32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years

Hamtown Al

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I'm sorry to report that I'm doing a very poor job of carrying out my declaration a few years ago that,
"I ain't buying anymore cars." I made that bold statement to my pals on a Thursday night at York in 2015. By noon the next day, or there abouts, I had bought a 32 3w coupe! I'm still tweaking on that one to look more traditional but haven't done the interior yet... I was hoping someone would buy it so I wouldn't have to.

Anyway, the latest failure on my part came from somebody posting a link to a car that was for sale that seemed like a good value. Being a good on-line hot rodder, I clicked on it... you know how it turned out!

It is traveling via a shipper right now and hope to see it sometime in the coming week. I'll have a better knowledge of just what I've purchased when it gets here but I feel pretty good about it.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same family 75 years
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 02:14:55 PM »
To continue, it is a pretty rare bird for a number of reasons but the biggest might be that it was in the same family for 75 years. A guy bought it on May 5, 1942 and kept it until he passed in 1996 and then it stayed in the family until the end of last year.
 

He traded in a 4 cylinder roadster for the V-8 coupe. Yep, it was a 3w coupe which he later drove to NY to marry this gal he met in the NAVY and drove her back to Spokane. At least that's the story as I understand it right now... like all stories, they are subject to being revised!  ;D

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same family 75 years
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 02:18:25 PM »
I'm still on the trail of tracking and documenting the history of the car but it is very interesting.
Here's the car in NY in front of his wife's parents house I believe.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 02:27:13 PM »
The owner later, and I haven't gotten a clue yet about how much later other than to know it was done by 1961; swapped the 3w body for a very good cabriolet body that he got from somewhere. Yep, I wonder where that 3w body went, too!
The owner was a pretty good mechanic if not a great one according to some folks I have already talked to.
The car has a neatly narrowed 40 Ford dash for starters and it had a Y block Ford engine in it in 1961.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 02:31:55 PM »
Anybody got any more info on the car?
Apparently I bought it just in the nick of time as I think a couple folks were standing in the wings an getting ready to pull the trigger but my money got there first via bank wire. One of them has already reached out to me to be next in line if I ain't happy or change my mind. Haven't had that happen before so it must be a pretty good car as he managed to get someone local to check it out "in the flesh."
I'll share more of the story as I speak with others and go over my notes.
Apparently the owner worked with another guy at the same company and that guy had a 32 cabriolet, too! That guy kept his, too, until he passed away a few years back. His was green and I've been told the two cars were often seen together. I was fortunate to locate the present owner of the green car and am not sure just what his plans are for that car but that will be his story to tell.
I hope nobody gets upset that I'm planning on new tires and wheels right away. ;D
I'm not fond of the wheels and suspect that the tires are really old.  ;D

TS3X65MPH

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 05:34:11 PM »
Anybody got any more info on the car?
Apparently I bought it just in the nick of time as I think a couple folks were standing in the wings an getting ready to pull the trigger but my money got there first via bank wire. One of them has already reached out to me to be next in line if I ain't happy or change my mind. Haven't had that happen before so it must be a pretty good car as he managed to get someone local to check it out "in the flesh."
I'll share more of the story as I speak with others and go over my notes.
Apparently the owner worked with another guy at the same company and that guy had a 32 cabriolet, too! That guy kept his, too, until he passed away a few years back. His was green and I've been told the two cars were often seen together. I was fortunate to locate the present owner of the green car and am not sure just what his plans are for that car but that will be his story to tell.
I hope nobody gets upset that I'm planning on new tires and wheels right away. ;D
I'm not fond of the wheels and suspect that the tires are really old.  ;D
1 of the first things I do is change the wheels & tires & throw on some headers.I did that to most of my cars growing up,& still do.Go Man Go.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 06:59:02 PM »
Please ignore this posting error.

