The 1932 Ford Roadster has been the go-to platform for hot rods since the beginning, but decades later car builders are still coming up with new interpretations of this classic design.
This episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage” features one of those more recent builds. Dubbed MyWay, it was fabricated by Joe Kugel of Kugel Komponents over the course of six years and recently won an Outstanding Engineering Award at the prestigious Grand National Roadster Show. Leno spotted the car one day and, as he often does, invited the owner onto his show.
Leno was attracted by the car’s stock-looking steel body, which is more restrained than a lot of hot-rod builds. Kugel Komponents specializes in custom chassis for hot rods, though, so the roadster got a more radical rethink in that department, with fully independent suspension. Kugel also added modern brakes, power steering and—despite the lack of a roof—air conditioning.
MyWay is powered by a 427-cubic inch Ford V-8, but not the factory kind found in 1960s-era performance cars like the Shelby Cobra. It’s what Kugel calls a Cleavor, so named because it uses the block from Ford’s Cleveland engine and the heads from a Windsor engine (both are named after the factories that produced them), and sports fuel injection disguised to look like a set of Weber carburetors. Kugel estimates about 575 hp, which is channeled to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.
The interior was patterned after the Porsche 356, including the custom steering wheel (made from a single piece of aluminum), and the seats, which are reproduction 356 items with added lumbar support (this car was built for comfort, Kugel notes in the video). The leather upholstery has a different, but still German, origin. It’s a BMW M color called Vermillion Red. Kugel included Bluetooth speakers, but no built-in audio system.
Watch the full video for a detailed look at this well-executed Ford Roadster.
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