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Hopper’s Hot Rod

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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : Gary's 1932 Ford

1932 FordOne thing Gary Hopper does very well is make hot rods. He started as a teenager with a ‘34 Ford coupe that he was too young to even drive. Over the years he has built many and found that other people liked what he built. Someone would want to buy and Gary could not resist selling. So after he sold his drag boat-building business in about 1980, he started a new business up here called, appropriately enough, Hopper’s Hot Rod Garage. He has always had an affinity for ‘32 Fords, having built three before this one, but never kept one for long. He always planned to keep them, but then would come an offer he couldn’t refuse. But this one he has owned since he completed it in 2007. He did it right, Magnum Axle frame, axles and four-wheel disc brakes under a ‘32 roadster all-steel body by Rod Bods. He took a ‘69 Camaro 350 CID engine and rebuilt it with modern Vortec heads. It is mated to a TurboHydro 350 auto trans. It is a roadster, which means that it does not have roll-up windows and can be a bit windy, but Gary says he can hear the AM/FM/CD quite well, as long as the Sid Shaver Bop Top is on it. That being said, there is a heater for cold weather, but air conditioning is of the 260 variety: what comes through the two windows at 60 MPH. Except for having the upholstery done by Santana Interiors, Gary did all the work himself, including mechanical, body and paint. Although Gary says it is fun to drive, it is not a large car and he would not mind getting something with more storage for long runs with the Roamin Angels. Judging from past experience, however, it won’t be long before someone falls in love with Gary’s hot rod and he will start building a new one.

1932 Ford

‘32 open-wheel roadster is considered a classic street rod. The clean lines are accentuated by having no chrome on the body. Door handles are unnecessary since you just reach through the open windows to open them.

A Holley dual-feed carb provides fuel and a Mallory distributor sparks the Chevy engine. Front brackets came from Billet.

Flaming River made the steering column and the gauges are Moon. Although there is room to two, that is the maximum comfortable seating.

Story & photos by Ron C. © 2009

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