Vintage Hot Rod! 1932 Ford Coupe

This 1932 Ford hot rod lived an interesting life! Rescued from a Hollywood California back yard after decades of neglect, it’s in Azusa, California and offered here on eBay in “as found” condition with a “Buy It Now” price of $49,500. This ’32 was chopped in the 1940s by Sam Barris, who formed the Barris Brothers custom car business with younger brother George Barris. It terrorized Los Angeles as a street rod for a while before being rebuilt as a drag racer in the 1950s. At some point it was channeled, and (as the seller admits), the channel lacks the artistic metalworking of the Barris chop.

I can’t stop admiring this old hot rod; it’s pure automotive art! Sadly, with its motor and steering box locked up and its transmission busted, this ’32 will remains an immobile work of art until some significant effort returns it to the status of conveyance. The listing details modifications to this coupe including the ’49 or ’50 Pontiac tail lights. Notice how tire choice creates an aggressive look despite the same sized steel wheels front and rear. Dig those “suicide doors,” too. If you see something interesting please comment below.

World War II Army surplus airplane seats found their way into many a hot rod back in the day, and the seller says this oh-so-comfortable-looking aluminum butt-rest originally cradled the pilot of a Lockheed P38 Lightning. The “made it in metal shop” roll bar might not pass a tech inspection today, but it added a modicum of security years ago.

Flathead experts will appreciate the “Smith heads, a Sharp four carb intake manifold, four Stromberg 97s, and an Eddie Meyer distributor with Pierce Arrow cap.” Truth be told, I possess neither the expertise to restore an iconic hot rod nor the fifty grand needed to click “Buy It Now,” but I love this little Ford coupe. In my PowerBall dream, I’ve put this classic back in running order with the minimum refurbishment required for safe operation, and I’m relishing the distinctive flathead exhaust echoing off the storefronts of Main Street as I rumble through town thinking about glorious, simpler times. I’ve never smoked, but suddenly I have an urge to roll up a pack of Lucky Strikes in the sleeve of a white T-shirt and get in some trouble. What would you do after breathing life into this customized Little Deuce Coupe?



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  1. Ed Rosko

    wow. I’m in love

  2. Tyler

    Does having lineage back to a Barris really add this much value to an otherwise broken 50’s hot rod? I’be seen these, in this condition selling in the $3-5k range, with running examples in need of work going for as high as 10 or 12k.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool find, & a clone of Milner’s coupe is one of my bucket list cars. Although honestly, given the choice, I’d rather have that 56 with the 409 from a couple weeks ago…

    • Steve R

      Complete non-running non-rust bucket, original 40’s-50’s era built 32 Ford three window coupe hot rod for $3,000-$5,000, running versions for $10,000-12,000. Seriously? How long ago was that?

      The car had problems and the sellers needs to offer proof to back up his story, but this is a desirable car. It’s hard for me to see the asking price.

      Steve R

      Like 2
      • Tyler

        Oh I see the asking prices on eBay for some of them, but I’m not sure how many change hands for that. Barrett-Jackson & Mecum are aberitions. A friend bought a mostly original not running 32 coupe at a local auction about 2 years ago for $1500. Yes, it had rust, but not a rust bucket. Another friend sold a completely redone 3 window coupe rod with a 327 & loaded with chrome for $35k. He had it for sale for a year before it sold.

        Could just be the local area. Around here, unless it’s a Vette, it’s just about a dead market for anything prior to about 1965.

      • Steve

        How long ago was that? 1975

      • Tyler

        No, just in the last that couple of years.

      • Matt Picaro

        Model A , yea sure all day, ’32?? For 3-5k?? I’ll buy em all, please contact me!!!

      • Steve R


        Steve R

    • Treebeardzz

      Even a 348 clamshell just has that visual that’s hard to match for a Chevy – who needs to know. I’d like to put one in an old ’59 wagon. Milners coupe was the rare 5-window though.

      • Mike Gordon

        3 windows are rare. 5 windows not so much.

      • Matt Picaro

        3 windows are more rare, I’ll still buy all the 5 windows at that price

    • 1st Gear

      Make mine a ’55. Thx.

    • Mat

      You find me a 32 3 window in any condition for 3-5 grand I will buy everyone of them

    • boden

      this is a 3 window coupe anyway. and millners coupe was a 5 window. and he didn’t have a flathead.

    • James Campbell

      Lol. Wow. Milner clone ?? That’s a poser car made by Hollywood. They actually took a channelled hot rod, and made a highboy out of it. Radiator support rods left going downhill, to the still channeled radiator shell. Please point me, to ANY 1932 3 window coupes, in the 3 to 5k, and running condition range of 10 to 12k. Please. I’ll buy 3 of ’em, running and I guess 7 to 10 not. The last 32 3 window body, I saw for sale, was nearly 20g’s. No, not the new steel reproduction from UPAC either. This car had been photographed in Barris’ shop, in black and white, rear view … years ago, bobbed rear fenders, and all. Famous shot. Juice brakes, LaSalle transmission, push bar, suicide perch, dropped axle … all built, back in the day … doesn’t just store credence, but for sum of parts, on an original frame, please build this car, locked up motor and all … and do it for less than 30k … please, and most definitely, good luck with that. This car, believe it or not, is a very rare, untouched bird. To still have its fuel flatty, and not be hacked to pieces, with an OHV engine, and associated K member hacking matching transmission is amazing. It looks like crap, but guess what ? This little b*tch is a survivor from another time, that many, with the funds, will step up and buy for, far past 30k. 2 years later, we should probably have that answer. Were you right ??

