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1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe Hot Rod [The Champagne Coupe] So-Cal Speed Shop Built

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Condition: Used
  • Item location: Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Make: Ford
  • Model: Other
  • Type: Coupe
  • Trim: 5 Window Coupe
  • Year: 1932
  • Mileage: 2,500
  • VIN: 18xxxxx
  • Color: Champagne
  • Engine size: 401 Buick Nailhead
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Black/White
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

Ford Other 1932 Description

Up for sale is a 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe Hot Rod. The car is all Henry Ford steel and was built at the famous So-Cal Speed Shop in Pomona, California. This iconic car is very well known in the hot rod community as simply 'TheChampagne Coupe'. More on that later on in the description. It is not a stretch to say this hot rod is among the most recognizable and photographed cars in recent modern times. From it's build to completion the car has been documented in bothtelevision and print media extensively. Read thedescription and story for details on the birth of this very collectible and unique car.
I had worked with Pete Chapouris and So-Cal Speed Shop on quite a few cars over the years. Around 2004 I was in the middle of building two cars with the shop and decided to drive out to Pomona to check on the progress of my cars. As I was chatting with Pete about the cars a truck pulled up. Hopping out of thetruck was one of Pete's employee's, John Reed. He had a big smile on his face and said to us "look what I found". He lifted up the back of the truck and rolled out a 1932 Ford 5window coupe. The car was in primer, no interior, full fendered and most importantly complete and unaltered. After inspecting the car it appeared to have been an old, unfinished hot rod. It had a late 50's Chevy motor and a 3 speed transmission. The body was excellent. John explained he had received a tip on a car for sale inNorthridge, just north of L.A. He drove out but was skeptical as virgin 32's are nearly impossible to find in southern California. When he got there and looked in the garage he knew this was the real deal. The lady said the car was worked on here and there in the early sixties and had just been sitting in the garage for nearly 40 years. He bought it and immediately brought it to the shop. I asked if it was for sale and he said yes. As I was driving home that evening all I could think about was that pristine 5 window. Over the next several days I pulled out all my old Rod and Custom magazines and books with pictures of earlyhot rods and started to dream about building this car. The following weekend I met John at the shop. I inspected the car again and made a deal to buy it. I told John to park it in the corner until I was ready to get started on it.
About a year and a half later my 32 roadster and chopped 34 coupe were complete and it was time to start on this car. Pete and I had tossed around a few ideas but now we got serious about the theme for the car. A gentleman's hot rod, noexpense spared late 50's, early 60's full fendered car. The body was removed from the chassis and sent out to be stripped to bare steel. As the original frame had been previously altered we decided to use So-Cal's excellent 32 step-boxed frame and parts. Early on it was decided a unique motor had to be used. I chose a period correct 401 BuickNailhead. Work started on the chassis and because of the length of the mill many one-off custom parts and pulley's had the be fabricated in order toshoehorn in the motor. This was very labor intensive as I wanted to keep the length of the chassis stock and not lose any interior space. Very difficult indeed. A Tremec 5 speed transmission would back up the 401 Nailhead followed by a bullet proof 9 inchrearend. A selection of traditional So-Calpieces make up the front end including a Magnum 4 inch dropped I-beam tied to the framerails with a pair of So-Cal hairpins. So-Cal Buick drums with hidden discs supply the braking. Vegasteering box, and Pete and Jakes shocks complete the front end. Under the rear end the 9 inch is located by a pair of ladder bars and fitted with another pair of Pete and Jakes shocks. So-Cal drums supply the brakes. All parts are chromed or polished.
When using a unique motor for your hot rod youobviously can't go the simple 1-800-cratemotor route. You must employ someone who knows how to get the most out of a vintage engine. For that I turned to master builder Ray Zeller of La Habra, California. Ray has built many motors for me including a Hilborn injected 57 Hemi. His work is always excellent. For this project we used anaggressive mid range cam formaximum very usable torque. Ray set it up with a pair of Edelbrock 500cfm carb's on a dual manifold flanked by a pair of Offenhauser valve covers. Spark comes from an MSD ignition. Jimmy Shine and Silky custom built the headers specially to fit in the limited space available for the Nailhead to fit in the Ford chassis. The car can be run with or without the hoodsides. Even though we used a modern Tremec transmission a specially crafted and modified 39 Ford shifter was grafted in place to keep to the vintage theme. The motor makes about 400 hp and about the same amount of torque. Make no mistake, this car is fast.
Wheel and tire choices are a huge decision and can make or break the looks and theme of the car. For this particular hot rod the choice to both Pete and I was obvious. A set of 49-51 Mercury wheels would be perfect. We had to have original's, no reproductions for a car at this level. We found a set and had them completely restored to as new. The rear wheels are run in traditional fashion with reversed outer rims. Wrapping the Mercury rim cap-and-ring combo is a set of bias ply BF Goodrich Silvertown wide whitewalls. The fronts are 590x15 and the rears are 8.20x15.
