Highboy Deuce Coupe Triple Play

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Some of Our All-Time Favorite Highboy Deuce Coupes

By Chuck Vranas – Photography by the Author

Nothing gets your pulse racing more than a highboy Deuce coupe roaring by you with a heavy exhaust note flowing through its pipes. Regardless if it’s running a stock body or if it’s been treated to any combination of modifications like being chopped, channeled or sectioned, its guaranteed to make a statement. When cruising down the highway, stopping at the donut shop or rolling through an event it’s a perfect time to enjoy what your ride represents in our hobby. Enjoy the first trio of cars featured in our highboy Deuce coupe triple play where we showcase hop-ups in perfect ‘50s though ‘60s styling, each with a traditional engine combination. Know that there will be more to come as there are plenty of cool builds we have seen over the years.

Chassis: Solid Axle Halibrand V8 Quick-Change Rearend

Mike & Toni Mondrella nailed the traditional look with their perfectly-balanced Deuce from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mike Boerema at Gas Axe Garage boxed a set of new ‘rails from ASC, added custom crossmembers while also shortening the front 2 ½ inches and bobbing the rear. Out back a Halibrand V-8 quick-change packs 3.78 gears, suspended in place by modified 1940 Ford split ‘bones matched to a Posies Super Slide spring and Monroe tube shocks. Up front a 4-inch dropped Magnum axle meets 1940 Ford spindles perfectly matched to split stock ‘bones, Posies Super Slide spring and Monroe tube shocks. Added style comes from a set of original 16-inch Ford steelies with trim rings and spider caps wearing Firestone/Coker rubber.

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Engine & Trans: Cadillac 331 & Stromberg 97 Carbs

Kenowa Auto Supply prepped a 1955 Cadillac 331ci block. From there Boerema packed it with a refreshed stock crank and rods wearing 9.7:1 cast aluminum slugs getting bumped by a stick from Isky. Warmed-over stock heads meet an Offenhauser intake wearing a sextet of Stromberg 97-Series carbs with classic scoops. A massaged Borg Warner T5 from Gas Axe meets a custom driveshaft.

Body & Interior: Nason Blue-Black & 1939 Ford Gauges

Starting with a clean original body, Boerema sliced the lid 4 inches in front tapering to 3 ½ inches out back as well as prepping it for a padded roof insert by removing a filled roof section. He also fabricated custom front a rear spreader bars. Ted Aguilar metal finished the body, set the gaps, and laid down a coating of Nason Blue Black Effect. A 1939 Ford dash packs restored factory dials while a Juliano’s 15-inch banjo-style wheel and Gas Axe shifter moves the goods.  Top Stitch Upholstery added classic blue and white pleats to the stock bench along with loop carpet and pleated roof insert.

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Chassis: Ford Axles with Winters Quick-Change

Jeff Norwell’s coupe is the perfect ‘60s-era hot rod wrapped in a root beer vibe from Ontario, Canada. Candy’s Hot Rod Supply started with an original spine, boxing it, C-notching the rear and adding custom crossmembers. To move the goods, 1940 Ford axles meet a Winters Performance quick-change packing 3.54 gears, hung in place by custom ladder bars by Richard Gray, reverse-eye Model A spring and Pete & Jakes tube shocks. In front a 4-inch dropped & drilled axle meets 1937 Ford spindles with 1940 Ford split ‘bones, reverse-eye Model A spring and Pete & Jakes tube shocks. To nail the stance, 1940 Ford 16-inch steelies with trim rings and spyder caps wear big ‘n’ little rubber from Firestone/Coker.

Engine & Trans: Dodge 270 Hemi & Rochester 2GC Carbs

Karl Spafford of TDC built an evil 270ci (bored) 1955 Dodge Red Ram Hemi. With the block machined, he filled it with a steel crank linked to matching rods capped with Ross Racing forged aluminum pistons getting bumped by a Clay Smith stick. Hopped-up stock heads meet a Don Hampton intake with a GMC 4-71 blower topped by twin Rochester 2GC carbs and Stelling & Hellings-style air cleaners. A reworked GM T5 trans matched to a Wilcap adapter meets a custom driveshaft.

Body & Interior: Root Beer & Classic Instruments

Candy’s replaced the bottom 5 inches of the original body along with subrails, interior and trunk floors with steel from Brookville Roadster. A 1961 Corvair roof section was used to fill the roof along with a custom copper cowl steering cover. The body was metal finished, gapped and coated in Planet Color Root Beer. A 1941 Ford dash is filled with original gauges restored by Classic Instruments while a 1940 Ford wheel meets a Schroeder steering box and gears pull a custom shift lever. A custom bench wears old gold and crème vinyl accented by black loop carpet.

Chassis: Solid Axle Halibrand Culver City Rearend

Rick Start’s Deuce from Grand Rapids, Michigan, delivers devilish good looks in a perfect ‘50s-era style. Gas Axe Garage started with original ‘rails which were boxed in front, treated to Model A front and rear crossmembers and custom center K-member. A Halibrand “Culver City” quick-change out back packs 3.55 gears and is suspended by a 1941 Ford wishbone, reverse-eye Model A spring and Monroe tube shocks. In front, a Deuce big-beam axle was dropped 3-inches and matched to 1946 Ford spindles, 1937 Ford split ‘bones, reverse-eye Model A spring and Monroe tube shocks. Classic 16-inch Ford steelies with trim rings and spyder caps wear big ‘n’ little Firestone/Coker wide whites.

Engine & Trans: 329-inch Olds & Stromberg 97-Series Carbs

D&T Performance machined a 1956 Olds block to 329ci. Gas Axe assembled it with a refreshed factory crank linked to stock rods wearing cast aluminum10:1pistons getting bumped by an Isky stick. Massaged factory heads meet an Edelbrock four-pot intake wearing Stromberg 97-series carbs and frog-mouth scoops. A 1939 Ford trans with Lincoln Zephyr gears meets a Wilcap adapter with final drive via torque tube.

Body & Interior: PPG Deep Burgundy Pearl & 1956 Olds Gauges

The original steel body already had a well-balanced 4-inch chop from its prior life. Gas Axe updated it with new inner fenders, repaired the subrails, added a working cowl vent and tilt windshield, replaced the firewall, metal finished the body and set the gaps. Those Guys Custom Paint and Fabrication laid down the PPG custom-blended deep burgundy pearl. A 1956 Olds dash features refreshed original gauges, 1961 Olds steering wheel on a custom column and gears running through a Gas Axe shifter. The bench seat wears oxblood and crème pleated leather by Top Stitch Upholstery accented by burgundy square weave carpeting. MR

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