Previous Next

Lot 240

1932 Ford Drag Roadster

  • Chassis no. 18176245

Sold for $90,000

The 1960 N.H.R.A. Pomona Winternationals B/Roadster Record Holder

301 cu. in small bock 1956 Chevrolet V8 engine with 4 x 2bbl carburetors and custom fabricated tube headers, three-speed LaSalle transmission (second and third gear only), transverse leaf spring and solid axle front suspension and live axle welded to frame rear suspension.

There is no doubt that in the 1950s and '60s Southern California was the hotbed of the emerging custom car culture. Although, not all custom cars were built for street and show, some (although much rarer) were serious competition machines.

The example offered here is just such a car. While there is no denying the beauty of the car’s lines, curb appeal was clearly secondary. This 1932 Ford was built to race, and race it did. The fact that it looks as good as it does is a testimonial to the skills of the builder. Built in Long Beach, California in 1956 by Bob Rubel, it was finished in Candy Apple red with a

white tonneau cover and a black frame. The car was fitted with 1953 390 cu. in. Cadillac power and a polished grille insert.

Before running the car even once, Rubel traded the Ford to Bill Deming in 1957 for his 1936 Ford Cabriolet. Deming owned the roadster briefly, only adding a roll bar left over from another 1932 Ford roadster that had been rolled at the Santa Ana drag races.

Deming sold the car to his close friend, Bob Cash, a local racer. Cash installed the small block Chevy with 4x2bbl setup, using headers fabricated by Deming. Cash also had the grille insert painted white and lettered in gold by noted California artist Von Dutch with a stylized version of his and his brother's name (Bob and Don). At some point, Cash’s service station became one of the first dealers for Halibrand, and one of the earliest sets of “kidney bean” Halibrands were installed on the 1932 roadster. Cash owned a gas station at the corner of Imperial and Bellflower, where the 1932 Ford could be seen on display between races at Santa Ana, Lion’s, and Riverside. It was during this period that Cash recalls having raced Don Garlits during his first trip to California in a match known as Top Eliminator vs. Little Eliminator.

Cash took the car to Pomona for the first N.H.R.A. Winternationals in Pomona, California in 1961, where the car set a B Roadster record of 130mph. Later, while on display at a roadster show, the car was photographed by Popular Hot Rodding, appearing in the October 1962 issue.

It appears that shortly after that appearance, the car entered storage until the mid 1960s, when Cash sold the car to a man named Jim (whose last name is unknown), who had the “Bob” on the grille insert changed to “Jim”. At the same time, he repainted the car in black, as the original candy lacquer paint was failing.

By 1969, Jim decided to sell the car. The ad was answered by Jim Hosey, who bought the car, putting it away in storage. Hosey’s son later installed a battery and distributor and took the vintage roadster for an exhibition run at Palmdale in 1984, following which the car was returned to storage.

At some point later, the car was sold to William Dorsey, who stored the car until it was purchased a few years ago by the vendor. Since that time, this remarkable little 1932 Ford Drag Roadster has benefited from a comprehensive restoration, returning it to the configuration it had when owned and raced by Cash in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Stunningly beautiful and highly detailed, there is little doubt that the quality of the car today is better than it ever was. In addition to the outstanding cosmetic restoration, the complete drivetrain has been rebuilt and properly tuned to ensure that should this pretty and potent 1932 Ford ever return to the track, it will once again thrill crowds and win races.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more