Bill Breece 3-window coupe

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Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« on: June 21, 2016, 04:45:56 PM »
BILL BREECE'S COUPE
An Iconic 1932 Ford Three-Window Coupe Lives Again
Written by Drew Hardin

Let’s take Bill Breece as an example. As a teenager in mid-1950s Ohio, he built an Olds-powered ’32 three-window coupe in his garage that was stunning in its presentation at the time: a colorful, gleaming work of hot rodding art that could hold its own at any car show in the nation. Yet it was far more than just a show car. Despite its rich purple paintjob, its white and pink (!) upholstery, and all the shining plate and polish from the firewall forward, Breece’s Deuce was a runner. He raced the car locally, and then not so locally, driving it west in 1955 to the inaugural NHRA national drags in Great Bend, Kansas. He won a class trophy at the race’s show, and then kept heading West, until he reached California, won another trophy at the Motorama, and had Von Dutch stripe his car’s dashboard. Eric Rickman photographed the car in October 1955, and it appeared on the cover and inside the Aug. ’56 issue of HOT ROD.

This teenager from Ohio—not Los Angeles, Burbank, or Pasadena—created a chopped Deuce coupe so handsome in its execution that it has since become an icon. It was recognized as one of the 75 most significant ’32 Fords during that model’s 75th anniversary in 2007.

Those standout Deuces gathered that year for a special display in Building 9 at the Grand National Roadster Show. Longtime collector Richard Munz brought two of them out from his stable in Madison, Wisconsin, the Neal East and Tommy Foster roadsters. Sharing the transporter with his cars was a ’32 he didn’t recognize, a chopped and channeled, full-fendered three-window.

Intrigued, he asked the transport driver where the car came from. Milwaukee was the answer. The owner was not coming to the show—had health issues—so the truck driver had to roll the car into the building. He told Munz the car might be for sale.

With that, Munz started making phone calls and soon discovered the owner was a Milwaukee Lincoln Mercury dealer named Dewey Cherek. Turns out he was related to a Leonard Cherek, who did a lot of drywall work for Munz. After a short conversation and a wire transfer of funds, Munz became the coupe’s new owner.

He walked into Building 9 and found NHRA Museum Curator Greg Sharp and journalist and rodding historian Ken Gross standing next to his new acquisition, giving the car a close once-over. “What do you think?” Munz asked them. “We think it’s changed a lot,” came the answer. As if on cue, the car’s showboard came out, with the photo of a young Ohioan sitting in a purple coupe with pink and white upholstery. And Munz realized he was the new owner of what was—and, yet, still is—the Bill Breece coupe.

It’s taken Munz a while to figure out the coupe’s evolution, but apparently it didn’t stay in its HRM cover car form for very long. In 1957, Breece decided he wanted a channeled hot rod and started the process of cutting up his Deuce. He was a skilled bodyman, but his pace on the car was slow, and he wound up selling it in the early 1980s as an unfinished project—the channeled and sectioned body sitting on an aftermarket frame with Jaguar suspension bits and a big-block Chevy where the Olds mill used to be.

The car passed through several owners, and other changes were made. Fortunately, some of the car’s distinctive original pieces—the Olds dash, Chrysler window cranks, a license plate—traveled with the car, despite all its other modifications. John Stimac, who bought the car in the mid-1980s from a guy named Bubba, was told he had an “interesting car,” Munz said, and eventually learned of the Breece provenance. And so the lineage traveled with the car through a couple more changes of hands until Munz made his deal with Cherek.

But now Munz was faced with a quandary. As it sat, the car was unrecognizable as the Breece coupe. Yet trying to return the car to its former state seemed nearly impossible. So much would have to change that there’d be little left of the original car.

“I got lots of suggestions,” Munz said. “Do this, do that. But I really felt the chapter on the car closed at the 75th anniversary with it looking like it is.” So he decided to leave the car alone.

And yet…he still had those original parts that had come with the car after all these years. So an idea began to form, of re-creating the coupe in its 1955-’56 state. Munz floated the idea by rodding journalist Pat Ganahl, who suggested that his son, Bill, take on the task.

