Hot Rod Unlimited Episode 26 – Fun and Stupid ’32 Ford Roadster Road Trip

We’ve come to expect the unorthodox or unadvisable from the Hot Rod Magazine editors, and although it might make for their discomfort or lack of sleep, it makes for some great storytelling and entertainment. In this episode of Hot Rod Unlimited, Hot Rod Magazine staff editor Thom Taylor goes back to Nashville, Tennessee in the dead of winter to drive out Bill Akin’s 1932 Ford roadster that graced the cover of the December 1979 edition of Hot Rod magazine, to be featured at the Hot Rod 65th Anniversary event, the Hot Rod Homecoming in Pomona, California.

Except for a recent engine rebuild, and some basic maintenance, the car is essentially the same as it was 34 years ago, when it graced the cover of the magazine. Just outside of Nashville, Taylor experienced freezing rain, and the lack of wipers on the roadster made forward visibility a challenge. After an overnight’s stay in Memphis, and a brief stop at the Sun Records recording studio, of Elvis Presley fame, it was back on the interstate toward Oklahoma City.

With an oil mist coming out of the crankcase breather on the valve cover, Taylor improvises a paper towel “diaper” which cuts down on the windshield splatter. Unfortunately, the weather outside of Oklahoma City is even chillier than Tennessee. Akin was so confident in its reliability, he told Taylor to do anything he wanted with it, which he took to heart by doing a few burnouts on a long, lonely stretch of country road.

A planned detour to the Hoover Dam was dashed by an oil leak, but the car ultimately made it to its destination in one piece. Despite the punishing, exposed weather conditions, Taylor said he’d do it again, but next time, not during winter.

Stay tuned to the Motor Trend channel for fresh enthusiast content, updated all the time.

By Edward A. Sanchez

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