Ex-IndyCar racer's hot rod wins top award

Last updated 14:41 03/10/2012
Tom Gloy's 1932 Ford roadster.
Tom Gloy's 1932 Ford roadster.

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Former IndyCar racer Tom Gloy has won a top US hot rod title with his immaculate 1932 Ford roadster.

While Gloy couldn't win the Indianapolis 500 during a 25-year racing career, he was in the Indianapolis winner's circle when he drove the hot rod over 3000 kilometres to win the "Goodguys 2012 Tank Hot Rod of the Year" award in the city.

Click on photo at left to view photos of the award-winning hot rod.

Gloy's low flying roadster was born during a conversation with Roy Brizio a few years back as the two drove to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Gloy wanted a channelled '32 Ford roadster but Brizio cautioned "Channelled '32 Fords aren't very comfortable and when channelled they can look too wide." He also told Gloy how the driver often "sat up too high" in the channelled cars he'd seen over the years. So that was the challenge – to build a channelled, traditionally styled roadster in which Tom could sit low and drive fast.

To redesign the car's front end, Brizio and his build team narrowed the cowl, grille and windshield. They also sectioned the radiator shell nine centimetres. To get Gloy down low in the seat, the floorboards were radically lowered – more so than any other hot rod to roll out of Brizio's South San Francisco stable. Out back, the rear quarters were filled and smoothed and the rear wheels tucked tightly against the body.

The custom chassis features torsion bar suspension and a classic hot rod rake courtesy of the chromed Magnum 5-inch dropped axle. Custom made 18 and 16-inch ET knockoff wheels are enhanced with custom machined caliper brackets designed to fill the backside of the wheels. The 302-inch, Hilborn EFI Ford crate motor and Tremec 5-speed get the roadster up to speed in hurry then stops on a dime courtesy of Wilwood brakes.

Body & paint specialist Darryl Hollenbeck spent many hours perfecting the car's classic finish – a mid 50's Porsche blue which perfectly contrasts the red leather interior.

Gloy, who now lives near Lake Tahoe, got the channelled Bonneville-inspired roadster he dreamed of and a talented team of Bay Area craftsmen, led by Brizio pulled off the challenge of getting it to sit and look just right.

The top five finalists for the award included, Keith Hill ('34 Ford), Tom Gloy ('32 Ford), Tim Kirby ('33 Ford), Henry Richards ('32 Ford) and Larry Christensen ('32 Ford).

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