This all started innocently enough. But somewhere along the way, what was supposed to be a quick, throw-it-together-and-sell-it project somehow transformed into a chromed-out, show quality, period correct, late-50s style street roadster. And now its being prepared to go to the GNRS. Part 1: Backstory, Idea, and Fabrication. I'd gone to the GNRS in 2008, and stopped to talk to Chuck at Brookville Roadster...and the next thing you know I'd ordered a new '32 Roadster body. I had an idea in my head for a car I wanted to build, and it was to be based on a '32 Roadster. So when Chuck made me a good deal on a body, I couldn't pass it up. I probably should have passed it up and used the money on one of my other projects, but the thoughts of deuce roadsters dancing around in my head made me weak. Fast forward 5 months later at the LA Roadster show, and the body was ready to pick up. As you can see from the writing scrawled on the cowl, the one in front here was mine. Im still not exactly sure how I managed to scrounge up enough money to pay for the body, but I did, and I got it loaded up and headed back to Texas. Here we are in Needles, CA on the way home. It was about 115 degrees outside that day, if I remember correctly. My shoes were sticking to the asphalt as I went inside the gas station. After I got it home, the body had to sit for a while. I had a particular car in mind that I wanted to use the body for, and I didnt want to start that project until I finished my 29 Coupe and my 29 roadster. So it sat patiently and waited. Fast forward again to March 2010. I was working in the shop and got a call from a good friend, telling me that he was planning on selling his 32 5-window, and he wanted to know if I was interested. I was familiar with the car, and the next thing you know Id made a deal to buy it. However, in order to buy it, something in my stash had to go and yep, you guessed it that something was my Brookville 32 Roadster body. Rather than just flip the body, I decided that I would build a chassis for it first, and take the roller out to the LA Roadster Show swap meet to try and sell it. I told a few people about my plan to throw the roadster together and sell it, and one of those people was Steve Ernst. Right about the time I got an opening to get started on the chassis, Steve came over to the shop and made a deal on the car. Not only did this save me from having to carry the car out to LA, but Steve also decided that he wanted to take the car further than just a roller, which sounded fine to me.So after going over the components that Id already selected for the car, and talking about the style of car that Steve really wanted it was apparent that the car was going to be a late 50s style hot rod. The Nitti Roadster would serve as inspiration although Id add or change a few things to give the car a persona that could have been created in the late 50s specifically 1959. Fortunately, the parts I had already acquired would fit this style of car perfectly and I was finally able to get cranking on building the chassis. First up was the frame. I had planned on building a replica of a stock deuce frame, based on American Stamping rails, but using original Ford crossmembers. That was still the plan, but I deviated slightly from a factory deuce frame by using Model A front and rear crossmembers, along with an original 32 K-member. Here is the beginning marking the frame rail to attach the K-member. Once the spreader bars and K-member had been located, the front crossmember was next. I ended up modifying the Model A front crossmember by taking a pie cut out of the ends so that it would fit in between the 32 rails. I used a factory 32 front crossmember as a template, and matched the Model A crossmember up to it. In the photo below, the 32 is on top, original Model A on bottom, and the modified Model A crossmember is in the middle. Mocked-up... Since the frame was to remain unboxed, I wanted to use a torque tube and early Ford banjo rear along with a Model A rear spring. I settled on a 41 Ford rear, which required no modifications, other than the addition of lower shock mounts. And although the frame wasnt getting boxed, I decided it would be a good idea to reinforce the frame above the kick-up, just as Ford did in late 32. I made a template of the factory reinforcement in an original 32 frame I have, and cut out some plate to weld into the kick-up. This also gave me a good spot to weld in the Model A rear crossmember. Moving ahead, heres the first engine mock-up, with the firewall, radiator and grille in place as well. The transmission Im using is a 39 trans that I bought at the Pate Swap Meet. It was in amazing condition when I pulled the shifter top off, and didnt require a rebuild. It attaches to the small block with an older Offenhauser adapter. The torque tube came from a 39 Ford also, and here Im checking the length before welding it up. Since I wanted the frame to appear to be an unmodified original 32 frame, I went through the trouble to put all the original style rivets in place although everything was tig welded rather than actually riveted together. So here we have the frame, nearly completed with the motor mounts up next. In trying to replicate an original deuce frame, theres not a whole lot of room for creativity. But the one area I was able to cut loose a little bit was on the motor mounts. The car was slated for a 57 283 with no side-mount bosses on the block, so I had to come up with a way to mount the front of the engine to the front crossmember. I chose to use a set of factory 55 Chevrolet front mounts, but replaced the pedestal stud normally used with these mounts with a grade 8 bolt to remove some height. The transmission uses a factory 32 trans mount, so there wasnt really any leeway on engine placement.I started by making the plates that would weld to the front crossmember and then welded them in place. Now comes the tricky part. I wanted to add something to reach over to the frame rail and support the engine mount, and I thought this would also be a good way to tie upper shock mounts in at the same time. Heres the template: And heres the result. This plate ties into a piece of 3/8 plate that I drilled and tapped for the F-1 shock mounts to bolt into, through the frame rail.