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Features Hawaiian Roadster Survivor

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Lucky444, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Lucky444
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,151


    This 32 Roadster was originally built here on Oahu around 1951-52 by a Robert "Longie" Gandall. Robert owned a motorcycle shop in Honolulu and was active in the drag racing scene out in Kahuku. The early part of the Roadsters history is shrouded in mystery and it's unclear whether this was a true garage build or that some of the work had been farmed out to different shops. It does appear that maybe two or more people had their hands in the fabrication work. Parts of this car were published in the 1953 and 1954 issues of Rod & Custom Magazine in articles that focused on headlight and taillight modifications, but a full feature on the car was never covered.

    It was passed around to different owners in the following few years and in 1958 or 1959 the car was then bought for a Richard Armstrong, by his father for $650. Richard was only a Junior in High School when he received the car as a gift. He drove the Roadster around town for several years and finally garaged it when he was fed up with getting speeding tickets.

    The car sat in storage until 2009 when my buddy John Figueroa was lucky enough to pick it up from Richard. The Roadster could not have landed in better hands as John is a true traditional builder and has grown up messing with all kinds of old tin. His father had also been building Hot Rods and Customs from the pre-war years. In fact John remembers sitting in this very Roadster when he was a young kid!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  2. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,789

    from NJ

    That thing is WICKED, I love it !
  3. 345winder
    Joined: Oct 27, 2010
    Posts: 1,059


    the way the front fenders sit look very sexxy! ,,gives it an almost high end manufature/coach built it was real PURDDY back in its glory days!
  4. Lucky444
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,151


    Here are some images from the Rod & Custom features.

    Attached Files:

    Stogy and Nailhead A-V8 like this.

  5. Belchfire8
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,542


    Damn that's nice, the tail lights are sweet!
  6. Lucky444
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,151


    Real purdy!

    A lot of the early Hot Rod builds that I've seen from Hawaii have a lot of attention to body work like a coach build and with the severe channelling and full fenders, have an almost European Sports Car look to them.
    Stogy likes this.
  7. really sits nice!!
  8. cool car! looks lie the chassis is already restored
  9. Now that's cool! Love the stance!
  10. billylo
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 542


    Wow, I love it!
  11. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,264

    general gow
    Staff Member

    way too cool. great that it's seeing the light of day again!
  12. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 870

    Curt Six

    Very cool car...glad it landed in the right hands.
  13. Lucky444
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,151


    All the sheetmetal and top is original to the car from 1951-52. The side window curtains are priceless! If you look closely at the hood you'll see some very unique louver application as well.

    Unfortunately the original suspension and drive train were too far gone from the island elements to restore. For replacements, John has used only parts that will keep it true to the way it was.

    Attached Files:

    • Top.jpg
      File size:
      110.8 KB
    Stogy likes this.
  14. rockguy92
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,141


    Nice find Lucky. I don't ever remember seeing 50 Ford tail lights used on a 32. Nice touch.
  15. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,164

    Jalopy Joker

    Wow, very Kool-Thanks for sharing-going to restore, as much as possible, or change some things? Aloha
  16. Dave Rondou
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 664

    Dave Rondou

    This car has a great look. Thanks for the pics.
  17. clubcoupe37
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 504


    that is an awesome find. looking forward to seeing the progress on this one.
  18. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    Holy cow, I love that thing. Very nice.
  19. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,152


    Art Deco Hot Rod. Is a sweet look, someone is lucky to own it!
  20. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,039

    from Hawaii

    Thats pretty cool! Will it be at any shows that you know of Jason? I wanna see that in person!
  21. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    from Austin, TX

    its almost like there was a hawaiian style going on, Im sure ive seen at least three 32s on here done in a very similar deep channel with fenders still on look..anyone remember the others?
  22. fleet-master
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,770


    WOWWW!!! thats gorgeous ..I'd give my left nut for that cool little roadster!!

  23. Yep, seems to of been the trend back then. There is a Hawaiian hot rod club feature in a early 50s HOT ROD mag, most if not all the cars were channelled (I have remember which issue).


    Stogy likes this.
  24. I like channeled Deuces... J. Stimac had a coupe that was channeled and full fendered with the running boards and it looked outstanding and I think this will be very cool when finished.

    Any photo's of this car when it was show worthy?
    Stogy likes this.
  25. Lucky444
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,151


    The car will remain basically as you see it now. The new owner is planning on just getting it up and drivable and retaining as much of the original car as he can. There's still a lot of the original red lacquer paint on there from 51-52.

    Hey Eli, thought I saw you at the Aiea Autoswap this morning, but was talking to someone and didn't see you later. It will definitely be on the cruise when it gets rolling.

    I think there was a very definite and distinctive "Hawaiian Style" from what I've seen. The other two pics that Jimmy B posted are a good illustration of that. Most of the time, the fenders would be moulded to the body, but the 32 Roadster still has them bolted on. A lot of effort was put into moving the fender molding along with the fenders up on the channelled body though.

    Glad you guys are liking this survivor car. I will post more pics as I get them.
    Stogy likes this.
  26. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,039

    from Hawaii

    Yup, I was looking for some wheels for my F1 but no luck. Looks like I'm stuck with the darn Centerlines for now. Looking forward to checking out this survivor in person. It looks like lots of hard work went into it.
  27. Mnhotrodbuilder
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,142

    from Afton, MN

    I like the look of the op's channeled roadster. The fenders are perfect for the car. You don't see to many people channeling 32's these days, heck two of my friends just unchanneled 32s.

    Here is mine, customized in 51-52 not as cool as the others but I like her. Mine is not a Hawaii car it's a CO car.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  28. History I love it.
  29. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,103


    Damn that car is cool. Can't wait to see it in person. You'll have to get him up to the North Shore with it when we come back. Cruise Paradise maybe? I'm sure alot of the old guys would freak out if that thing drove into the show.

    Keep us posted on progress.
  30. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,667


    Sweet, nice to know it's in safe hands.

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