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Hot Rods The deuce in the (pole) barn

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lucky77, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    I don't post much anymore, but when I do it's usually about our late buddy Frank (fab32) I was lucky enough to be the guy chosen to begin the Herculean task of cleaning out his shop and selling stuff to supplement his wife's income. If you were friends with Frank or fans of his posts you knew about his '32 five window. For over a year and a half I've been working in the shop and I see the coupe every time I'm there. In his office are these three pictures from the early 70s. Sitting in his chair one night looking at those pics made me want to research the old deuce resting in the corner.

    What I dug up is that it was built in Saginaw, MI. around '65-'66 by a guy named Gerald Voit. It was supposedly a birthday gift for the son of a GM dealer (my source said McDonald's on State Street) and that the coupe was even on display there for a while. The story Frank always told was that the birthday boy hated the '32 and ended up opting for a new Corvette. The deuce was parked in the shop and forgotten about until Frank spotted it and acquired it somewhere around 1970. Frank's son remembered riding in it around 1973 and I talked to some locals who remembered seeing the car in around town in that time frame. But it seems like the coupe was taken off the road shortly thereafter never to see street duty again. Not much changed from the early 70s pics until I started unearthing this coupe in the spring of 2015.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/mobile-
    gallery/27d2673c4ff17f6b2909a9b5838c2368.jpg
    [​IMG][​IMG]


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  2. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    For reasons unknown Frank really never touched the coupe again. And unfortunately towards the end our buddy fab32 became a hoarder and absolutely packed that 80'X40' two story building full. It was a shame because in the early 2000s it was a beautiful, functional shop. Denise and Big Olds even had a H.A.M.B. thrash there. It's taken a ton of work but it's really a labor of love. As a reward Frank's wife handed me the keys to the shop and told me to set up a workspace.

    Honestly it's been mutually beneficial to a degree I never would have dreamed. Sharon (Frank's wife) as well as their son are thrilled with the progress. She told me it makes her so happy to see cars being worked on out there again, instead of the quiet mausoleum she said the shop had become. And it's helped me deal with the loss of my close friend and mentor. I definitely feel him looking over my shoulder sometimes when I'm out there. I've sold cars and parts, scrapped tons and tons, and I'm to the point now where three cars can be worked on comfortably with room to store 3-4 more. Sharon even sprung for a new road to the shop and LED lighting that I'm installing. So I sell the stuff and keep the place in order and she lets me work out there. It's a perfect arrangement, and that brings me to the coupe.[​IMG][​IMG]


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  3. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    After researching and walking past Frank's coupe all this time, I couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed a 327 and a Muncie and set it in the chassis to see how things fit? Looks like it ran a '39 trans mated to a SBC as the bell housing doesn't clear the firewall and the mounting tabs on the back of the K member don't line up. I'm going to modify it to fit the Muncie. I stepped back and seriously got chills seeing this thing with an engine in it. Probably the first time in 40 years.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]I told Sharon that I don't care if I'm not the guy who ends up with this coupe, four decades is too long for a car this cool to be off the road. So I've started picking at it and along with the blue F1, the deuce is going to be my winter project. I'm not going to chop it or unfill the roof/cowl vent. The plan is to get it running as is, rebuild the brakes and steering, then hammer it down the road and shake forty years of cobwebs out. Stay tuned


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  4. Very cool story...................
     
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  5. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,140

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's a great thing you're doing. I had a similar, but smaller scale deal like that when I lost my old motorcycling buddy to esophageal cancer just over two years ago. He had a pair of 1972 Chevy shortbed pickups, a 1959 Harley Panhead, and a 1979 Harley FXEF, none of them in operating condition when he passed. A month prior to his death, he asked me to help his wife deal with the stuff and get rid of it. In April of 2015 I hauled it all to my place and spent a lot of nights and weekends in the shop getting them all running again. The pickups hadn't moved for about 5 years, and the Harleys had been collecting dust for nearly 23 years, so there were a lot of things to deal with in order to get them all operational again. Like Lucky77 said, there were times late at night in the shop when it seemed that John was right there watching me. I sold the two pickups and the '59 early that summer for a combined total of nearly $30K, and when I talked to her about what the FXEF might be worth, she said her and the kids decided that I should have it, and handed me a signed title.
     
  6. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,580

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    I bet Franks grinning ear to ear.
    Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted. Great story.
     
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  7. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,367

    brady1929
    Member

    Great story
     
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  8. Frank and I had several long conversations about that coupe and how he had neglected it for so many years.

    Heck,we even talked about trading me the coupe for my Deuce pickup but we both agreed if we swapped body's we would end up with two non running projects. HRP
     
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  9. Good on you for taking good care of Frank's legacy. Quite the undertaking.