OOPS Al ;D

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 07:01:36 PM »
Like many of the fellows in the Spokane area, the owner regularly traveled the 350 miles or so to the Portland Swap Meet every year. On one of those trips, he purchased plans for brackets that would allow him to put disc brakes, using Riviera calipers, on all four wheels. His son-in-law flame cut the brackets and the owner did the rest.
The car also has a dual master cylinder and hydraulic clutch via hanging pedals on the firewall but I don't know if it all happened at the same time.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 07:05:34 PM »
The rear... I hope!! ;)

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 07:06:29 PM »
Somewhere along the line the car got an 8 inch Ford rear with an open driveshaft.

Doug Turnwall, the owner, was also instrumental in getting the Deer Park Drag Strip established along with Dusty Rhodes and others in the early 1952. In March of 1952 they formed the Lilac City Timing Association with Dusty as the first President and Doug as Vice-President and Jim Kennedy as Secretary and Norm Davis as Treasurer.

John Gunsaulis put together a great book called, "Spokane Hot Rodding" that has many old pictures from back in the day along with some outstanding history of the sport dating from the 1940s. I couldn't put it down. Very informative and some great pictures with detailed descriptions with many players and their cars from the period identified.

Deer Park was a vibrant drag strip for many years and the Dragin's Race Team (originally formed in 1954 as the Dragin's Car Club) still have a Deer Park Dragstrip Reunion every September.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2018, 07:10:12 PM »
The guy I bought the car from knew the owner and worked at the same company in the same department but on a different shift than the owner and the guy with the green cabriolet. He happened to run into a guy last Friday that also worked there and he hadn't seen in about 25 years. They got to talking about Doug's cabriolet and that guy said the cabriolet had the Y block and also a 289 Ford and a 283 Chevrolet but not sure of the order of installation.
That brings us to the current engine which is hooked to a 5 spd from an S-10. It is hard to believe but the engine is supposed to be a 1932-1934 FOUR banger that the owner modified to use a downdraft carburetor.
Seeing is believing:

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 07:13:09 PM »
There was a problem with the head when he got it that the seller either fixed or had fixed. He says he used the Chevy paint because he had it but realized some red Ford paint might have been more appropriate.
I'm sure the car can use a few tweaks and sprucing up but it supposedly is in pretty good running order now that the seller removed the gas tank and had it cleaned and sealed. He said he removed a secondary electric fuel pump but thinks it needs to be added back. I fully agree and already have one being shipped to me along with a metal fuel regulator.
As things happen, the seller had some last minute issues arise in the fuel system that was starving the carburetor so he rigged up a simple system involving a gas can, some extra hose, and some heavy duty tie wraps to keep it running while being loaded... and hopefully unloaded! Opportunities!
I think the original electric fuel pump can be seen in the bottom of the second picture. I'll find out when it gets here.
How do you like the way the owner tied his heater into the engine water system? Haven't seen that before either that I remember. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I'm dying to find out the story behind why and how the owner decided to switch to the 4 banger.
That HAS to be a good story!

Tom

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 07:33:45 PM »
Al, those front disc brake brackets are cast items.  I had very similar ones on my Tudor.  One of the previous owners probably replaced their hand-fabbed brackets at some point, and forgot about it.

Neverthelsss it’s a very cool find! 

jaded iconoclast

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2018, 09:06:03 PM »
Somewhere along the line the car got an 8 inch Ford rear with an open driveshaft.

Doug Turnwall, the owner, was also instrumental in getting the Deer Park Drag Strip established along with Dusty Rhodes and others in the early 1952. In March of 1952 they formed the Lilac City Timing Association with Dusty as the first President and Doug as Vice-President and Jim Kennedy as Secretary and Norm Davis as Treasurer.

John Gunsaulis put together a great book called, "Spokane Hot Rodding" that has many old pictures from back in the day along with some outstanding history of the sport dating from the 1940s. I couldn't put it down. Very informative and some great pictures with detailed descriptions with many players and their cars from the period identified.