When the stripped body came back to the shop there were no surprises. Thesheetmetal was nearly perfect. Now the big decision. To chop or leave stock. Many people said a body this good should be left stock. My attitude was this was a hot rod, not a restoration. It had to be chopped! The car was sent around the corner to the Kennedy Brothers shop. They gave the coupe a 21/2 inch chop. Just perfect for a full fendered hot rod. Next came the meticulous prep work to get every reveal on the car crisp and sharp. Luis Padilla sanded and prepped the car for nearly 2 months before it was perfect and ready for paint. The grill shell was filled and perfectly peaked. Often overlooked but this must be done on a period correct hot rod. One of the details most builders overlook on a 32 coupe project is the roof. Many builders will simply fill it. This car is not filled and one of the most difficult parts to find is an original tack strip. These were throwaway parts years ago and are like finding a needle in a haystack today. We found one and restored it back to new. Again, it is little details like this thatseparates the good cars from the GREAT cars. Deciding on the color is of course is always difficult. The usual black, red and such would not work here. I originally had a certain type of blue in mind. Pete said he would talk to master painter Mick Jenkins and have him spray a fewpieces of sheet metal for me to look at. The following week I went out to the shop. There were a few colors sprayed and one custom mixed color just jumped out from the rest. Pete said he had always wanted to paint a 32 coupe that color. I wasn'timmediately convinced. I took the sheet metal home and my wife and I looked at the colors indoors, outdoors, in sunlight and shade. Pete's color just glowed and changed dramatically depending on light conditions. After a few days of agonizing my wife looked at me and just said, 'go for it'. I called Pete and gave him the green light to get started. The Champagne Coupe was about to be born. Mick sprayed the paint on the body and painted the firewall a subtle ivory color. When it was completed we were all speechless. Pete was right, it wasabsolutely STUNNING.
Final assembly was now underway. The chassis was completed and the motor carefully installed. It was a thing of beauty to behold. Almost a shame to have to install the body and cover it up. The beautiful body was perfectly fitted and glass was installed. It was starting to look like a car. We chromed the dash and filled it with Stewart-Warnergauges. A cut down 40 Ford steering wheel was installed. The car was now ready for the interior. We sent it over to interior master Gabe Lopez at Gabe's Upholstery in Bloomington, California. With an exterior color like this the interior had to be right. We debatedmaybe black, maybe white. In the end we chose two tone black and white. Gabe's shop took about two weeks and did a gorgeous interior. He covered the roof in a black fabric and very carefully tacked it in place with the aforementioned precious painted tack strip. He installed a radio and CD player hidden in the panel of the trunk. When the car came back finishingtouches were applied. The steering wheel was painted black and white, the chromed dash was partially painted and a custom black andwhite shift knob was fabricated all tomatch the interior.
The Champagne Coupe was now completed. Two years in the works with some of the best in the business working on and building this chopped 5 window coupe. The result was breathtaking, Beyond stunning. It looked like jewelry with wheels and a motor. Early on in this build Pete and Jimmy Shine were approached to make a television show for Discovery Channel. It would sort of be The Apprentice meets So-Cal Speed Shop kind of thing. A deal was made and Pete asked me if they could feature my car partially being built on the show. Iagreed but only if Jimmy did the work on my car. When the show aired the coupe looked great and was featured prominently. During the build the writers from all the major Hot Rod magazines had occasionally come by So-Cal Speed Shop to check out the cars. Even before the car was finished every magazine wanted to feature this car. In the end we gave it to Rod and Custom for the feature story. Rod and Custom did a great story on the car and prominently featured it on the cover. The article can still be found online. The first summer I took the car on my annual drive to the Goodguy's event in Pleasanton. Every year they pick a hot rod and a custom car as their featured cars. Posters of the cars are everywhere and t-shirts with pictures of the cars are distributed to the attendee's. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to the hotel and saw The Champagne Coupe on everybody's shirt. Gary Meadors had chosen to use my car that year and didn't even tell me.The Champagne Coupe had now been memorialized on both television and in print, as well as posters and on t-shirts! The coupe was completed just in time for thePetersen Deuce Week event to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the 1932 Ford. This was the first time the general public had been able to see it. The first day of activitiesinvolved a run to So-Cal Speed Shop for a 32 get together and buffet lunch. I drove the coupe out to Pomona and it got a great reception from all the 32 guys. At one point Roy Brizio, his pal guitarist Jeff Beck, [a serious 32 aficionado] myself and Pete Chapouris were looking at and talking about the coupe. Jeff was looking carefully at the paint color and asked me what color it was. Pete and I explained it was a custom color and didn't really know. At that moment Jeff says in his native British accent "the color changes with the sunlight, it's the color of a fine Champagne mate". Pete looked at all of us and just remarked "The Champagne Coupe gents", "it's The Champagne Coupe. Jeff Beck and Pete Chapouris are responsible for the name on the first day out for the car. The nicknamestuck and has been used ever since.
The car does not only look great but drives beautifully. It does everything right. Lot's of power, steers and handles as good as any hot rod out there. It is in near new condition and shows beautifully. The attention to detail is beyondwords. I could go on and on with the minutia put into this car. Take a close look at the pictures I have posted. They really don't do it justice as those of you who have seen the car up close will remember. So-Cal Speed Shop may have built this car but hot rod legend Pete Chapouris' signature is all over this amazing work of rolling art. He definitely 'had the eye'. Sadly there will not be any more Pete Chapouris creations as he passed away a short time ago. A true Hot Rod Legend and visionaryand one of the nicest guys in the business. Thank you Pete and R.I.P.
I will answer allquestions promptly. Please bid with confidence as many in the hot rod world know this car. Please bid only if you are prepared tocomplete the transaction. I reserve the right to end this listing at any time.
Thanks for looking.

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