    BTW, Put me down for that 27 on 32 rails.
     
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  10. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    Thanks, sorry though hotrodA, that T roadster is my next TROG racer.


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  11. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,217

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Great read, look forward to updates.
     
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  12. Awesome story! Great undertaking for sure Lucky77 and I am sure Frank is watching over you. Great that he had such a close friend. Will be following along...........
     
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  13. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,629

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Frank was a great guy and missed . I don't think he wanted to cut loose with the coupe and tried to buy trade it a few times. It's great to see it out and pieced together and it's awesome that your doing this. Dude I hope you get your roadster done for the summer .
     
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  14. Yup, Frank is smiling and my monitor just got blurry. Please keep us updated. I miss that guy, he so much wanted to be part of our Bonneville effort. Somewhere there in the shop was an ok set of 34 pickup rear fenders I sold Frank about a dozen years ago.
     
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  15. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,439

    rd martin
    Member
    from indiana

    i had talked to frank years ago, good to see the movement in the shop.
     
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  16. Thanks for sharing this story, interesting.
     
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  17. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    Thanks, he was a great guy and he's sorely missed. If I don't get the T done I still have this one to bomb around in.[​IMG]


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  18. T&A Flathead
    Joined: Apr 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,801

    T&A Flathead
    Member

    Be good to people and they'll be good back. Hats off to you. It's great to see neglected cars brought back to life. Looking forward to see how this turns out.
     
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  19. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    Not much as far as progress, but there is an interesting development. 2018 will mark ten years I've been bringing something to the basement at Cobo for Autorama Detroit. I told fab32's widow Sharon that I would be honored to get it running and take it to the show in 2018. She was thrilled and gave me her blessing to do what I needed to do to make that happen. So as soon as I opened my big fat mouth that I was going to do this, I got a text from my buddy Dave (bigcheese327) who said he'd like to make the resurrection of Frank's coupe into a weekly-ish installment on the Hemmings Motor News blog. So, now I don't have a choice but to get this done. The car is 80% finished and I'm not going to chop it at this point so this is a very realistic goal. Of course I'm laid up with a back sprain right now, but as soon as I can stand I'll be out there working on it. I did manage to gut the interior and get the engine bolted in the correct location before I got hurt. This should be a pretty fun adventure, nearly 45 years is too long for this coupe to have been off the streets. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  20. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,195

    Roothawg
    Member

    Glad to see that you are making progress. I had to do something similar for my buddy Dave (Prop Strike). It sucks but the family appreciates it.
     
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  21. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,873

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Dang.....I miss that old guy.
     
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  22. This will sound silly but I swear that Deuce looks happier being worked on then in the pics of it sitting untouched....
     
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  23. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    I'm still doped up on pain pills, but that made my day


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  24. triwings1
    Joined: Jun 22, 2010
    Posts: 3

    triwings1
    Member
    from mi.

    Hey does that old hot rod still have the convex gauges in the dash?
     
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  25. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    Yes it does. A whole row of curved glass SW gauges all the way across the dash.


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  26. mrquickwhip
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 473

    mrquickwhip
    Member

    Great thread. You guys sure have it right, help each other.
     
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  27. jfreakofkorn
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 2,640

    jfreakofkorn
    Member

    looking good so far ..
     
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  28. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Lucky77
    Member

    Well that escalated quickly.....
    One day after lunch Frank called me over to his truck and said he had something for me. It was a two deuce flathead intake (it's on my roadster to this day) and another SBC 6X2. I purchased an X1 from him a few years earlier. He handed them to me and I said "Whoa, thanks Frank." He replied "Oh, don't worry they're not free. I just don't want you to pay full price at the estate sale when I kick the bucket." I gave him some money at our next few lunches until he told me we were square.

    Since I'm not going to have it chopped before it goes to Autorama I really want to nail the stance and have a bad ass looking engine to draw your eye away from the fact that it needs a haircut. I was sharing these pics with some friends last night and Jeff (Titus) made me get rid of the block hugger headers. They were only there to fire it up, but it was definitely the right call to go with these old Headmans even though I'm still a little fuzzy on how I'll connect them to the rest of the eventual exhaust. I also located the original dash and column squirreled away upstairs and installed them to see what it would look like? I dig it.

    Also found out the engine isn't a 327, it's a '69 Corvette 350/300 HP and when the time comes to test fire it I'll put the aluminum Vette intake and single carb back on to get it running and driving. Just wanted you guys to see the direction it's heading.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  29. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 3,003

    elgringo71
    Member

    That is one cool time capsule
     
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  30. mrquickwhip
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 473

    mrquickwhip
    Member

    This thread just keeps getting better. My eyes were welling up a little when you posted about the intakes and how you paid in stages till you were square.
     
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