Injected 392 Hemi at Home in This 1932 Ford Roadster
http://www.hotrod.com/cars/featured/151 ... -roadster/
Regular readers of STREET RODDER should remember the cover of the Nov. ’12 issue showing a photo of a roadster’s cockpit and its all-aluminum riveted interior. Besides the impressive interior work, the unpainted steel highboy was also powered by an injected Hemi, and the product of a build between its owner, Larry Christensen, and a hot rod shop, Pinkee’s Rod Shop, run by Eric Peratt.
Not only is it rare, a bare-metal hot rod makes the cover of the magazine, it’s also rare an unpainted vehicle wins a STREET RODDER Top 100 award, which should give an indication of just how nice it is. But after driving the car in fresh metal for a few years (including a road trip to Bonneville) Christensen upped his game, and surprised a few folks by showing up with a completely painted roadster.
Trying to keep the rust off was the main reason he decided to paint his ride (especially after that trip to the Salt Flats!) and the color only improves what we’d seen before. The work began with a chassis Pinkee’s built with a custom X-member, a 1-1/2-inch section, kicked rear, and a 108-inch wheelbase. Front suspension is traditionally based with hairpins and an I-beam axle, but the rear uses quarter-elliptic springs and a Winters quick-change.
There are disc brakes inside the front finned Buick-type drums, and the true knock-off wheels are from Curtis Speed (18x4 and 20x6) and wrapped with Excelsior tires (5.50-18 and 7.00-20). For steering Pinkee’s installed a Schroeder cowl steering unit mounted transversely below the dash. A Wilwood master cylinder unit that operates off a hanging swing pedal assembly (custom by Pinkee’s) is also located behind the dash.
Larry has not only built and restored many cars in his time, but he also imparted his knowledge by teaching Vocational Auto Mechanics classes. He assembled his own motor—a 392 Hemi bored 0.040 and the crank turned 0.010 at F&M Performance and Machine. An Isky cam was installed, as were a pair of aluminum Hot Heads (dialed in at 10:1) topped with ultrarare Parker aluminum valve covers. Feeding the beast is a Hilborn injection unit that was converted from mechanical to operate electronically. Bob Ream of Imagine Injection did the conversion, and it’s set up with an Easy EFI computer module from FAST. Impressive-looking stacks (made at Cook Enterprises) help control the air and custom headers and exhaust system came from Mike Lupfer at Lupfer Enterprises. A Tremec TKO 600 (with CenterForce clutch) gets the engine’s horsepower to the wheels.
Larry bought his Brookville Roadsters steel body from SO-CAL’s Pueblo shop, and had Frank Wallic fabricate an interior that features 15,000 rivets, including a bench seat that looks like it was taken right out of B-29 bomber. Autoweave in Denver supplied the upholstery, and lap belts look like they were borrowed from Bell Aircraft Company. The top (and posts) were chopped 2 inches, and the Autoweave stitched the top, too. The Limeworks four-spoke wheel and Moal Coachbuilders Bomber Series gauges (wired up in cloth by Pinkee’s Jay Overholt) are right at home in the rivet ’n’ aluminum dash insert. The windshield posts have been chopped 2 inches.
Once he decided to paint the vehicle (after driving it 1,600 miles in bare metal), it went back to Pinkee’s to have the bodywork and prep done before Mike Slaughter at Epic Auto Restorations covered the ride with Glasurit custom-mixed gold paint. All of the roadster’s nickel plating was done at Ogden Chrome, and Larry reassembled the car himself while it was kept at Pinkee’s shop. Headlights for the car are 1932-style, but the taillights are 1937 Ford, with a special mount fab’d at Pinkee’s.
arry has come a long way from when he was 14 years old and working at his dad’s gas station (he built his first motor before he could legally drive!), and he’s been able to take an already impressive roadster and give it his gold standard.