  3. Richard Member

    Maybe a museum will buy it, not in my pay grade. It is interesting to see what they thought safety features were back then.

    • Andre

      lol ya.. seat bolted to a wood floor under a roll bar. Sounds like a good way to have a headache.

  4. Pa Tina

    Did you know how Azusa got its name? The city fathers believed they had everything “From A to Z in the USA” . Actually it’s a modification of a Native American name but I like the myth.

  5. Steve

    ’32 3 windows came with suicide door hinges

    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Steve – You are correct and thank you Sir! – I have updated the piece. Much obliged.

  6. the one

    Now that is a true to form real ” Hotrod”!!!
    On occasion I’ll watch those old Drag racing films and wonder, ” what ever became of those killer old rods?” Well there you are! It is amazing to see what they got away with..Gotta luv the P38 seat. Where in the heck did they find that?
    At least it had a roll bar and seat belts but I can tell you from personal experience, bucket seats can pull right out of the floor during a crash, Wood floor? Heh you aint got a chance of that seat staying put.

    • Eric Whiting

      The seat may have been a left over from the factory that built the P38. I believe it was a Lockheed factory in Burbank that a lot of hot rodders of that time worked at and gained the machinist skills to develop speed equipment.

  7. JR

    drive it!

  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    I sure wouldn’t kick this one off my driveway but with the work it needs and the asking price, I have to look the other way. It’s interesting that some years ago, this was just a modified car, a ‘belly button;’ everybody had one. Well, I didn’t have one (a hot rod that is) but you know what I mean. It would be a lot of fun to go for a ride on a hot summer night. Play like American Graffiti.

  9. Joe Haska

    It is certainly an interesting piece, but I can’t think of any time, in the past, let alone now , that this is 49K! Sam Barris chopped it, Really!, and how does the owner know that, both Sam and George are gone. The body is the best of everything there, followed by a 3-window dash with glove box, and then the quick change. Engine is not good, even though it does have some vintage speed equipment. Don’t know how people get their numbers, it is worth more than 3-5K, but not anywhere near 50K, I would suggest that you should buy all the $12,000 ones you have seen, I have not seen any of those so I don’t know.


    It’s neat to hear he supposed history of this car which he can’t prove.Even if true it doesn’t make it worth 50 grand.

    • Steve R

      It could come close to being proven if it appeared in any magazines or other publications from that time. Some of the guys that are into these cars have volumes of research material at their finger tips. All it takes is one person that knows this car personally or have a record of it in their archives.

      It would be interesting to know why the person that bought it pulled the trigger.

      Steve R

  11. ccrvtt

    It’s interesting to listen to those who bewail the death throes of the old car hobby and then this guy asks huge money for this car. The market has a way of humbling even the most optimistic flipper.

    The engine parts are valuable for sure, but the total package is one of those that screams, “For 50 grand and another 50 in restoration you can have a swell $35,000 car.”

  12. Mark S

    I agree that $50k is a crazy price, if it were mine I’d do a ground up restoration. When I got to paint I’d paint it yellow and have an American graffiti Duece coupe. What fun it would be to bring it out in the spring to cruise the blvds. Here in Alberta Canada you can only use your classics 6 months of the very. Like my bike parked. I really hate this time of the year. The side is there is plenty of time to get caught up on maintenance.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      There’s one that shows up quite regularly in shows I’ve been to.

  13. Tort Member

    Price seems crazy but 32’s bring crazy money. And to think how many were used for stock car racing back in the day.

  14. Dirks Bently

    Not a resto quick fix as wooden floors on a hot rod will get you loosing your feet unlike Fred flintsone !

  15. Sid Member

    Now THAT is what I call a Barn Find.
    To be a real Barn Find it needs to be worth dragging out of the barn and preserving.
    Some of the stuff that has been put in the barn should stay in the barn.

  16. stillrunners lawrence Member

    yes…it was a magazine cover car as it was being built….well know…if your into or were around during the 50’s era of rod building….

    • Steve R

      Thank you for filling in that part of its history. That explaines why it sold so quickly. Was the sellers story about Barris performing the top chop accurate, do you know what magazine featured it’s build?

      It’s a good thing it won’t be turned into clone of Milner’s car.

      Steve R

  17. GP Member

    It sat in a back yard for decades and nobody thought it was worth a plug nickel, then POOF it’s worth 50 grand ? HA HA HA

    • Terry Smith

      Price is so ridiculous that it would be hard to take him seriously.

  18. Robert Gallagher

    That seat is worth some money, but the vehicle is worth little unless the owner can prove that Barris the work on it

  19. Ck

    Ya its kool and ya its steel but 50geeeez come on I dont care who built it and neither did the guy who’s back yard they pulled it out of .If I really had to have one it woulden’t be this one ,not for that kinda $$$$$$.

  20. Larry Harwood

    Did it really sell for $49,500 on ebay?

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