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In the Garage: 1932 Ford 'street rod'
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1932 Ford five-window ‘street rod’ owned by Glenn Wubker
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
One of the most memorable scenes from the 1973 film, “American Graffiti,” is the drag race between a souped-up ‘Canary Yellow’ ’32 Ford coupe and a modified ’55 Chevrolet. The Ford, driven by star character John Milner, wins the race as the Chevy veers off the road and overturns. Over the years, a number of ‘street rod’ builders have worked on replicas of the early-‘60s-era Ford, including Wubker. “I built the car to resemble John Milner’s coupe from the George Lucas movie,” he says. “It has a 400-cubic-inch ‘small block’ Chevy motor with three two-barrel carburetors, a ‘Turbo 350’ transmission and a Ford nine-inch rear end.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
“I started building the car in 2009 and completed it in approximately one year,” Wubker says.
WHERE HE FOUND IT
“I picked it up with a friend of mine and his dad from Louisville, Kentucky four years ago,” he says. “It was a (fiberglass reproduction) body and a chassis. That’s it.”
He had the racing engine and transmission built by Long Island specialists in the field. “I put the car together from there,” he says. “The car was built with a lot of attention to detail and is in excellent condition. I just have to finish the interior.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“Don't let it sit in the garage,” Wubker advises. “Drive your classic car or your hot rod. I take the coupe grocery shopping, out for dinner and even to Home Depot.”
Wubker declines to place a value on the car, but says the build has cost him just over $50,000 to date. Prices for similar completed ‘street rods’ can range from around $30,000 into the six figures, depending on equipment and modifications.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“I built the car to resemble the ‘American Graffiti’ coupe, but with a little more power . . . about 600 horsepower on pump gas,” he says. “My brother-in-law has a 1955 Chevy similar to the one from the same movie that was driven by Harrison Ford.”