1932 Ford Pickup - $44,900
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It’s steel, it’s beautifully fabricated, it’s insanely fast, and it’s got a pedigree.

Hot rodding seems to be at a crossroads. On the one hand, you have some extremely talented guys really building beautiful stuff and pushing boundaries. You see their work in magazines and winning the very highest awards. And on the other hand, you have what people have come to call “hot rod assembly,” which is the vast majority of the hobby—cookie-cutter rods assembled (not built, an important distinction) from pre-engineered components and plastic bodies using crate motors and garden-variety junkyard parts. Those guys end up with shiny paint and cars they can drive, but have you ever wondered why, exactly, there are so many low-mileage, freshly-assembled rods on the market? They’re inevitably BORING. The guys who commission them expect to be transported back in time by these cars and maybe even frightened by their performance, but when they’re merely adequate and drive like a 1978 Chevy Nova (on which most of their parts are based), the whole experience is kind of a let-down.

So if you’re a guy looking for a genuine hand-crafted rod built by the guys you read about in the big magazines, a machine that has virtually zero catalog parts on it, a multiple magazine show car, and which packs so much performance that you’ll have to wear your brown pants every time you drive it, this 1932 pickup is the right choice. It’s steel, it’s beautifully fabricated, it’s insanely fast, and it’s got a pedigree. If you just don’t get it and wonder why it isn’t bright red with ghost flames and A/C, well, I guess you’re a fiberglass and crate motor guy. Have fun with that. But if you know that the core of hot-rodding is art blended with engineering, this wicked little Ford will absolutely delight you.

This truck was built in California by a guy name Ken Thurm, who has some notoriety in the hobby. It’s a genuine Henry Ford steel ’32 Ford pickup cab that was chopped four inches and channeled another six by Jeff Sherman, which is another name you might have read about recently. The work is so seamless that you almost can’t spot the modifications without a stock Ford next to it, and none of it affects your ability to get comfortable inside. He also fabricated the custom bed, tailgate, and chopped down an original deuce radiator shell to match. Once he’d made all the cuts and welds invisible, Jeff just shot it with some gray primer he had around the shop and told Ken to come pick it up. Ken wasn’t sure what color he was going to use, but at least he could start assembling the thing.

Back at the shop, he already had the chassis ready to go, a custom-fabricated piece that was based on a pair of Hot Rods & Custom Stuff ’32 frame rails, but that’s as far as he went—no kit, no pre-engineered rolling chassis, no bolt-on stuff. No, he wanted to do it his way, and that meant fabricating everything. He started by stretching it three inches to give it just the right stance and to push the front axle well ahead of the motor for that awesome rake. He left the whole thing in bare steel so you could see his gorgeous TIG welds and exceptional fabrication on the brackets, mounts, crossmembers, and other critical parts. Up close this thing is a master class in the fabricator’s art. There’s a beefy X-frame reinforcing the center of the boxed frame rails, but it’s designed so the Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual gearbox can drop right out using a removable crossmember. All the plumbing and wiring runs inside the frame rails, too, so you can’t see any of it, and there’s a light patina on the metal that’s just plain awesome. Not rusty, but a little bit used. That was the whole point. Look around and you’ll also see a chrome Magnum 5-inch dropped I-beam axle and leaf spring, along with matching hairpin radius rods, all chosen because they were going to be visible. On the ends you’ll find Buick finned aluminum brake drums with disc brakes cleverly hidden inside for an old-school look and improved performance. The aforementioned Tremec 5-speed gearbox feeds a custom-made Inland Empire driveshaft and a genuine polished aluminum Halibrand champ car quick-change rear end, currently set up for 4.11 gearing. That Halibrand hangs on a set of Air Ride springs so it’ll slam itself on the ground or give you the perfect rake, your call. All the lines are stainless, as is the polished exhaust system, which tucks up in the frame so you don’t have to worry about clearance, even on something this low. Oh, and those are real Halibrand wheels up front, with 18-inch replicas out back.

