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Barn Find Deuce Roadster

Slide 1 of 11: 1932 deuce roadster three quarter

Every time we read about some jewel of a car coming out of a barn, dusty but otherwise a perfectly preserved time capsule, we think, how many more can there be?

Well, apparently, there are more. Bobby Green found one.

Or, more accurately, he found one that had already been found. But found it was. Tucked inside a barn in Ohio, where it had been parked since 1962, was this ’32 roadster.

Carl Temple gets credit for the discovery and for dragging it out into the daylight. According to Bobby, he wasn’t all that impressed with the find at first. It was basically a body sitting on a rolling chassis, all covered in some sort of water-based latex primer. Whoever put the car away brushed the primer on as a means of preserving the car.

And it worked. Once Carl stripped the plasticky goo off the car, he discovered the roadster was still wearing its original Washington Blue paint. “If it hadn’t been protected like that, I’m sure it would have rusted through,” Bobby says.

What’s more, the car had been upholstered sometime in the ’40s or ’50s with beautiful leather that was not only intact, but still supple. Even the rumble seat was still under the decklid and also wearing the rich leather hides.

Carl put an 8BA flathead in the car and got it running—“sort of,” says Bobby—and it was at this point that Bobby’s friend Wil Sakowski got wind of the car. He bought it, with the intent to flip it, and told Bobby about it.

If you’re not familiar with Bobby Green, he’s the man behind the Old Crow Speed Shop and a number of very cool, very authentic hot rods. Bobby thrives on the vintage aesthetic, and Wil knew an original Deuce like this would trip Bobby’s trigger big time.

Which it did. “I was blown away, not only by the car itself but the fact that it was a body still in its original paint. It really got to me. But I didn’t have the money to buy it at the time, so I asked Wil if I could trade some stuff for it.” Wil got a ’35 three-window coupe, a P-38 belly tank, “and a couple other things,” and Bobby got the roadster.

That’s when the work began. Not on the body, or that beautiful upholstery. Those are still in as-found condition. But mechanically, the car needed work. “The car had a lot of stuff wrong with it, and stuff I didn’t like, so I went through it, every single piece, replaced every single nut and bolt,” Bobby says. The aftermarket headlight buckets were tossed for BLC headlamps. Tube shocks were pulled off; original friction shocks went on. The grille shell is an original ’32 piece Bobby had hanging on the wall of his Old Crow shop for years, its worn Washington Blue paint a perfect match for the rest of the car.

“Nothing on this car is aftermarket. Everything is original. Well, except for vintage speed parts,” he says. “Everything had to be fitting to the body, worthy of the body.” Like the shocks, for example. “Yes, the tube shocks work better,” he admits, “but the aesthetic is more important.” And yes, original friction shocks can be finicky. “Any time I find a ’32 shock that isn’t frozen, I buy it.”

The flathead Carl put in the car had some issues, including a cracked cylinder sleeve, so Bobby replaced it with a Model B four-cylinder with a Miller overhead conversion that was built at H&H Flatheads. “The motor was built for a guy in Kansas who never used it,” Bobby explains. “Logan Davis did the engine swap and mated it to a ’32 transmission with ’36 gears machined to fit. Pretty cool stuff.”

Bobby is a big-time banger fan. His well-known belly tanker runs a banger, as does his new Bonneville car, a Vintage Oval Track entry with a Model B engine sporting a Winfield four-port head.

“Driving a banger is definitely different than driving a flathead,” he says. “The sound is extremely different, and the banger engines like to vibrate. Power-wise, with the overhead conversion this engine is probably comparable to the power of a stock flathead V-8. And it’s super reliable. I’m a big champion of the four-cylinders. I’d rather have one in my car than a V-8.” While Bobby admits some of that preference is based on style, this car isn’t just shop art. He keeps it at his house and drives it on the weekends.

So keep your eyes peeled, guys and gals. Barn-find cars aren’t just urban legend. They are still out there, waiting to find new homes.

Related story: Vintage hot rods at the 2015 March Meet

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