Every year at SEMA there's always one car that is so over the top and amazingly clean that it blows us away. This year it was a custom 1932 Ford Roadster named "Blue Steel". Sure 32 Fords have been done a million times, but few take it so far that it's close to.. dare we say it... OCD clean? This 32 Ford definitely gives off the high-dollar, high-profile shop build. I was surprised when I got to talking to the guys responsible for the build that they weren't from a big name SOCAL shop, but rather a bunch of friends that built the car in a tractor repair shop over the past year.
The story goes that Doug had this 32 steel-bodied Ford Roadster he'd been involved in slowly building over the years. Self-Admittedly Doug's an amateur and his project stalled when it got to the primer stage. That was until he got with his friend Larry to buy the "crown jewel" for the roadster. Doug purchased the engine of his dreams, a Ford Shelby SOHC 427 from Larry and after talking they decided to take the project to Larry's well equipped tractor repair shop for completion. Larry, his crew and Doug worked together for only ONE year to take the car from the primer stage to show ready. That might not sound that unreasonable for a car as small and simple as a 32 Ford Roadster, but the details that went into making Blue Steel this perfect is were it really becomes remarkable.
Take a look under the car at the drivetrain, chassis, brakes, or really anywhere on the car, and you'll see its all been smoothed, painted, chromed, polished, or modified. The underside of the car is cleaner than 90% of the cars you'd see at an average show! Things really got silly when Larry insisted on converting EVERY bolt on the car to chrome 12 point ARP bolts, including some that had to be custom made directly from ARP to complete the theme. I'm not exaggerating when I say that you'd have a hard time finding a defect on this work of art.
Since Doug and his crew specialized in vintage tractors, they didn't have all the specialized automotive restoration tools and supplies needed to build a hot rod on hand. That's why they turned to the Eastwood catalog to get supplies to media blast, powder coat, and polish some of the metal on the car. This goes to show that taking the time to properly prepare and complete a project can result in top-notch results from DIY-priced products like we offer!
In the end of the day the story of Blue Steel is unlike one of your own projects. They dug in, worked together, and did it for the love of building a car that met their vision and made THEM happy. Everyone involved in the build was ultra-friendly, happy to chat, and quick to show off their hard work. You can really tell these guys had fun building this car together and even though the result is a top-notch show car, they really did it for the love of the Hot Rodding hobby. The roadster wasn't 100% finished at SEMA 2013, but it was invited on Day 1 of SEMA to be a 2014 AMBR (Americas Most Beautiful Roadster) contender at the Grand National Roadster show this year. This alone is something special that only a small handful can say they were picked to contend for each year. I know since SEMA the Larry, Doug, and crew have gotten the car road worthy and debuted it to their peers at Art Chrisman's annual Christmas open house at Chrisman Auto Rod Specialties (check out the video from our visit HERE).
Thank you Doug, Larry, and everyone involved for being so friendly and letting myself and the Eastwood crew interview and photograph the car, we're routing for you at the Roadster show this year!