Dick Young's 1932 Ford Roadster Pickup
(from Volume 19, Issue 233)

Like many of us, Dick Young started playing with cars at a young age, having been born in Minnesota, and living in Wisconsin most of his life. At just 14 he was already learning how to customize and paint cars on his own, dabbling with ‘50 Fords. He bought his first real car, a 1955 Chevy convertible, at the age of 17. From there it just kept on going, as Dick would buy cars, fix them up, and sell them. Over the years that included several ‘55 Nomads, Corvettes from ‘57 thru ‘74, ‘60s and ‘70s Chevy pickups, several Novas and Camaros, and even a ‘57 Mercedes Gull Wing. Along the way he also spent two years in the Army, helped build and race several Sportsman and Modified race cars for five years, plus owned and operated Automotive Dip & Strip in Wisconsin. Dick worked in the elevator industry from 1961 to 2001, from which he retired and moved to Port Charlotte, Florida in 2001.

Dick didn’t get into street rods until the 1990’s, when he bought a ‘32 Ford Roadster out of California. The car had a lot of history, and retained a 100% Henry Ford Body including the fenders. He completely restored and rebuilt it, with items including a 350 Chevy engine with 300hp, Turbo 350 automatic transmission, an all chrome Jaguar rear end, independent front suspension, and Zenith knock-off wheels. He still owns that car, and since then has had and fixed up several other ‘32 Ford street rods, buying them as project cars and seeing them through to completion.

Dick’s shop in Port Charlotte, Florida is called Young Again Hotrods, and the 1932 Ford Roadster Pickup you see pictured here is the first car that he built from scratch. He started with a powder coated TCI frame, Brookville steel body, and a Model A bed. To that he added a Chassis Engineering chrome front axle, chromed mono-leaf spring, all stainless steel suspension parts, a stainless steel triangulated 4-bar, Aldan chrome coil over shocks, and 4-wheel disc brakes.
The exterior was painted a brilliant blue color, and accented with ghost flames and a set of American Racing Torque Thrust rims wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber (205/70/15 up front, 285/70/15 out back). Inside you’ll find a nicely done cream colored upholstery, black faced gauges, a banjo style billet steering wheel atop a Flaming River tilt column, Hurst shifter, and a Pioneer stereo system.

Under the hood resides a 327 cubic inch Chevy that is fitted with Corvette finned valve covers, and a trio of Rochester carbs on a chrome intake manifold. The spent gasses exit through a set of stainless steel Ram Horn headers, which connects to the hand made stainless steel exhaust with Stainless Specialty mufflers, while an aluminum radiator keeps everything running cool. A Muncie 4-speed manual transmission transfers the power back to a Ford 9-inch rear end with positraction.

All of the building of the car, including paint, special metal spacers on the rear fenders, and the radiator shroud were all done by Dick, with the help of his good friend Mike True and two engineer friends, Ed Labrush and Jerry Austin.

The car took about 5 years to build using the best parts available, and the first time it was driven was actually to the NSRA Southeast Nationals in Tampa....where we shot these pictures. There is no doubt it is a cool street rod, which certainly caught our attention. It also drew many admiring onlookers over the weekend, as it will for many years to come. In the process I’m sure building such cool cars is indeed making Dick feel “Young Again”....and all the while he is having a ball! CN