This is the real thing, in a sea of fiberglass-bodied imitators with their ubiquitous 350 Chevy V8s and TH400 transmissions
If this channeled '32 roadster looks familiar to nostalgia-prone baby boomers, it is because it's the same car that David and Ricky Nelson drove in a memorable episode of the Ozzie and Harriet television series. Legend has it, young Ricky desperately wanted to buy the car with some of his show earnings, but Ozzie refused, saying, "No 1932 Ford is worth $3,500."
This roadster's well-documented history starts in 1951 with Ray De Fillipi of Los Angeles. Most West Coast roadsters of the period were highboys, so-called because their bodies rested atop the original frame. But Ray dropped his roadster's body down over the frame, welding it onto the chassis with a new floor pan. The result, called channeling, yielded a dramatically lowered silhouette. If you raced at the dry lakes, this wind-cheating modification bumped you up one racing class.
De Fillipi's "deuce" lowboy featured a bored-and-stroked 286-cid Ford flathead with an Edelbrock dual manifold, rare Harrell high-compression heads, a Winfield SU-1 cam and Kurten dual-coil ignition. The transmission was a 1940 Ford column-shift, fitted with a close-ratio Lincoln Zephyr first and second gear cluster.