1932 Koszis Ford Roadster

1932 Koszis Ford Roadster

 

Owner: Chick Koszis

 

 

Black Beauty


When Chick Koszis decided he wanted a 1932 Ford Roadster, he decided to start from scratch. Sometimes its just easier that way, especially when everyone is making every conceivable part for the car you want. So, with a body from Rod Bods and a "pinched" 32 Hi-Boy chassis from So-Cal, we got to work building his dream car

One thing you notice about this 1932 Ford roadster is that it's all business. No fancy bells and whistles. The paint is semi-gloss primer black adorned by the pinstriping skill of our very own "Hot Dog" Pete Finlan, who does an amazing job of accenting this classic rod in all the right places. The wheels are Wheel Vintique "Cruzer" Alloys. The trunk lid was louvered right here in our fab shop and is the only significant modification to the Rod Bods body. The two-gallon dragster tank up front is from Mooneyes and serves as the radiator overflow.

The engine is a Chevy 355 small-block with a Mooneyham blower and dual quad 600 cfm carbs. The headers are from So-Cal Speed Engineering, while the valve covers and air cleaner are from Mooneyes. The engine is fired by a Joe Hunt magneto and cooled by a Walker radiator, a Cooling Components electric fan and a polished aluminum water pump. The rest of the drivetrain consists of a Jet Performance 700R4 transmission and a Currie 9-inch Ford rear end. The swan shifter is from Gennie Shifter and the hand brake is a Lokar. The skull shift knob and floor mats say it all. Chick decided to leave the interior door and kick panels (which we custom fabricated) unfinished. The TCI tilt column compliments the simplicity of the interior. Keep it simple, keep it functional is the rule here.

It was Chick's idea to have a traditional Mexican blanket incorporated into the upholstery of this Glide Engineering bench seat (Ron Mangus did the work). Keeping with the red, white and blue colors of the pinstriping, the effect is striking. One of the neatest details of this car is the shifter knob sculpted by Dennis McPhail. Cool enough all by itself, Chick had Hot Dog (Pete Finlan) pinstripe and flame it. Hot Dog's mastery of the pinstriper's art is fully displayed on this car. On the headlights, he not only pinstripes, he adds a lower half to go with the chrome skeletons that peer over the top.

In the 1980s and 90s Chick was building a flathead-powered '32 hiboy roadster (over a period of eleven years), with a lot of interruptions in the process (college educations for the boys, work on the Stealth Bomber project, etc.). He sold the project to his friend, Paul Crain, who completed the car in rather short order. Chick and his wife Sue Ann subsequently moved from the Los Angeles area to Valley Center, a rural community in north San Diego county. In September of 2001, they were on the last day of a two week-long motorcycle touring vacation throughout California. When stopped for gas in Mojave, Chick asked Sue Ann how she really felt about the trip. She replied that even though she enjoyed it immensely, she felt that two weeks was about the limit of endurance on her Harley. Obviously her "Fun Meter" was peaking. Chick responded with, "Well, you know, we could do this in a roadster, instead." She thought briefly and replied, "Yeah, we could." Chick took that as approval to start a new roadster project.

The next day he called his old buddy Paul because he knew he had a fresh Rod Bods '32 roadster body ready to go on the market. He told Paul that he had a buyer-send the body to southern California. Chick and Sue Ann didn't want the same long-term result with this project as with the last one, so he contacted one of the best in the business--Randy Clark of Hot Rods & Custom Stuff in Escondido to pull the project off in a timely manner. The goal was to have the car finished in time to make the LA Roadster Show on Father's Day weekend 2002, a short seven months away. Randy and his crew accepted the challenge and succeeded in fine style. The '32 was built like the hot rods Chick remembers from the sixties, (surprising that anyone remembers ANYTHING from the sixties) and he decided that he had to have at least one blower-motored car in his life. This was destined to be a HOT Rod. After the guys at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff ventilated the rear deck lid, Randy started calling it the "blown cheese grater."

Randy turned management of the project, and the majority of the fabrication and assembly, to the capable hands of Phil Damon. Phil took a personal interest in the car and Chick credits him with pulling this project off professionally and giving it more than 100% of his skill and dedication. That's not to say that the rest of the crew at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff didn't participate, because they all contributed. Chick and Sue Ann give special thanks to Randy, Peaches, Doug, the two Dave W's, Charlie, Richard, Hot Dog, the Troy's and all the others who turned a wrench, cut a panel, crimped a terminal, or squirted some paint.

This car was designed and built to be driven. On the day before the 100 mile trip up to LA for the Roadster Show, the engine was started, and the car driven for the first time. It got better than 18 miles to the gallon with a new, tight engine and the blower with dual quads! A lot of this can be attributed to the 700R4 overdrive transmission. The car was one of the recipients of an award its first time at Escondido's Friday night Cruisin' Grand Avenue event.

