At the turn of the century, it was arguably the Honda Civic that best defined inexpensive performance tuning, and in the '50s it was the Tri-5 Chevys. One of the earliest platforms to gain a huge following among young people looking for a cheap way to go fast was the classic '32 Ford Highboy Roadster. This week, Jay Leno's Garage looks at one of the very first vehicles that defined the look of the hot rod heyday.
After one of the worst winters in recent memory for much of the country, summer is finally here. It's time to drop the top, open the sunroof or at least put down the windows and take a long drive. The United States Postal Service is celebrating the season's sun in automotive style with two new hot rod Forever stamps.
If you're going to build your own hot rod, you'll want to start with a '32 Ford 5-Window Coupe. Favored by American servicemen returning from World War II, the '32 Ford remains the very icon of the hot rod to this day. The trouble is there were only so many of them made in the first place, and finding one today can be a challenge. That's where reproduction models come in.
Ford is throwing a bash to celebrate the 75th birthday of the iconic Deuce. "Deuce" is a reference to the two in 1932, which was the year this legendary car was born, and it's been the most popular starting point for hot rods ever since. The party will also honor the famous Ford Flathead engine. When it debuted, the Deuce cost just $500 and was considered pretty revolutionary. Since then, as Ford puts it, they have been "modified, raced, cruised, deified, celebrated in film, revised, and recreat