What sounds like a glaring case of nepotism isn’t. Bill Ganahl spent years working in Roy Brizio’s shop, learning the rod building trade and honing a keen sense of rodding history. He became the go-to guy at Brizio’s when a period restoration—the Sam Barris Merc, Ala Kart, Jack Calori coupe—came through the door. By the time Munz was thinking about building a new Breece coupe, Bill had started his own shop, South City Rod & Custom. He, too, was in favor of building a new car rather than trying to fashion the channeled coupe into something it would never be again.

Luckily, the Breece coupe was well documented in 1955, so Bill had a guide to follow. But still, getting the top chop just right, fashioning the vent windows and aluminum running boards where there were none, re-creating all the “gingerbread” on that Olds engine, took a remarkable level of craft and dedication.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: the Bill Breece coupe
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2016, 10:10:52 PM »
The article in Hot Rod
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Re: the Bill Breece coupe
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2016, 10:11:37 PM »
more pics
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roadster

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Re: the Bill Breece coupe
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 10:13:38 PM »
From the Rodders Journal

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Re: the Bill Breece coupe
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2016, 10:15:54 PM »
Dick Munz owns it. South City Rod & Custom built it & Compani Custom Automotive Refinishing painted it & Interior by Plante did the Upholstery.
Before & after the chop.
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Re: the Bill Breece coupe
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2016, 10:17:08 PM »
Wing window.
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2016, 06:17:30 PM »
early mockup
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2016, 06:19:27 PM »
The original coupe, as it is today
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2016, 06:21:53 PM »
Taillights
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2016, 06:23:16 PM »
Original dash was used.
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2016, 06:23:40 PM »
Firewall.
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2016, 06:25:07 PM »
Bare metal.
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2016, 06:26:41 PM »
At the Grand National Roadster Show the first time.
Photos by Craig Wise
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2016, 06:27:41 PM »
Body & Paint work by Joe at Compani Custom Automotive Refinishing.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2016, 06:28:42 PM »
Body & Paint work by Joe at Compani Custom Automotive Refinishing.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2016, 06:29:53 PM »
Body & Paint work by Joe at Compani Custom Automotive Refinishing.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2016, 06:31:22 PM »
Assembly
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2016, 06:33:06 PM »
Starting to go together.
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flatheadv8s

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2016, 06:33:23 PM »
Billy, Joey and their crew made a damn fine job of the Breeze Coupe. Love the quarter windows.
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2016, 06:33:37 PM »
Thanks for the build pics !
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DavyJ

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2016, 06:33:56 PM »
Great photo history of the restoration,  what a thorough job!  Thanks
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Dean

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2016, 06:34:10 PM »
Outstanding job !!
Thanks for the pictures.

BobT

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2016, 06:34:25 PM »
Thanks for the pictures.

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2016, 06:35:52 PM »
Interior by Plante.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2016, 06:37:12 PM »
Engine.
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DavyJ

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2016, 06:37:40 PM »
Man , those guys know how take care  of the details!
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2016, 06:38:04 PM »
Man , those guys know how take care  of the details!
Yes they do. He's been a big help on my coupe. Without him my coupe might not even be up & running.
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john stimac

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2016, 06:38:43 PM »
Here's Bill in the Hot Rod photo shoot in 56, and how I posed him when I finished the car as it is today. The newer shot was taken at the NSRA nats in Columbus-maybe 97. He was waiting by the car, and said "Do you know who I am"?  I said "Your Bill Breece"   He passed on shortly after that.
 The story is in the last two issues of Rodders Journal.

                                                                     Stimac

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2016, 06:40:20 PM »
A few more
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2016, 06:41:52 PM »
more
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2016, 06:43:27 PM »
Breece Coupe.
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2016, 06:46:32 PM »
Breece Coupe
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2017, 12:17:49 PM »
A few more.
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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2017, 12:18:30 PM »
A few more.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2017, 09:41:09 PM »
The Breece Coupe's
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pprather

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2017, 10:25:05 PM »
I had the good fortune to see them both recently.

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Re: Bill Breece 3-window coupe
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2017, 12:13:27 AM »
I had the good fortune to see them both recently.
It's a crying shame what happened to the orig.
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