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History The Doane Spencer Roadster from '52-'69...More details?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bass, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,234

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    If I'm not mistaken, Mr Gale's clone used 1/4 Elliptics up front with an axle mounted R&P steering.
    Can't see the springs from that pic...but the car pictured IS running a cowl steering setup instead of a R&P so it shouldn't be Dave Gale's car...unless he changed it over time.
     
  2. While going through some old 70's & 80's street rod magazines today. I stumbled across the October 1981 issue of Rod Action that contained an article about the Doane Spencer roadster (owned by Neal East at the time) and it's clone built by Dave Gale in Ohio. Here's an excerpt from the article titled "Meet the Twins - the original and the clone finally get acquainted" written by J. Neal East

     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  3. skywolf
    Joined: Jul 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,862

    skywolf
    Member

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. I'm guessing the photos Beatnik posted are of the original Doane Spencer roadster not the clone built by Dave Gale. I don't have a scanner to scan and upload, the October 1981 Rod Action article featuring both cars. In the article it talks about how Neal and Dave would try to fool the public, when the two cars where together at Bonneville for the photo shoot. Here's a list of the differences that I can see between the two cars:

    Doane Spencer Roadster:
    - Exhaust openings in the side of the frame rails
    - No body lines on the hand formed steel top
    - Louvered hood top and louvered hood sides
    - Stock chrome plated hood latches
    - Side curtain snaps in the doors
    - license plate hanging from front nerf bar
    - painted headlight trim rings
    - side view mirrors
    - flush mounted rear license plate to back of body
    - chrome plated pea shooter exhaust exiting in the rear

    Dave Gale Clone:
    - No exhaust opening in the side of the frame rails (quote from Dave in the article "Gotta have some way to tell 'em apart")
    - 3-window "like" body line in the lower rear portion of the steel top
    - smooth hood top and hood sides
    - Dzus fastens in lower portion of hood sides
    - chrome rear nerf bar
    - rear license plate is not flush mounted to rear of body
    - black painted exhaust exiting from the rear
     
  5. Same here. That axle is now under Don Orosco's Riley Deuce roadster.
     
  6. beatnik
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,206

    beatnik
    Member

    This is from the book "Hot Rod Milestones", there is more early info in the book this start from about 1950. Hope it helps.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,899

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm pretty sure the Gale built car was later updated and changed from being a clone of Spencer's.
     
  8. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,347

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    After reading your comparison, I agree. Sorry for the confusion.

    Yes, I'm pretty sure it was on the cover of Rod & Custom Oct. '89 in a different/ later form.


    That does help, I think....or at least backs up or adds to some of the suspicions and conjecture. This is the book written by Ken Gross, correct?

    From reading the text you attached, it looks like the car indeed had been fitted with a 348 inch (stroker?) Thunderbird Y-block, a 3-71 blower (more likely a 4-71??), possibly had the 2-port injector, and had also been changed over to open drive with the rear hairpins. I'm curious what the rest of the rear suspension looked like...were the parallel, outside the frame hairpins the only links in the rear suspension?

    There still seem to be more questions than answers. Since East apparently received the car sans Y-block, I wonder how much he knows about that set-up? It would definitely be interesting to get his input!
     
  9. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Ya Dave Gales clone started as a reasonably close replica of Doane's car. Same basi front suspension as Doane's, just missing the through frame exhaust cat outs. The other differences have been documented a bit further up the page. By the mid eighties the car had been driven a bunch, and needed freshening up. It got a rebuild that included a basically new chassis that ended up with Quarter eliptics on the front. Painted a bright maroon color I have to say even for a "mid tech" kinda car it was beautiful... Sold to a guy in California in the mid ninties that did some "updating"... Blower through the hood with a big ugly blister, weed burner style headers with electronic cut outs to make noise with, nasty blue paint, a sad end in my humble opinion for an otherwise perfect car. I relize this is not about the clones of this car, but history of Doane' car itself, but I had to mention that. By the way, the picture that Beatnick posted above is from about '78 or so. I remember seeing it with that particular set of wheels and tires about that time.
     
  10. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,234

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    Ahhhhh! NOW I understand!
    I was only familiar with the Gale car AFTER the 1st update.

    Too bad it was re-updated after the Maroon version. It was a really nice blend of old and new at that stage in its life.
     
  11. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 782

    VonWegener
    Member

    When Neal east moved to Denver he had to leave his project cars behind until suitable storage was found for the '32 and his Iso Rivolta.
    The Iso was more of a bodyshop backyard special and fittingly found a temporary home in a bodyshop in Pasadena that was owned by Neal's friend, fellow L.A. Roadsters club member Paul Winson. I was Paul's neighbor at the time and I had a spare garage space. When the Doan Spencer '32 was pushed down the driveway and the door closed behind it, it was a little like christmas and birthday rolled into one.
    Sure it wasn't mine but I could touch it and smell it and check out its many features.
    I would roll it out for summer Bar-B-Qs so it could enjoy a little sunshine together with its garage mate my old Triumph Showbike.
    Somewhere I have the hundreds of photos I took of every aspect of the car. As time went on I became a little more bold and cleared out enough space in the car to sit in it.
    Yes - I have left seat time in the Doane Spencer Roadster but don't tell Neal:)
    The trunk was full of parts and on top of them was a shallow box full of nuts and bolts and the original SCTA timing tag. On those Bar-B-Q weekends with guests I would lock that one in my toolbox just in case it developed wings from those delicious grilled animal fumes.
    When the decision was made to sell the car we were all dumbfounded but Neal assured me that it was a mutual decision between all the parties involved and that everybody was pleased with the outcome. Lynn Wineland later confirmed that too. The roadster went from my place straight to PC3g if I recall correctly.
    Regarding the modifications that were done, I remember Neal told me that Jake built the front steering hoop and that the steering geometry would now be fixed.
    Neal had also saved the original seat which was a rear seat out of a '37 Packard or '39 Lasalle with that ultra long center armrest. I do not remember.
    These were great times for me that I remember fondly. A little later everything changed in a bitter drawn out divorce.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  12. hiboy32
    Joined: Nov 7, 2001
    Posts: 2,774

