What do you get when you mix the best hot rod style with modern design and fabrication methods? Something like this 1932 Ford Roadster Pickup, recently unveiled by Nichols Paint and Fab at the 2022 Pigeon Forge Rod Run held in Pigeon Forge TN.
To say that it’s unique would be an understatement. But first, let’s appreciate the vehicle itself. For 1932, Ford did sell an open-cab convertible model in the commercial vehicle lineup. However, topless V8-powered pickups probably numbered less than 1,000 units made. And that was 90 years ago.
It’s not clear if this particular car is one of those rare birds, but thankfully, the hot rod market has been booming for decades, producing all-new components for every possible Model A and Model B configuration.
This build has many elements you’d associate with a hot rod build. It’s got a chopped windshield, no bodywork over the engine, lowered suspension, and removed fenders. But things get really crazy after that.
In an interview with ScottieDTV, builder and close friend Justin said he had this idea for over 20 years and just recently found a customer with the will and money to make it happen. The first thing people usually see is the cantilever suspension, appearing through a cutout in the bed. It’s got beautifully-polished aluminum components and some dark bronze coilovers.
Most powerful 32 Ford show car?
However, the real magic is at the front. I’m not an expert in 32s, but I’ve never seen an engine like that. It’s a modern 5.0 Coyote that’s designed to look like a classic Flathead. Never knew you could do that! Scottie praises the builder for sticking with Ford because so many hot rods use cheap LS engines these days.
It’s also twin-turbocharged, with the T66 units cleverly hidden inside the headlight buckets. Air intakes and LEDs combined – that’s reminiscent of a Dodge Challenger. It’s also amazing how Nichols Fab made the pipes from the intercooler dump straight into the top of the engine like that.
The 32 Roadster Pickup is also beautifully painted in a custom shade called “Blown Head Gasket Gray”, the color of the liquid that comes out of an engine with a blown head gasket. This spectacular finish is copied to the interior’s numerous fiberglass custom parts. the little Ford has a gray leather dash and a gray steering wheel, plus some nice matching wood trim.
The wheels are custom-made and have a bit of that gray color added. Again, I’m no expert, but I think this is called the Kidney Bean Pin Drive style. It was really popular with hot rodders, but the diameter has obviously been enlarged.