I Really Must Get New Glasses…


I think I am seeing double. The grille on that ’32 Ford looks like it is two grilles side by side.

Wait a minute. It IS two grilles side by side. Oh Dear God don’t say it has been mating with a BMW…

Well, no. but what I was seeing was an ingenious way to cope with a problem…or take advantage of an opportunity.

Now we all know what the  front end of a ’32 looks like – whether it is a Highboy or cut way down, the basic geometry of the grille shell and whatever they put inside it remains much the same. Heres’s ’32 fronts from several shows:

Gillam Drive 2014 76


As an aside, I have always loved to see the side bonnet panels left on a rod, but I recognise that it is just impossible for many engines – unlike the Ford flathead of the original ’32 they can have massive covers and manifolds out the sides…never mind what people stack on the top. Still, most small bock Chevy engines, Buick engines, and even the Chrysler engines will fit in there somehow and as long as you leave the bonnet panels off enough air goes in and out, and you can use the classic profile of the ’32 grille.

DSCF0258Step up to a Bentley engine of six litre capacity with twin turbo and it becomes a different kettle of expensive fish. So you do as this builder has done and give in to the need for a wider grille – you build a custom shell and a custom bonnet to fit that shell. And while you try to preserve the feel of the ’32 front end, you realise that a single grille across there would make it look like a truck – so you spilt the grille and leave a solid panel in between.

Hooray for the decision to paint it yellow.




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