Ford’s classic 1932 roadster, better known as “the Deuce,” has been, and always will be, the quintessential hot rod.
Great-looking, with elegant, timeless lines that transcend its age, lightweight — especially when shorn of its fenders — equipped with a modified Ford or Mercury flathead V8 developing three to four times its original output, “Deuce” roadsters like this one were raced at California’s dry lakes and later at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
This car’s 63-year known history dates to December 30, 1948, when it was purchased from John Brooke Moheen Jr. by John Easton of Oakland, CA. Easton reportedly hot-rodded the car in the 1950s. In the 1960s, he completely disassembled the roadster and stored it for years in an enclosed space under his home in the Oakland Hills. On May 5, 1973, Easton sold the roadster to Bruce Olson. Known as “Deuce Bruce,” Olson worked with “Goodguy” Gary Meadors writing technical articles and features for publications such as Hot Rod, Rod & Custom and Street Rodder.
Bruce Olson’s plans for the roadster were never completed. He died of kidney cancer in 1990. Mike Russell, a well-known hot rodder and speed equipment collector from Aptos, CA, purchased the roadster from the Olson estate in September 1991. Russell finished the build, using many rare and original parts, drove the car for a time, then sold it to Kirk F. White, who in turn sold it to Glenn Mounger in November 1993.
An all-steel roadster on an original ’32 Ford frame, this car has the speed equipment that knowledgeable hot rodders covet. It’s powered by a 258-ci Ford V8 with polished ports and a set of Ardun overhead valve cylinder heads from Don Orosco. It’s equipped with an original S.Co.T supercharger and topped with a pair of Stromberg 97 carburetors and an authentic Thickstun air cleaner. The ignition is a Joe Hunt-restored Vertex magneto. The racing camshaft is by DeLong in San Jose; the crankshaft has been balanced; the lightweight flywheel is aluminum.
The running gear consists of a dropped and drilled front axle, along with rare Kinmont “Safe-Stop” disc brakes in front and Ford hydraulic drums in the rear. The 3-speed ’39 Ford top-loader gearbox is equipped with a Lincoln-Zephyr close-ratio cluster. The rear end is a Halibrand quick-change unit with 3.48:1 and 4:11:1 gears. Firestone 5.60:15 front tires are paired with 8.20:15 rears on reversed ’48 Mercury rims.
Inside, a genuine ’34 Auburn dash is equipped with Auburn instruments including a 120-mph Auburn V12 speedometer. There’s an oversized 0-to-8,000 rpm Stewart-Warner tachometer, an S-W vacuum gauge and a repro S-W boost gauge. The interior is pleated, early Ford style, in genuine leather, while the rumble seat is leatherette. The steering wheel is a ’39 Ford “banjo,” and a correct ’40s-era Ford accessory turn signal actuator is mounted on the column. The headlights are Guide 682-Cs from a Diamond T truck, with built-in parking lights for turn signals. The taillights are classic ’32 Ford.