1932 Ford Hot Rod Survivor Built in 1960—Lots of Vintage Photos!

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Bob Moloney of Keller, Texas, has one seriously unique 1932 Ford coupe that is a rarity in the world of hot rodding. What makes it so special? He built the hot rod five-window coupe back in 1960, and 60 years later, it is as if nothing has changed. It even has its original paint! According to Bob, “It has been continuously running, registered and in use since November 1965.”

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While we might typically be inclined to add our own flowery comments throughout a Readers’ Rides story, this time it just felt best to let Bob tell the story. He has, after all, been the one who built, drove, and maintained the 1932 Ford coupe for the past half-century.

The Original Build: 19601961

“The project was initially started by a friend in 1955 in Boston’s Dorchester suburb and abandoned in 1957. My girlfriend and I acquired the body, frame, and pieces in June 1960, as shown here in these photos. Work began then in Weymouth, Massachusetts, continuing to mid-December 1960, stopping for winter shutdown and an extended visit to California from FebruaryMay 1961.

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Upon return from the West Coast, the project was restarted in late May 1961 with the car being driven on the road for the first time in June 1961. In August 1961, the ’32 was stowed in the boat workshop while we began our military service life.

Trailer-Towing with a ’32 Ford

In June 1962, a trailer hitch sub-frame assembly was fabricated and welded to the rear crossmember to tow our 16X8-foot travel trailer from Weymouth, Massachusetts, to Zion, Illinois, to live in while there for a six-month assignment.

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In early December 1962, we left Zion for our next duty station and began to tow the travel trailer to Virginia by way of Weymouth, Massachusetts. It was wintertime with no heater in the car and very cold. At home base, it was decided to put the ’32 in storage and continue hauling the trailer to Virginia with a more suitable car. The ’32 was cocooned and stored on blocks outside for six months. The trip to Virginia was resumed using a 1955 Oldsmobile 88 to tow the trailer. It was stored in December 1962 until November 1965.

Consistent Use from 1965 Until Present

Upon return to Weymouth in November 1965, a Ford F-100 truck rearend was used to replace the existing ’48 Ford chopped rearend and attached to a new subframe to raise the rear 11 inches. Stock ’32 Ford rear fenders were cut and bobbed, replacing the rear cycle fenders.

In June 1966, we relocated to Garden Grove, California, with the ’32 on a tow bar behind our 1959 Buick. Once settled in, we met local hot rodders and joined the Obsoletes Ltd. Of Orange County Car Club. After 23 years in SoCal we moved to Keller, Texas in 1990 where it now resides. Routine maintenance and additional improvements take place as needed.”

Bob’s story is a unique one to say the least, and it’s one that we here at HOT ROD are honored to share. To see more of Bob’s vintage photos of the 1932 Ford coupe as well as some from present day, make sure to click through the entire photo gallery. Also, see below for all the build details from when Bob and his friends put the ’32 Ford together back in 1960 and 1961.

1932 Ford Five-Window Coupe Build Details (19601961):

  • Channeled 1932 Ford five-window coupe body, frame, and miscellaneous parts purchased for $425
  • 1956 265-ci small-block Chevy pulled from a 1940 Ford
  • 1955 Chevy log manifolds, 2-inch header pipes and dual 1958 Mercury mufflers
  • 1948 Lincoln O.D. transmission with mounts and shifter
  • Throttle linkage modified from 1948 Ford
  • Modified 1952 DeSoto radiator with 1950 Ford radiator parts
  • Gas tank from 1958 MGA
  • Drop axles with split wishbones in front
  • 1948 Ford backing-plates, drum brakes and master cylinder
  • 1957 Corvette steering wheel adapted to Ford steering column
  • Bench seat from 1953 MG TD
  • Custom plywood floors
  • SUN tach, S&W mechanical water temp, Oil Pressure, +/- 30A ammeter, and Fuel gauge
  • 1955 Thunderbird ignition switch with 1957 Ford faceplate
  • MGA Lucas relay box for turn signals and brake lights
  • Custom Headlight brackets with Diez headlight bulbs
  • Fenders made using 1955 Rambler Continental tire cover front and 1958 Ford T-Bird tire cover rear

See all 15 photos

See all 15 photos

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