Another '32 roadster also won an award that evening. After the award presentations, the other roadster owner confided to Chick that he was going to put the car under wraps until the following January for the Grand National Roadster Show. Chick replied, "That's nice, but I'm going to put bugs on the windshield!" That's what it's about. Having fun with old cars-hot rods, in this case. Speaking of fun, the skeletons found their way from a motorcycle parts catalog, to Chick's house, to sit astride the '34 Ford commercial headlights. Their final resting place was the subject of much debate at the shop. This is fun stuff, and you can't take it too seriously! Here's the tech details on the car. Probably more than you want to know.
Chassis: * SoCal Speed Shop pinched '32 Hiboy Frame, modified by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, Escondido, CA, and powder coated by Olympic Coating, Escondido, Ca. * Deuce Factory polished and drilled stainless steel I-beam front axle. * Durant Mono-leaf front spring. * Deuce Factory front-end fittings. * SoCal Speed Shop hairpin radius rods & batwings. * Mullins Vega steering box. * Pete & Jake rear ladder bars. * Bilstein shocks. * Wheel Vintique Cruzer wheels and knockoffs (15 x 4 front, 15 x 10 rear). * 145x15 front tires. * 275x15 rear tires. * Functional Fakes front brake covers over Willwood front disk brakes. * Ford rear drum brakes. Drivetrain: * 355 cid Chevy machined, clearanced, balanced, and assembled by Team C Performance, Bellflower, CA * SRP 8.0:1 cr blower pistons * Scat forged-steel crankshaft * SRP Heavy Duty rods * Comp Cams blower grind cam (280 degree duration, 0.480" lift), lifters, roller rockers, and pushrods * Dart Sportsman II cast iron heads w/2.02/1.94" stainless steel valves * Milodon 7 quart oil pan * Edelbrock water pump * Melling high-volume oil pump * Moon valve covers * Gene Mooneyham GMC 6-71 polished blower, manifold, and 3" belt drive system (15% under drive) * Edelbrock dual 750 cfm carburetors * Rick Carlyle SoCal Speed Engineering exhaust headers * Joe Hunt solid-state magneto look-alike distributor * O'Brien Truckers air cleaner * Tuned by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff * GM 700-R4 Overdrive Automatic transmission, and 2100 rpm stall torque converter prepared by Jet Performance Transmission, Huntington Beach, CA. * Currie Ford 9" rear end w/3.25:1 traction lock differential. * 2 % inch exhaust system designed and fabricated by Phil Damon at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, and ceramic coated by Olympic Coating Body: * Rod Bods 1932 Ford roadster steel body. * Deck lid louvered by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. * Firewall set-back 1". * Body prep and paint by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. * Pinstriping by Pete "Hot Dog" Finlan at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. * '34 Ford commercial headlights, with skeletons by Doug at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. * '37 Ford taillight housings on Hot Rods & Custom Stuff custom fabricated brackets. * 2" chopped stock windshield. * Moon fuel tank mounted on front spreader bar. * Miniature Moon tank brake fluid reservoir mounted on firewall. * Stock '32 Ford fuel tank. * PPG black basecoat with "eggshell" clearcoat. Interior: * Glide Engineering roadster seat. * Ron Mangus upholstery (serape and leather). * Aluminum bead-rolled door, kick, and trim panels by Phil Damon, Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. * Gennie nostalgia shifter, w/Dennis McPhail skull shift knob and "tattoos" by Pete Finlan. * Tri-C Engineering stainless steel tilt steering column. * GMT Column Drop. * Lime Works turn signal switch. * Lobeck steering wheel with engine turned spokes and Moon fuel tank fill cap horn button. * Stewart Warner "Wings" gauges. * Stock '32 filled dash panel. * Inside '32 Ford door latch pulls fabricated by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. * Kragen floor mats. TESTIMONIAL Randy, You know that I've told you personally what a great car Sue Ann and I have thanks to you and your crew, but I thought I needed to get the word out for others to know. For the record: our '32 highboy was built at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff and was completed in time for the June 2002 LA Roadster Show. It's a Rod Bods steel roadster body on a SoCal Speedshop frame. The engine is a 6-71 blown 355 cubic inch small-block Chevy backed by a 700-R4 trans and a 3.25:1 geared 9-inch rearend. Randy referred to it during its construction as the "Blown Cheesegrater" in reference to the huffer and the generously louvered decklid. Today, its license plate declares it to be "Bare BonesSince the maiden voyage up the road to Pomona, Bare Bones has now seen over 20,000 trouble-free miles. It's been to Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Canada) twice (2004 and 2005); the Bonneville Salt Flats (Utah) in August 2002; Paso Robles in May and, Pleasanton (NorCal) last month in addition to almost every scenic hi-way in central and southern California. Along the way, it's been to: the entire California coast, Oregon coast, Olympic (Washington) peninsula; Seattle (twice); Yosemite National Park (California); Mt. Lassen Volcano National Park (California); Mojave desert; Las Vegas, Nevada; San Francisco, California; thru the Sierra Nevada Mountains; California's Gold Country; Reno, Nevada; and Lake Tahoe. Some interesting anecdotes about the car: (1): At the LA Roadster Show 2004, the car was displayed in Ron Mangus' booth. Jerry Noone (car builder from Lancaster, CA) brought Billy Gibbon (ZZ Top) over to point out some features of the car. Billy takes some pictures and declares to me, "Ah shore do lahk yur cahr!!" Thanks Billy, ah sure do like your music, too. (2): I pulled into the Hilton Hotel parking lot in Pleasanton last month to register for the Goodguys West Coast Nationals. I pulled into an open spot and parked next to last year's AMBR winner "Sedeuced" built by Steve Moal and Tom Walsh. There's not a speck of dirt on it, and it's got 17 miles on the odometer. I just pulled in from 500 miles of Interstate 5 from San Diego, and thru the San Joaquin Valley. There's a ton of people taking pictures of "Sedeuced". I get out of my car and go to say "hi" to Tom Walsh (we were travelling companions up to Canada last year), and I tell him, "Tom, now don't that beat all - I win out over that guy in the "Bug Killin' Contest" and they're all takin' pictures of the loser!!! Go figger! When I keep my foot out of it, it gets almost 17 miles per gallon. When I put my foot in it, the measurement becomes "smiles per mile" and I've got lots of smiles behind that laid back windscreen. You proved that a bitchin hot rod can be dependable with the Street Rodder Road Tour car last year, and I can back that claim up too with my experience wiith Bare Bones. If anyone thinks that a real hot rod can't be driven, see me or Randy for proof otherwise. Thanks again, Chick and Sue Ann Koszis