You own a car for a particular reason. Either you love cars or you need them. But isn’t it more worthwhile to own a car where you’re having fun driving it? Don Sangster’s Coupe is one example of a perfect ride everyone wanted. It’s fast and most of all fun!

 Through the years, you might have seen different cars of different types, from those original ones to those customized ones as well. Probably, you might be thinking how these automakers as well as car enthusiasts don’t run out of fresh ideas in this car hobby. And while cars have been greatly improving every time there’s a launch, will there really be a perfect car for anyone?

For Chris Shelton’s definition of a perfect hot rod, he shares a story of a 1932 Ford Coupe that is just worth retelling. I wonder whether you would also agree with him. That Don Sangster’s coupe sounds like fun – an adrenaline-fueled and story-inspiring fun. And when Don defines the fun in his car, see for yourself and be the judge.

To give the car a cool look, the top was intended short yet tall enough for upright seating. It was kept low to look mean without forgetting that it needs to be high enough to clear real-world obstacles such as bumps, pot holes, and gutters. Plus there is also the fun factor that was considered when it comes to the three pedals and stalk sprouting from the floor.

1932 CHRYSLER interior

1 This CON2R steering wheel may look a bit old. But, in reality, the concept modularity behind it is also somewhat modern nowadays. Don opted for a Series One Dearborn wheel with 417 trim and chrome spokes. It mounts to a Tri-C Engineering Super Slim tilt column.

The body actually originated from another older restoration. Joe and Jason Kennedy, also known as the Kennedy Brothers in Pomona, California, clipped the top a modest 1-3/4 inches. Afterwards, Don brought the body to John Barbero at Pyramid Street Rods in Bellingham, Washington to build the rest under it.

The body was laid on a Deuce Frame Company chassis. The front suspension is comprised of a Chassis Engineering axle, Durant mono-leaf spring, and Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop Perfection-series wishbone-style radius rods. For the rear, it has a Currie Enterprises 9-inch-style axle. It also had a Deuce Frame Company triangulated four-bar system, and Pete & Jake’s Viper coilover dampers.

1932 CHRYSLER engine

If you have sudden concern regarding what Don was up to, then maybe the drivetrain should clear your doubts now. The engine started as a NASCAR veteran, a GM Performance Bow Tie Sportsman block. The crank swings a usual 3.48-inch stroke. The outdated Crankshafts of Los Angeles machined it from a former 4340 forging. Nothing extraordinary but just a heavy and reliable power.

The engine has the Richmond 4+1 transmission, a latter day interpretation of a classic. Basically a Muncie M22 with a bonus – another hear. Since it spins a 3.28:1 First gear, Don can get away with a tall, strong, and usual 3.10:1 axle gear and the car was still launched as if it had a 4:62:1 axle behind a Rock Crusher. And since he runs a 3.10:1 axle gear, it doesn’t need an overdrive to cruise like a Cadillac.

The roller was then delivered to Paul Reichlin at Cedardale Suto Upholstery. He produced interior panels and covered them along with the Glide Engieering seat in antiqued leather and tan canvas. To protect the panels from the inevitable nudges they’ endure, he completed the headliner in the same canvas and built with toe guards.

Withstanding the chop, the body stayed hugely intact. Pyramid filled the gap between the quarters and tank with bolt-on extensions and made use of a Rootlieb 25-louver hood with Kurtis-style clamshell louvers in the top panels. The paint formula on the new pieces is different from the lacquer on the body. That’s why Pyramid opted not to blend in the pillars for the meantime. The thing about the unfinished pillars is the last part and it tells something.


‘Here’s a car that doesn’t have a history. Nor does it have a laundry list of exotic goodies. And we’ve pretty much established that it’s visibly flawed.’

Its existence in one of the most important titles of its kind just meant something. And I like to quote it from Chris as he told it in his blog at hotrod.com:

“Here’s a car you could lean on while shootin’ the bull with your buddies. A car you could drive hard at modern highway speeds across several states in a day. A car that you could get a little squirrely in a vacant parking lot in on a drizzly night and never think twice about hurting it. I don’t know about but that sounds a hell lot more fun than dusting a car all day to maintain some false sense of perfection. Rather than perfect, Don Sangster’s coupe is just right. And if you think about it in hot rod terms, that’s perfection in itself.”

Well, would you agree with him?

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