When someone says "hot rod" the car most people think of is a 1932 Ford. Henry's depression-era model, the first Ford to be powered by a V8 engine, provided countless thousands with transport for the first time. It also gifted many young men returning from World War II a solid foundation to build race cars.
Their addiction to speed led to backyard mechanics tearing the simply engineered machines to pieces in the hunt for horsepower, while the bodies saw all manner of modifications to be done to the coupes, sedans, roadsters, phaetons, pickups and cabriolets. Think of a possible way to alter a '32 Ford and someone, somewhere has undoubtedly done it.
Steve Alldrick knows all about old hot rods as he is the proprietor of the Deluxe Rod Shop in Lilydale, Victoria. He's responsible for building some truly mind-blowing modified vehicles for other people, but the green Tudor on these pages actually came about as a Christmas present for his wife Kathleen.
Imported from Detroit in November 2011 and handed over that Christmas, Steve says it was a long way from a cherry example of the breed. "It was a rusty piece of shit - the body looked like it had been left out in the snow or had been on fire at some point," says the metal maestro.
Given the rough beginnings, it's amazing to think that after only two years in the build it debuted in April 2013 and saw service at Steve and Kathleen's wedding on May 19. While the two-door sedan, known as a Tudor, hasn't been as popular as the Deuce coupe or roadster it still gives a killer look when treated with period-style modifications as Steve has done to this car.
The goal was to leave the body stock, as many hot rodders did in the '40s, with the exception of dropping the full-length guards. Steven has even left all the manufacturing imperfections from the factory untouched, just to pay homage to Henry's hard work and the B-model's clean lines.
Still, cars built 80 years ago aren't all that much fun to drive regularly and Steve wanted to make the two-door a cool cruiser for his wife to enjoy, which meant combining a traditional look with reliability and comfort. This means the Alldrick's hot rod actually packs a lot of hidden modern technology under the traditionalist skin.
As it was just a body shell when it came to the land Down Under, JW Rod Garage chassis rails were purchased and Steve made up his own crossmember to tie the frame together, which was riveted rather than welded to keep it period-perfect.
The rest of the chassis was kitted out with traditional-style modifications, including the two-inch kicked rear crossmember with So Cal Speed Shop springs, '36 Ford radius rods, topped off with an original '32 fuel tank. In front the raked stance comes about thanks to a five-inch dropped and drilled So Cal Speed Shop axle fitted with '37 Ford stub axles and split radius rods.
Steve fixed the shell up and added a new, custom-made floor and firewall before mounting it back onto the gloss black frame. It can't hide in traffic thanks to the super-bright, original Ford A Model 'Solid Apple Green'.
It is a colour Steve remembers from a hot rod his legendary father Ray having when he was still in shorts.
Interestingly, the paint is a modern two-pack shot straight over base to achieve an old school acrylic lustre and even the bolts throughout the car have been sanded and scuffed with ScotchBrite to give a low-sheen finish.
Mark Grant from Dynamic Trimming then set about covering the original '32 B400 interior in lush 'Caledonian Bottle Green' Scottish leather and box-weave carpet, with an MG cloth roof insert added to keep heads dry. Scott Green from SG Auto was then responsible for wiring up the So Cal gauges to keep an eye on proceedings.
While traditionalists would demanded an original Flathead V8 or 'banger' four-cylinder, Steve has kitted the '32 with a later model 5-litre Windsor V8. Able to buy cheaply, make easy power, look cool and be reliable, the little Windsor has been treated to Edelbrock E-street alloy heads, a short Ford Racing water pump (to avoid notching the firewall) and a bunch of period-look styling touches.
The Joe Hunt Magneto and Power Gen Alternator match the DRS-made megaphone exhaust, but the real eye candy is the Edelbrock tri-power manifold and triple Edelbrock 94 carburettors. Steve points to this being a huge time and energy drain, making the vintage intake manifold fit when it was never designed for the later model Windsor.
The 302 is backed by a Ford C10 auto and cruisy 2500 stall convertor, along with a Mustang eight-inch diff that packs lazy 3.5:1 gears. While it is a cruiser, this drivetrain package means it can still get up and boogie when the loud pedal is tickled.
All that hopped-up power is no good with original 1930s drum brakes at all four corners. Kathleen's hot rod rocks police-spec 11-inch drums on the rear, with a So Cal Disc Drum front-end that hides a full disc brake set-up behind original-looking drum covers, activated by a Wilwood master cylinder mounted under the dash. Brake fluid is topped up through the vent in the cowl panel.
They're hidden behind '40 steel 16-inch cheese-cutter wheels and cool Coker classic radial tyres. The Coker tyres give a proper traditionalist look but with the security and safety of modern construction and rubber compound, compared to old bias-ply offerings.
While it has scored accolades at shows like Motorex and the Valla Rod Run, Steve always envisioned it as a driver for Kathleen and so the green two-door has gone through the engineering and registration process, earning its tags in October 2013.
"There is nothing I would change with this car," says Steve. "I set out to build a cool family car and that's what it is. I am now second guessing if it will be big enough for a pram, though, despite the fact I think the car is too nice to drag a pram around in."
Kathleen and Steven's 1932 Ford Tudor - basic specs
Engine Type: Ford 302 Windsor
Heads: Edelbrock E-street alloy heads
Cam: Thumper Cams
Induction: Edelbrock tri-power 94
Other: Power Gen Alternator, Joe Hunt magneto, Deluxe Rod Shop megaphone header into 2.5 Smithy muffler stainless steel mandrel exhaust, Ford Racing water pump, Side-valve spark plug holder.
Transmission: C10 auto with 2500 stall & custom G&J tailshaft
Diff: 3:5 Mustang 8"
Brakes: SoCal Disc Drums (f), 11" police drums (r)
Master cylinder: Wilwood
Interior: Original B400 1932 seats with Caledonian bottle green Scottish leather and box weave carpet, MG cloth roof insert, So Cal gauges
Wheels: 1940 Ford steel wheels
Tyres: 16" Coker classic radials
Thanks: Steven, Dain and Kelly Souter, Andrew Hird, Lindsay Collie, Ryan Papvas, Kevin Kendall, Ian Hardy, Mick McCallum, Stephen Corstorphan, Neil Bonniface, Ryan and Barb Alldrick and Ken Chalcraft