Deer Park was a vibrant drag strip for many years and the Dragin's Race Team (originally formed in 1954 as the Dragin's Car Club) still have a Deer Park Dragstrip Reunion every September.

I have the John Gunsaulis book, HIGHLY recommend it, especially for us PNW guys.
Wanted: Used +030 TRW L2249 or Speed Pro 7061P 12.5/1 289/302 ford pistons

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2018, 08:59:07 AM »
I forgot to mention that the stock axle was likely dropped in Spokane by the Muir Brothers at their shop on Francis Avenue.
Also, I noted that the car only has one taillight. I am amazed that this car which we believe has been kept together with many of the original parts still intact; never had a second light added if for no other reason than for turn signals. I can't believe this car has survived since 1932 and apparently never had turn signals added. It's got a heater, a 1940 Ford dash, a radio, has been converted to 12 volts, has been converted to hydraulic brakes with four wheel disc brakes using a dual master cylinder, and has pedals relocated to hang from the firewall and use a hydraulic clutch; yet, no second taillight! That driver's window either went up and down a bunch in the winter or the owner just went where he wanted and left it to the other drivers around him to figure out where he was going.
Oh yeah, it also had fog lights. Apparently the owner was primarily focused on the future and where he was going. He owned and likely drove the car for nearly 54 years... with one taillight! :o

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2018, 09:01:05 AM »
Doing some more research I find that the car lot where the owner purchased the original coupe was only 1.3 miles from Doug's house. The seller only lives 9 miles from where Doug lived when he bought it 76 years ago.
Talk about a small world!

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2018, 09:01:50 AM »
I also checked and the Muir Brothers shop was likely within 3 miles of Turnwall's house... on the way to the seller's house!
Notice on the application just above the "Name of the legal owner" the "Has motor been changed" is faintly marked, "no."
If the motor number is valid, it means this car was the 12,102nd V-8 1932 Ford built... very early considering that 203,126 V-8s were built in the 1932 model year. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Early Ford V-8."

Tom

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2018, 10:47:30 AM »
Great story Al, thanks for sharing it with us.  Yeah it’s pretty amazing that a 2nd taillight was never installed!

TS3X65MPH

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2018, 08:04:45 PM »
The story is getting better & better.Have fun.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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  • THANKS TO MY DAD & MOM,WIFE GLYNIS & SON STEVEN
Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2018, 08:06:41 PM »
Just in case your thinking red.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2018, 08:12:54 PM »
The car got here and I've been working on it pretty steadily sorting out some normal issues and a few new ones!
I did drive it to breakfast Saturday but was forced to make a stop when I apparently was running faster than the new fuel regulator wanted me too! >:( :)
I reprimed the carb with the new elec fuel pump I had installed along with the regulator and drove on to breakfast where it was a hit.
It did fine going home but I made certain to drive a bit slow. ;)
I've greased it and checked the rear end and also discovered why the battery disconnect switch did not seem to work.  The disconnect switch was hooked to the ground cable but the cable end extended past the side of the battery.  You guessed it; the battery slid forward in the metal battery box and made contact with the side of the box!  I move the battery back and shimmed the battery in the box with wood and some heater hose to keep it secure and prevent a recurrence. :)
I feel much safer now with that working given that the 1932 Ford wiring, along with some wiring from what likely used to be in a 1940 Ford, is a bit sketchy. ;)

After looking it over I'm very pleased with the purchase and feel the seller represented the car accurately... always a good thing. :)

Here's the battery box/cable end issue before corrective measures:
 

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2018, 07:21:25 PM »
After considerable effort and related testing, I finally determined the cause of the repeated starving fuel action.  An aluminum filter that may have been on the car for a very long time decided to finally fail.  You can see my bypass to test my theory. 

