Bonneville History: 1932 Ford Roadster

1932 Ford Roadster

Some of you weren’t too impressed by the Chadly Coupe that we featured the other day, so I have been on the lookout for something a little more “period correct”. Well, I stumbled upon this little beaut and I think you will all agree that it is much more intriguing. It’s also much more expensive! But, that can only be expected when you are talking about a well-preserved hot rod that has been raced since the late 40s at El Mirage and Bonneville! Find it here on Fantasy Junction where they are asking $200k. That may seem steep, but when you consider the fact that this historic racer has hit 200 mph, it doesn’t seem too bad!

454 Hemi

That’s right, this unassuming hot rod can reach supercar speeds. Its high-speed days started all the way back in 1946 when Jack Kukura purchased the used Ford for $385. Jack was a member of a California based car club called the Gear Grinders and he had serious intentions of going fast. Development started right away and continued through the fifties. Multiple runs at Bonneville proved that Jack was the real deal and after fitting a Hemi, he became a serious record contender. On one attempt he apparently spun out at 200 mph and that, understandably, scared him a bit. The car was retired not long after that, but Jack held onto it until his death in 2005.

Ready to race

The car has since passed through a few hands and has been made drivable. There isn’t mention made of what things have been changed over the years, but with so much competition history and an extensive binder of photos and even a few videos, it shouldn’t be hard to figure it all out. The price tag may keep this machine out of most people’s reach, but it’s still interesting to see how the car progressed over a decade with incremental increases in top speeds at each event entered. This one may not be on your shopping list, but what is stopping a guy from building up his own machine slowly over the years just the way Jack did?


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  1. Mark E

    This car should be worth $200k if the 200mph Bonneville runs can be documented AND the car is basically the same.

    I think the reactions toward the Chadly coupe weren’t so much against the car as the arrogant twit that was selling it. He came off as a pompous ass who didn’t care if he sold the car or not. -_-;

  2. john forsman

    Big problem with Chadly coupe was that he wanted to dictate ownership rights to the purchaser. I thought the car could use a lot of modifications. Will he post the contract for the purchaser on eBay before the auction ends?

  3. Clay Bryant

    Can’t see any 200mph timing tags.Is this one of those”Well, I was doing 200 when it spun out on me” things.?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      That could be the case Clay. The highest recorded time mentioned was 172.41 mph at Bonneville in 1959. Still not bad at all!

  4. Ed P

    A 354″ hemi powered ’56 Chryslers. Could the 454 hemi be a mistake?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Probably. Fantasy Junction listed it as such though.

    • Norm Wrensch

      While yes a 56 Chrysler would be a 354 stock. That still does not mean this is a misprint, it could be bored and stroked to 454 ci. Wouldn’t know for sure unless it was tore down. But 100 ci gain over stock is a considerable chunk.

  5. That Guy

    Wow. I will never be cool enough to own a car like this. The car gods would smirk and laugh at me every time I slid my unworthy butt onto that bus bench.

    It’s a spectacular, no-BS, badass machine just on its own. But it’s also a great example of how documentation and details can elevate a vehicle to something epic.

  6. RickyM

    Cool car! Love the foot shaped accelerator pedal. Nice !

  7. Danny

    At $200,000 I think its listed at the right place. ” Fantasy junction”

  8. Dolphin Member

    Who knows whether the car will bring $200K from a dealer, but I’ll bet that if the history can be documented and if the car was offered at a B-J auction in front of TV cameras with Bob Varsha doing commentary, it would.

    Since crazy prices have been happening for Detroit muscle and high-end Euro vintage cars for a while now, I think it’s only right that a genuine rod that went 200 at Bonneville shound bring $200K at auction. Somehow the numbers fit in this crazy car collector world.

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