Vince Balistreri's 1932 Ford Hiboy Coupe
(from Volume 27, Issue 324)

story by Vince Balistreri, photos by Michael B. Kelly


My name is Vince Balistreri, and I am now 70 years old. I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and moved to Orlando in 1985. I started my business in 1973 in Milwaukee, and lets say that in the beginning it was lean, but what I had in my heart was to do the very best of whatever I worked on. This included custom painting, lettering, airbrush, pinstriping, artwork, design, murals, etc.

My fist car was a 1957 Chevy out of high school. I cleaned it up and hand painted a little something on the front fenders. It didn’t last long, since I blew up the motor. A few years later I found a 1969 Super Bee, and I painted it complete, back then in all lacquer. I then added an airbrush mural and some lettering. It was my daily driver, and good for advertising. We had ISCA car shows in Milwaukee, and I think that car made at least half a dozen in 1973-1974. Most of the time I was getting busy painting art on cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, etc. for street, racing and show.

As the years passed it seemed like whatever I owned, vehicle wise, I had to change it up to not look stock. After a 1978 Toyota Pickup, a few different vans (Chevy, Ford and two Dodges) and two motorcycles, I now drive a 2005 Dodge Magnum. 16 years later I am not ready to give it up. It doesn’t look bad, but I’m more concerned about the mechanics of it.

Well, let’s get to the 1932 Ford Hiboy you see pictured here. About mid to early 2017 I had sold my ‘99 Harley and said to my friend Chris that I would like to have a ‘32 Ford before my time is up. By December Chris called and said he had one we could go check out. It was not a show car, it was a driver. Chopped top, bright red, no fenders, big headlights, big whitewalls, a 383 cubic inch Chevy stroker motor, and a four speed. It reminded me of my Super Bee, which had a 383 and a four speed. I made the ‘32 mine in January of 2018. Then for at least the next year and a half I was focused on making it reliable. Did you every buy something and have to cut it to fit the radiator? I cut one inch out of the tank and had it rewelded so it would fit in the same place without redoing all the other parts. Then installed a better fan to keep it cool, and the list of other various improvements goes on and on. It is coming along, and has been a hair puller, and a lot of fun. Other items on the car include a 600 carb and Sanderson headers on the 383 stroker motor, and a new exhaust I just finished a few months ago. It also has power windows, a Hurst shifter, Saginaw four speed, hydraulic clutch, four wheel disc brakes, and Ford nine inch rear end.

So how did I change it visually since I bought it? I removed the old pinstriping (which was a really good job, but not mine) and replaced it with my own pinstriping, and removed some stickers on the sides since they were just not me. I renamed the car “Little Devil”, which explains the hand painted artwork that is now down low in front of the doors. It just fits the car.

If you want to check out some of my work I am on Instagram @vince.notahousepainter, or on Facebook as Vince Balistreri Artworks. After 48 years I think I could write a book, but instead I post pics on Instagram to tell an ongoing story. CN