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2018, 07:23:38 PM »
 I'm going to add a clear filter to the line after everything cools down from my successful longer test drive... I even went out of my neighborhood!!
Then I had to redial in the fuel regulator and off I went. Man it was great!
I also lowered the top before I started the testing this afternoon. I remembered that the seller told me the car's top was down when he got it and it had apparently been down for some time. He said there was a tonneau cover in the car but it was just laying there in the car.
I thought of the original owner as I was pulling and stretching that cover to snap it in place. It occurred to me that it could have well been him that snapped it on the last time... no earlier than 1995. I thought of all the many times he must have done that over the 54 years that he owned the car.

Fordors

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2018, 09:19:29 PM »
After considerable effort and related testing, I finally determined the cause of the repeated starving fuel action.  An aluminum filter that may have been on the car for a very long time decided to finally fail.  You can see my bypass to test my theory.

Al, looks like the blue anodized end will unscrew, you might find a stainless strainer in there. I have a filter like that except it has -6 AN connectors on each end instead of pipe thread like yours. You might want to open it up and look for rust or sediment. Any idea what the gas tank looks like inside?
I know the basement floor is down there because it's holding everything up. I just can't see it anymore.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2018, 07:02:27 PM »
The seller recently had the gas tank cleaned and sealed.  I think you are right that the alum filter probably finally choked down from stuff it had accumulated over many years.
After removing the clogged filter and replacing it with a clear filter, I hooked the stock fuel pump back up.  After priming the carburetor with the elec pump, I cut it off and the car ran fine on just the stock pump... I am keeping that electric pump backup at the ready with just a flip of the switch on the dash.
I made my first extended run and getting up to highway speed... 60 mph or so.  Old Ford kept chugging along in 5th gear with just stock pump.
The speedometer is about 10 mph slow until you get up to about 60 mph and the speedo is closer to 45.
IT feels good to finally have the fuel system issues sorted out.
Now to get some wheels and the new tires mounted.
I also am planning to add mechanical temp gauge and oil pressure gauge; probably a voltmeter, too.  I seem to have oil pressure when it starts but it fades after it warms up.  Of course, several flatheads I've had did the same thing with no ill effects that I know of.  Somebody also rigged the stock sending unit to sit on top of a 90 degree pipe elbow after leaving the engine.  I suspect that has alot to do with it, too.
Here's a picture from today.
 

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2018, 07:03:15 PM »
And another.

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2018, 06:51:28 AM »
Got a new gauge panel and mounted that and hooked up the temp and oil gauges first as they are more difficult.  Ran out of time to complete voltmeter.
I think the panel fits right in.

jaded iconoclast

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2018, 10:39:18 AM »
I also checked and the Muir Brothers shop was likely within 3 miles of Turnwall's house... on the way to the seller's house!
Notice on the application just above the "Name of the legal owner" the "Has motor been changed" is faintly marked, "no."
If the motor number is valid, it means this car was the 12,102nd V-8 1932 Ford built... very early considering that 203,126 V-8s were built in the 1932 model year. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Early Ford V-8."
Have you crawled under it and checked to see if it has the line on the frame for the fenders? HB32 on here has an early production deuce pickup, theres no frame reveal.
Wanted: Used +030 TRW L2249 or Speed Pro 7061P 12.5/1 289/302 ford pistons

Hamtown Al

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2018, 08:45:30 PM »
I checked the inside of the chassis and it does have the relief for the fenders.
Took it for a spin today for ice cream.  Temp gauge reads around 195 in the head but radiator is a more balmy 175.  That works for me.  Oil pressure still runs low after warmup.

jaded iconoclast

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Re: 32 Cabriolet that was in the same Spokane family for 75 years
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2018, 08:59:53 PM »
I checked the inside of the chassis and it does have the relief for the fenders.
Took it for a spin today for ice cream.  Temp gauge reads around 195 in the head but radiator is a more balmy 175.  That works for me.  Oil pressure still runs low after warmup.
Ill ask HB32 what the engine number was on his car. He has swapped a flathead v8 into it but hopefully he still has the original 4 out of it.
Wanted: Used +030 TRW L2249 or Speed Pro 7061P 12.5/1 289/302 ford pistons