Ken & Kathy Maher
1932 Deuce Coupe
The 1932 Deuce Coupe was revolutionary in that it was the first time a V8 engine was introduced. Rumor has it that Clyde Barrow from Bonnie & Clyde fame, wrote a letter to Henry Ford in 1934 thanking him for doing so and extolling the virtues of Ford V8s as getaway cars.
This Deuce Coupe is all fiberglass powered by a special build 383 with twin 4 barrels. Horsepower and torque are 475 and 500, respectively. It’s mated to a Turbo 400 with 4:11 gears.
I was never a street rod guy, but the first time I laid my eyes on a ’32 Deuce, I knew I had to have one. I completely rebuilt this in 2009 and it’s always a head-turner. The only sound better than the exhaust is listening to who else, but The Beach Boys. I do get around!
Ken & Kathy Maher
1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS
Is it a truck or a car? Well, it is both. But an El Camino SS with a 454 big block, Turbo 400 and a 3:73 posi-traction rear end, can get you down the quarter mile with the best of the muscle cars from back in the day. It can also carry a fair amount if you need to stop at Home Depot.
This car had spent some time in California being road raced just before we purchased it in 2007. It underwent a complete restoration and has had very few miles put on it since the restoration was completed. It spent time at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania as part of their “truck” exhibit.
Parked side by side from the front, it looks like our Chevelle SS. Sitting behind the wheel there is no difference, except for the doors on the El Camino which have vent windows.
The vinyl top reminds us of a poplar period option. The Cragar SS wheels always add a bit of style and the Hooker Headers, Edelbrock High Rise and a Holley carburetor are all what we called “second day” upgrades back when.
Ken & Kathy Maher
Perhaps Carroll Shelby’s most significant accomplishment was how an interest in the AC Ace chassis, especially after Bristol Aeroplane Company stopped building the automotive engines that powered these cars, led to the creation of the famed “COBRA.”
Initially powered by a Ford 260 ci engine (only after Chevrolet refused to provide their 283 ci engines), a 289 ci engine quickly followed it. In October 1964, a 427 ci Ford big block was installed, and after several design modifications to the rear end of the car, it took to the track and never looked back – well, maybe if you count looking in the rear-view mirror at all your fellow competitors.
This car was built in 2008 by Superformance in South Africa. This is a one-owner car. The car was shipped to the United States in a crate without an engine or transmission. The car was then delivered to a custom engine builder in Ohio, where the engine and transmission were installed.
Most COBRA owners today are installing 351 ci Windsor engines that are then bored and stroked to 427ci. Wanting the extensive block look, power, and especially the torque but not wanting the weight, an all-aluminum 427 FE block was purchased directly from Shelby Enterprises in Las Vegas, NV. Add the aluminum heads and dual quad intake manifold; the weight difference between this engine and a small block cast iron engine is nominal.
In building the engine, we had two (2) metrics we were aiming for, 550 hp and 575 torque. The dyno results show we exceeded those goals. Could we have gotten more? Absolutely, but the car only weighs with the engine and transmission, roughly 1,900 pounds.
A 5-speed Tremec transmission is mounted to the engine, with the reverse-mounted early Mustang shifter.
Looking closely, you’ll see Carroll Shelby signed the glove box door. People ask if it’s his signature – it is. I tell the story of how Carroll and I were out to dinner one night (being an old chicken farmer, he had chicken, I had steak), and on the way home, while stopped at a red light, I handed him a pen and asked him to sign the glove box door, which he did. A genuinely fantastic tale! The next time you see me, ask me about the glove box door, and I’ll tell you the real story behind it.
Lastly, I am always asked if it’s as fast as the original. My response, which has been proven, is that this one is faster and better than the original. This one has more horsepower, more torque, and a 5-speed manual transmission. It’s faster in a straight line, and with the independent suspension on this car and an all-aluminum engine over the front end, it’s a much better handling car. The one thing the original has that this one does not is that Carroll Shelby is a much better driver than I am, so advantage Shel.