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The stance of the car is not your modern airbag look, but rather a timeless hot rod appearance that gives the car an aggressive stance at a drivable level. Stock headlights rest on a painted and dropped headlight bar.
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NEIGHBORHOOD SEDAN

Sometimes It’s Best To Buy Locally

We’ve all heard stories of fellow street rodders who have searched far and wide for that special car. Weeks are spent on the Internet, days are spent stumbling through hot, dry, cold, wet, dusty or muddy swap meets, and even more time is spent at major rod runs, car corrals and cruise nights. Even with all that effort, time and expense, often times you still don’t find a particularly special car. Of course, you could do what Cecil Watts did and walk next door while your neighbor is having a barbecue for the hot rod club and say, “I didn’t know you were going to sell the Fordor—I’ll take it.” It was really that simple, and the best part is that the car is really special.

Author

Picture of Gerry Burger

Gerry Burger

Story & Photography

Of course, to pull off this easy purchase plan, it helps to have a neighbor like Gary Moore. Gary is one of those guys who seems to come across more good-looking hot rods than the average guy, and when he sees the right car, he buys it. There’s little wonder how Cecil Watts had the confidence to slap leather that day. It didn’t hurt that the ’66 427 Corvette that was once in Cecil’s garage had been sold, leaving a rather large void in his garage.

The car we’re talking about is a very nice ’32 Ford. Done in basic bone and blue (yes, this car is dark blue), the Deuce has a great hot rod stance and is so tastefully done that many hot rodders remember the car. This is noteworthy because it is such an understated car. Oh yeah, and one more thing—this is not your average Deuce. This Deuce hot rod is based on the least likely of body styles, the Fordor sedan.

The car was originally built at Street Rods by Michael in Shelbyville, Tennessee. After the car was driven for a of couple years, Gary Moore came across the car in the swap meet at the NSRA Nationals. He purchased the car, brought it home to Melbourne, Florida, and parked it in his garage, which, of course, is right next door to the Cecil Watts residence.

The Fordor was in need of some minor fixes, and Gary felt that a set of wires he had from an earlier hot rod would look great on the car. After powdercoating the wheels in a tasteful tan, he bolted them onto the car, and the Fordor was once again ready for the open road. It proved to be a great road car with a timeless look, one that Cecil just couldn’t resist.

The sedan rides on a Street Rods by Michael chassis that includes a 3-inch dropped Super Bell axle, Pete & Jakes shocks and a Posies spring. A Vega-style steering box completes the front suspension. The 8-inch Ford rear is mounted with a set of parallel leaf springs and a second set of Pete & Jakes shocks. The wire wheels are from Vintique and measure 14×6 in front and 15×7 in rear, and the car rolls on Goodyear rubber that measures 195-70R/14 in front and 235-35/15 in rear.

Power for the Fordor comes in the form of the tried-and-true small-block Chevrolet connected to a 350 Turbo transmission. The ’85 Chevy engine has been bored over 0.030, bringing it out to 355 ci. An Edelbrock intake and carburetor feed the small block while an aluminum breather and valve covers dress up the engine. Ram’s horn exhaust manifolds exit through Flowmaster mufflers for a pleasing hot rod rumble.

One of the keys to success on this Fordor is the simple design. Using a Fordor, it was important not to get too flashy, so the body was left basically stock with simply the elimination of the rear-mounted spare tire, the filling of the roof insert and the substitution of a SoCal nosepiece on the grille shell. The body was rock solid to begin with, so Street Rods by Michael spent untold hours fitting the body and getting the panels laser-straight. When the body was finally prepped, it was covered in Mercedes Blue/Black. The color is so dark that virtually everyone mistakes it for black, but in the bright sunlight, blue highlights bounce off of the rounded panels.

The bone leather interior was done by Paul Atkins, and once again in keeping with the theme of the car, the interior was kept simple. A custom lower valance was built under the dashboard, and VDO gauges monitor the small block. Vintage Air provides heat and air, and the overhead console helps to keep the dashboard clean.

The end result is a fine Fordor that is memorable because of its classic good looks and the great restraint that was exercised while building the car. This is one of those cars that pulls into a cruise night and turns heads coming and going. It’s a lesson in timeless hot rod technique whereby the inherent good looks of the ’32 Ford are allowed to shine through the mile-deep blue paint.

And so the deal between neighbors was struck, the car moved west exactly one driveway, and it is now parked where a big-block Corvette was once found. To prove that this is one really good car, the two neighbors are not only still talking, but they also cruise to events and enjoy the sport of street rodding together. When it comes to good deals, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Coming or going, the lines of a Deuce many-door are easy on the eyes.
The stock rear bumper and taillights are still on the car, but the rear-mounted spare is now gone. Note the perfect fit of the wheels in the fenderwells.

ARTICLE SOURCES

Picture of Paul Atkins Interiors

Paul Atkins Interiors

1369 County Road 649
Hanceville, Alabama 35077

256-352-9608

Picture of Street Rods by Michael

Street Rods by Michael

120 Deery Street
Shelbyville, TN 37160

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