A very special Verde 32 helps illustrate this principle…
You don’t have to be a complete gearhead to realize the 1932 Ford is the quintessential hot rod. Sure, there are hot rods made out of other cars, both from Ford and other automakers, but the vast majority out there are Deuces, either in coupe or roadster form. Plenty of people have asked why this is and for good reason.
The big hot rod revolution was started by GIs as they returned home at the close of WWII. Sure, there were examples made before, but the big groundswell in the hobby came as young men landed stateside with a bunch of cash along with the need to build things which looked cool and went fast. As their parents and others dumped their old cars they had to hobble through the war since private vehicle production ground to a halt, these single men saw opportunity.
Like the chopper movement, hot rodding was all about taking something that was a good ride and making it better all around. Transforming the old family car into a racer with all kinds of wild styling to turn the heads of pretty girls on Main Street as well as bait other young guys into racing grew into a culture featured in American Graffiti.
Now the question of why the ’32 Ford was so popular and continues to be today. For starters, after the war they were in high supply so many young guys with a need for speed could get their hands on one. They were also cheap, a critical element so there was plenty of money leftover for adding go-fast parts. Today, you can buy Ford Deuce bodies to build your hot rod, helping to continue fueling that popularity.
Another factor which made the 1932 Ford so popular for hot rodders was its iconic looks. The car is so clean and as the owner of the Verde 32 notes in the included video, you can chop off the fenders and a few other parts to make it look even cleaner and sportier. As much as we love turning wrenches, sometimes going with a build which takes less effort to make it come together is highly rewarding.
Throwing fuel on the fire was the McGee Roadster, arguably the most famous hot rod of all time. Built by Bob McGee in Southern California after returning from WWII to replace his other Deuce wrecked by a friend, he got the idea the strip it down for both looks and performance. He also added a V8, lowered the car, and made other key modifications. The build was completed in 1947 and soon was featured in all sorts of magazine spreads. When he pushed the little car to 167.212 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats, capturing the World’s Fastest Roadster title and captivating the imaginations of even more gearheads as his feat was triumphed in the media.
That combination of affordability, availability, simplicity, and iconic looks helped make the ’32 Ford the hot rod of choice. Now check out the video to appreciate the Verde 32 and that fact the hot rod tradition has been passed down through the generations.
Images via YouTube