1931 Ford Roadster - $64,900
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Starting with fresh steel is always the way to go if you have the cash, because you get laser-straight virgin sheetmetal, no previous issues or rust, and a heavy-duty superstructure that’s a big upgrade over the stuff being installed in 1931.

The Ford roadster. The elemental minimalist of the hot rod world and quite likely the origin of the species. Built as an inexpensive way to go fast, it was all about removing everything that didn’t make it go faster, keeping only enough so that it could still technically be called a car. And for many enthusiasts, that’s really what hot rodding is about. Luxury rods loaded up with A/C and stereos and power windows are fine, but when you want to distill driving down to its most base element, nothing does it like an open-fendered Ford roadster. Wind, rumbling exhaust, a limitless supply of torque, and those two front tires out there dancing over the pavement—does it get any better than that?

This cool little 1931 Ford roadster nails the look, but more importantly, it gets the hardware right, too. It’s based around a brand-new Brookville Roadster steel body, and with a show-quality professional build, it’s just spectacular in every way. Starting with fresh steel is always the way to go if you have the cash, because you get laser-straight virgin sheetmetal, no previous issues or rust, and a heavy-duty superstructure that’s a big upgrade over the stuff being installed in 1931. Add in a professional doing the work and you get laser-straight bodywork, exacting gaps (yes, the doors are supposed to fit like that, it’s a ’31 Ford roadster), and a brilliant shine that reflects like a mirror from any angle. The two-tone silver over black combination is timeless and elegant, making the roadster look long and low, and it’ll never go out of fashion like a lot of the cars with questionable graphics sprayed all over them. A single red pinstripe separates the colors and adds just enough contrast to make it pop without diverting attention from the arrow-straight bodywork. A lift-off hood gives great access yet preserves the performance look and really shows off the polished small block V8 living underneath. Other details include chrome hinges, shaved door handles, and trick LED taillights with a cool light show every time you step on the pedal. The ’32 grille shell was painted to match and raked back a few degrees, giving this roadster a high-speed look that’s matched by the angle of the windshield.

The interior is simple, but don’t mistake that for cheap or low-rent. There’s a custom bench seat that tucks in neatly to the rear bulkhead, adding space in the compact roadster bodywork. Custom black and gray upholstery uses red stitching to tie the car together and the firm bench is comfortable for all-day cruises. A tilt steering column makes it easy to slide behind the wheel and the driving position is just about ideal. The red instrument panel has a satin finish that we really like a lot (and it matches the chassis), and the simple white-faced VDO gauges are the right choice. No radio, no heater, no A/C, just you, an engine, and as little car as possible. That long Lokar shifter handle looks suitably vintage and is perfect for hanging your hand on it, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel helps with legroom and comfort. Carpets and plenty of insulation help keep the cockpit cool and a custom mat really lends it a finished look. There’s also a fully lined trunk that’ll handle enough gear for a weekend road trip. There is no top or side curtains, but since this is a Brookville car, both could be added relatively easily, especially since it uses standard windshield stanchions. But you don’t really need a top, do you, Nancy?

The hardware delivers the fun without the headaches, starting with a Chevy ZZ3 crate engine rated at 330 horsepower. Hmmm, 330 horsepower and 1800 pounds… There’s nothing radical here, just proven hardware, so it runs like a freight train and never stutters. There’s a big Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor on top, and it’s got an electric choke so the engine fires quickly and idles smoothly even when it’s ice cold. And since it was going to be out in the open like that, everything on it was either polished, plated, or painted to match the car, including the flamed valve covers, chrome alternator, and that trick aluminum air cleaner assembly. Block-hugging headers tuck into the frame rails and feed a fully polished stainless steel Borla exhaust system that sounds great but doesn’t drone at highway speeds and there’s an electronic ignition system that lights it up reliably. Oh, and with a giant radiator and a few electric fans, this sucker runs ice cold, even when you’re idling around the fairgrounds on a 100-degree day. Totally dialed-in!

The chassis is also a Brookville piece, complete with ’32 side rails that show that dramatic sweep stamped right into the side. Again, traditional was the name of the game, with a dropped front axle on a set of trailing arms, a transverse leaf spring, and chrome shocks up front, and a highly-detailed Currie 9-inch on a 4-link setup in back, with Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners. The frame itself was painted gloss black on the outside to blend almost seamlessly with the bodywork, while the inner portions were painted that same flattened red for a fantastic effect and low maintenance. It’s a heck of a lot sturdier than an original frame, with custom X-braces and crossmembers for the TCI TH350 3-speed automatic transmission and suspension components. Everything you can see or touch is brand new, lines, hoses, fittings, whatever. It’s new. Another set of disc brakes manage the rear end and with 3.50 gears inside, it’s a great combination of acceleration and cruising comfort (with so little weight, you don’t need a lot of gear to get explosive results). Trick American Racing aluminum wheels are a nice change from the usual stuff you see and carry a traditional-looking big-n-little tire setup, with 155/80/15s up front and 285/70/15s in back, all from BFGoodrich.

Documented with build photos and receipts, this is a high-dollar, pro-built roadster that’s ready to rock. It’s titled as a 1931 Ford, so no worries about title issues, and it drives like a new car should drive. It needs nothing and with just 490 miles on the build, it remains in as-new condition throughout. Ready to win awards, get you a few features in the magazines, or just go out and have some fun, this is perhaps the best early Ford roadster we’ve ever featured. It just gets everything right. Call today!

Vehicle: 1931 Ford Roadster
Price: $64,900
Stock Number: 114084
Mileage: 490
VIN: A4690907
Engine: 350 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.5
Wheelbase: 103.5 inches
Wheels: Front: 15x6, Rear: 15x10
Tires: Front: 155/80/15, Rear: 285/70/15 BFGoodrich radial
Exterior Color: Black and Silver
Interior Color: Black and white vinyl
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