exceeds the chassis technology over time! Thanks for posting up the pictures.
     
  22. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Yes, I believe that a new chassis was in order. But if it ain't broken.....
    So the new chassis was picked up today from Classic Streed Rod Mfg. in Ontario, CA. Man they turned this around quick. Hydraulic brakes already plumbed. Old rear end housing re-mounted, with buggy spring. New Vega Steering Box, front axle, spindles, and brakes. And an actual cross member.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    catdad49 likes this.
  23. threewindaguy
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 285

    threewindaguy
    Member

    Very impressive car, can't wait to see it back together....
     
  24. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Dennis (Denny), told me the story about when he picked up the coupe. He was talking with a guy with at Dyno shop in Montebello about trading his T-Bucket. He told his dad, and he said no way. He drove out to Montebello which is essentially East Los Angeles, from his home in Ontario, CA. Inland Empire, or about 35 miles away. The guy with the 32 3-window test drove it, liked it and said, yeah, I think we should trade...straight across. Trying his best to keep his poker face, he agreed, and they traded pink slips, and he drove home to show his dad. When he pulled up, his dad said "I can't believe it". A straight across trade for an all-steel 32 3-window for a T-Bucket. Dean remembers the nailhead as "Tired", but Dennis lights up with the story of a 322 cu.in. Buick bored over 0.80 thousand, with 425 heads, Norris Cam, Triple Deuce Strombergs, La Salle Trans, and a 39 Ford Truck Rear, with Safety hubs. When he pulled up at his dads house, he opened the rumble seat, and his mom and dad jumped in the back to go for a spin. Yes, Dennis said he was a happy camper that night. He must of went through a couple of tanks of gas driving that thing around.
    (Not an actual picture from 1974, but he is still that happy kid!)
    (Irwindale some 30 years later with his son Brandon)

    [​IMG]
    Funny thing about the story, in the 80's Dennis was working with a friend, Tom Cunningham who saw the coupe for the first time, and asked him about it. When he heard where it was from, he asked about a little Japanese Rising Star sticker in the back window. Dennis said it was there when he bought it. Well, it turns out that Tom Lived about a block away from the Corner of Beverly and Wilcox in Montebello where Dennis picked up the coupe, and he would go by this place and drool over this car as young man. To add to this small story, I met Dennis and Tom through a mutual friend named Dick Cuber in the late 90's. I had grown up in Whittier, and went to a private grade School in Montebello off Beverly Blvd. in the 70's, only a couple blocks from the shop. Well, I think it was a 76 Gas station. Anyway....Dennis said the guy who traded the coupe told him to be careful on his way home, cause he might get shot with that sticker on the back window.

    T-Bucket that was traded for 32 3-window around 74
    [​IMG]
    32 3-window with Buick Nailhead, 3 strombergs, and American Mags
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
    catdad49 likes this.
  25. draider
    Joined: Jul 12, 2004
    Posts: 461

    draider
    Member
    from Texas

    What a great story. I'll be tuned in to watch the re-birth.
     
  26. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 4,050

    DRD57
    Member

    Glad to see it's going back together so quickly.
     
  27. I was surprised the frame survived the wheel stand! I'm glad to see this thing come back to life!
     
  28. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

  29. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    Incredible '32...............and it looks like it will return to the battle in record time. When I first saw the pictures of it wheelstanding awhile back I assumed it must be a stick shift to hit it hard enough to pull the front wheels like that. Be sure someone records it's return to the strip and post it here.

    Frank
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  30. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 398

    64crump
    Member
    from Alta Loma

    Ok, a bit of an update.....The frame was cleaned with solvent and degreased then clear coated. Rear 35 spline Summer Brothers Axles, and Mark Williams center section installed, for a rolling chassis.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    catdad49 likes this.

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