Steve Gentry's 1932 Ford Dearborn Deuce Roadster
(from Volume 24, Issue 288)

story by Michael B. Kelly and Christian Cruz, photos by Michael B. Kelly


Classic cars and trucks bring people together in a social environment, to tell stories, and share experiences. From an early age Steve Gentry was exposed to an array of all types of vehicles, sparking his profound love of automobiles and the long search for his dream car. Steve began hot rodding in the ‘70s with his 1949 English Ford Anglia with a small block Chevy 350 engine, but stopped due to a lack of free time.

Once Steve had retired and time was more plentiful, he wanted to return to the hobby. After visiting countless car shows throughout the United States, he finally found the car he was looking for, a sleek 1932 Ford Dearborn Deuce Roadster at an Oregon Rod and Customs store in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Upon first glance, Steve knew that he had finally found his dream hot rod, ending his long hunt.

For those unfamiliar with the Dearborn Deuce, it is an aftermarket body made out of steel, which went into production in May of 2004. While in terms of quality it looks like a product that came from Ford Motor Company, it has actually been designed with several substantial differences. Most apparent would be the fully disappearing convertible top. A panel just behind the top hinges up, the top folds nicely into the cavity below, and once the panel is hinged back into place the top is completely hidden from view. Several body design changes were necessary in order to package this top mechanism in a ‘32 Roadster, but they kept them as subtle as possible to preserve the original look of the standard vintage ‘32 Roadster body. Look closely and you’ll notice that the doors have been stretched 3-inches rearward to meet the new top. They are also reshaped the doors at their front edge to bring the side glass forward. The cowl was reworked to accept a specially-designed windshield that meets the side glass. The new side glass is curved, and it has been tooled exclusively for this car. They also deepened the cockpit, allowing the passengers to sit back further, providing an additional 2-1/2 inches of leg room. Yet the outer dimensions of the body, and even the stock trunk lid, have remained bone stock. All of this combine to make a Roadster with power windows that can close up tight against the weather. Once appropriately prepped Steve’s car was then sprayed in a two-tone scheme with champagne and pewter hue paint, complimented with a set of Billet Specialties rims.

The chassis is also from Dearborn Deuce, and is boxed. Steve’s has been fitted with stainless steel tubular front control arms, dropped front spindles, a polished tubular stainless steel parallel 4-link setup out back, and an air bag suspension system from Air Ride Technologies. Wilwood polished billet disc brake calipers are utilized at all four corners.

Under the hood of Steve’s car rests a 5.7 liter Chevy Ram Jet motor. The gasses exit thru a set of ceramic coated headers. Everything under the hood has been chrome plated, polished, or painted to match the exterior, giving it a great look. Shifting duties are handled by a 4L60E automatic transmission, and the power is passed rearward to a 9-inch Ford rear end with 3.89:1 gears and positraction.

Inside you will find a custom interior, featuring tan and light brown leather. The ‘32 Ford style dashboard is fitted with Classic Instruments gauges, has an extension at the lower portion of the dash that is home to the Vintage Air controls and Phipps air conditioning vents, and flows into a custom console which incorporates the air ride controls, Clarion sound system controls, and Lokar shifter. The chrome plated tilt steering column is topped by a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and you’ll find a full compliment of billet interior accent items throughout.

Even though Steve’s journey was long, he now spends his time cruising, and “living the dream”. His very attractive Dearborn Deuce combines the look of the past with the technology and design elements of today. He purchased the car in order to primarily drive it, but enjoys taking it out to local car shows, and he usually doesn’t come home empty handed....but regardless the outing always puts a smile on his face. CN