Now, back to the cab. Once it was on that bare metal frame, it just looked so right that they left it alone. Who needs paint? Low maintenance was the intent and what’s more maintenance-free than no paint at all? Rain, bugs, whatever, this truck doesn’t care. It has a raw, unfussy look that we find extremely appealing in this age of guys walking around their cars at shows burning through Quick Detailer by the quart. Yep, you’re seeing that right, the exhaust header has started to discolor the door paint at the lower hinge—I only wish I could accelerate the process to really make it look nasty. But while you’re looking at the non-paint job, please also note how well the doors fit, the tight gaps, and the beautifully finished oak planks in the bed, which were stained ebony to add some contrast. The tailgate drops down easily and under the bed you’ll find the controls for the Air Ride system, and it tilts at the front to give you access to the spun aluminum gas tank underneath. And while you’re in there, check out all those beautiful welds, which are the work of an artist. ’32 Ford commercial headlights always look better than generic King Bees and ’37 Ford taillights tucked under the bed look like they were born there.

You’ve probably notice the sextet of Holley carbs on top of the engine, but that’s probably the LEAST interesting part of the whole thing. Underneath you’ll find an all-aluminum Hawk small block Chevy V8 that comes from the legendary Lil’ John Buttera himself, one of his leftover Indy competition engines. Yeah, no kidding. It was sleeved and punched out to 412 cubic inches, all in a package that doesn’t weigh any more than a 4-cylinder Toyota engine. Those Holley 94s are on a vintage Offenhauser aluminum intake designed to emulate an Olds J2 setup and there are a pair of Edelbrock aluminum heads with custom valve covers, again designed to duplicate Oldsmobile hardware for a period vibe. It’s currently running only on the center carbs, and I promise you won’t need or want the others online—this sucker starts instantly, idles like it should, stays cool, and will flat-out terrify you if you’re brave enough to put your foot on the floor. Don’t say you weren’t warned. The custom-fabricated headers were also left raw, but they dump into a full stainless exhaust system or they can be left wide-open, which is obviously the preferred choice. A Taylor Vertex distributor looks just like a vintage magneto and there’s a fabricated aluminum shroud for the custom radiator up front built by Hoffman Radiator. There’s even a little tiny alternator tucked down low supplying plenty of juice for the minimalist rod.

It’s bare-bones inside but it’s no less beautifully crafted. A brand new Glide Engineering bench seat drops right in and it has been upholstered with a traditional Mexican blanket, but it’s not covering ruined upholstery—it’s 100% intentional. A Bell 4-spoke dirt track-style steering wheel lives on top of a custom-made steering column, which also houses a trick tach mount that was whittled out of a single chunk of aluminum. Chrome pedals add some contrast against the primer-colored floors, but even those are beautifully finished to show off the craftsmanship—check out that shifter mount! The firewall and original Ford dash were the only parts of the truck to be painted, wearing gloss black with traditional white pinstripes. Gauges from Classic Instruments monitor the basics and as you can see, with 3563 miles on it, this truck is far from a trailer queen. That wild shifter lever was obviously hand-crafted and chromed, and the one-off shifter knob looks cool and feels surprisingly right in your hand. There’s a bit of insulation to ensure that it’s reasonably comfortable and quiet in there and the headliner is surprisingly well-finished. Nice!

This Ford is the real deal and after seeing, touching, and driving it, you just won’t be able to go back to garden-variety ever again. If you want a truck that defines the word “craftsmanship” and has already been recognized with multiple show wins and multiple magazine features, this is it. The engine alone is probably worth half the asking price, but it would be a real shame to transform the most unique machine we’ve ever seen into just another ho-hum rod. This is hot-rodding at its best, and if you get it, you get it. Call today!

Harwood Motors welcomes and encourages personal or professional inspections of any vehicle prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1932 Ford Pickup
Price: $44,900
Stock Number: 116089
Mileage: 3563 (since built)
VIN: AB5004345
Engine: 412 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 4.11 Halibrand quick-change
Wheelbase: 112 inches
Wheels: Front: 15x5, Rear: 18x10 Halibrand
Tires: Front: 26x6.00R15, Rear: 305/60/18
Exterior Color: Primer Gray
Interior Color: Mexican Blanket
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