Time Capsule

While many owners and builders are trying to build period correct nostalgia rods there are not many original survivors of the era that everyone is trying to copy. The story and information that follows documents one such period correct hot rod that is nothing less than a time capsule waiting to be looked at.

The first record of this ‘32 Ford Cabriolet was a feature article and photos in the February ‘61 issue of Rod and Custom Magazine. According to information gathered from several individuals the car was built by Bill Cox the owner of Quincy Automotive in Santa Monica, California. In the ‘50s and ‘60s Quincy Automotive was “the place to get speed equipment or get your hot rod built”. Quincy also sponsored many drag race, dry lake and Bonneville cars such as the “Freight Train” sometimes called the Quincy Automotive Special.

The next knowledge of the car was a sighting in ‘82 in Don Thelan’s back yard in Los Alamitos, California. Don had purchased it from an ad in the L.A. Times. Don owned Buffalo Motor Cars a shop in Paramont, CA and was the shop where the ZZ Top promotional car for Billy Gibbons was built.

Shortly thereafter the Cabriolet was sold by Don Thelan to Chris Carrier of Connecticut. Chris was a one time owner of the California Kid. Chris initially wanted Don to build the car, but information says the car was never built by Don.

In ‘83 the car was bought by Coleman Castellaw of Marietta, Georgia and for the next 30 years the car was driven, stored and small amounts of restoration were done. In 2012 a complete restoration was completed bringing the car back to the look as it appeared in Rod and Custom back in ‘61.

Please note that with the exception of the magazine article all of the information about this car is from word of mouth from several individuals and time does fog memories


Special features of this car

Body: ‘40 Ford bumpers, filled grill shell, custom three piece hood, dropped headlight bar, Dietz headlights, filled cowl vent, chopped padded Carson style top, contoured side windows, shaved deck lid, bobbed rear fenders with extended reveals and mounted with ‘48 Chevy tail lights.


Interior: ‘31 Pierce-Arrow gauge panel featuring Stewart Warner Classic Gauges, ‘40 Ford truck steering wheel with column shift, Motorola AM radio rebuilt to AM/FM with I-Pod jack.


Drivetrain: ‘53 Ford flathead bored 30 over that is equipped with Offenhauser heads, a 3x2 Offenhauser intake mounted with three 97 Stromberg carbuerators.  A ‘40 Ford transmission with Lincoln Zephyr gears, Columbia two speed rear end with ‘48 Ford brakes and reverse eye spring, chromed 4” drop axle with reverse eye spring on the front, Buick finned front brake drums with chrome ‘48 Ford backing plates, ‘48 Ford wheels with baby moons/convex beauty bands and mounted with B.F. Goodrich bias ply wide white walls.


Restoration by: Mills & Company, interior by Burt Litton Hot Rod Interiors, paint by Curt’s Customs & Collectibles

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