    hiboy32
    Member
    from Omaha, NE



    Wow,great addition to this story. post up some pics please
     
  13. Here's one from '79 with the halibrands....
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Here's the MEET THE TWINS article by J. Neal East (from the October 1981 issue of RodACTION magazine):

    'MEET THE TWINS' (by J. Neal East - Rod ACTION - October 1981 - pg 46).jpg 'MEET THE TWINS' (by J. Neal East - Rod ACTION - October 1981 - pg 47).jpg 'MEET THE TWINS' (by J. Neal East - Rod ACTION - October 1981 - pg 48).jpg 'MEET THE TWINS' (by J. Neal East - Rod ACTION - October 1981 - pg 49).jpg
    Click thumbnails to enlarge
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  15. R.C.
    Joined: Jun 9, 2006
    Posts: 922

    R.C.
    Member

    the car looks great, everything about it is right....
     
  16. aussiesteve
    Joined: Jan 6, 2004
    Posts: 808

    aussiesteve
    BANNED

     
  17. Kevin Lee
    Joined: Nov 12, 2001
    Posts: 7,403

    Kevin Lee
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Along with all of the other modifications, engine swaps, etc... it looks like the radiator/grille shell has been dropped an inch or two over the years.
     
  18. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,498

    Andy
    Member

    F-1 spindles would require F-1/F-100 hubs. The inner bearings from 32-48 hubs would not go on. It must have been a solution to an offset problems with the drums and backing plates. The hubs have different backspace than Ford hubs. The drums look like 46-48 to me. The spindles all have the same inclination. I have measured them.
     
  19. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member


    Actually, you can use the '32 - '48 hubs by using the inner bearing from the truck application. I have to agree, I have a pair of F-1 spindles and they also have a greater king pin inclination than the pass car stuff too. Only by a degree or so, but different. Strangly though, I used a set of F-1 spindles on another project years ago without any camber difficulties... Haven't quite figured that one out yet...
     
  20. BCR
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,263

    BCR
    Member

    I am really enjoying this post! I too have looked for the history of this car and have learned a lot in the last few days.

    Thanks for posting this Brian.
     
  21. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 782

    VonWegener
    Member

    With the San Gabriel Valley Street Rod Kabal firmly involved in the car from Neal's ownership on it is a given.
    Eastwood, Pete&Jake, Birdman et al. share the same certain aesthetic and all the Deuces they build kinda resemble each other.
    Imho that is not a bad thing!
    Of all the original early Hot Rods that were restored the Spencer car is probably the least "original 40s" of them all.
    I kinda like that the restoration is really a snap shot of the car in 1993 as so many talented people had contributed to the looks of the car until then.
     
  22. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,498

    Malcolm
    Member
    from Nebraska

    Great thread! I remember talking to Neal at the Colorado Goodguys event quite a few years ago. Nice guy -- he had his little red modified and struck up a conversation when he saw me closely checking his car out.


    Here's the contact info for his book store:
    Car Books Of Colorado
    5501 S Broadway
    80121-8080 - Littleton (Arapahoe)

    Tel. 303-762-8595




    Malcolm
     
  23. aussiesteve
    Joined: Jan 6, 2004
    Posts: 808

    aussiesteve
    BANNED

    The book store is closed.
    I,ll ask Neal if it is OK to pass his ph no along

    RIP EDl
     
  24. nwbhotrod
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,245

    nwbhotrod
    Member
    from wash state

    Just call Bruce and ask to see the car
     
  25. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,498

    Malcolm
    Member
    from Nebraska

    Oops, my bad :eek: Didn't know that.
     
  26. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,258

    The37Kid
    Member

    It will take some time to find but there is a photo of a bare chassis at a show in 1949 with a Doane built chassis. It has the front frame kickup and no frame horns. I've always wondered if this was a spare chassis for the Roadster or one he built for another car? :confused:
     
  27. Yeah, I just found out in a search yesterday:eek:
     
  28. aussiesteve
    Joined: Jan 6, 2004
    Posts: 808

    aussiesteve
    BANNED

    Brian
    Check your PM,s

    RIP Ed
     
  29. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,347

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Got it, thanks Steve!
     
  30. FlatHead Deuce
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 21

    FlatHead Deuce
    Member
    from Ipswich MA

    Thanks to all for the Spencer Roadster info, esp. Bass for starting this thread and Pat Ganahl for checking in with us!

    I've been stuck on this car as my favorite Deuce ever since I saw it in person at the Petersen during Deuce Week '07, where I spent hours checking it out...walking around to look at the other Deuces...and coming back to Doane's car again.

    For me, it is the pinnacle of '32 Ford Hot Rods; the perfect marriage of form & function to attain the primary goal: speed...

    I'm planning to do a faithful model of Doane's Roadster in 1/8 scale plastic; starting with a 1/8 Revell-Monogram kit as a base, I'll be using SolidWorks CAD to make up the unique pieces...

    Can anyone post pix of the bare frame? I gotta figure out the Z'ed kickup back there...
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010

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