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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

227 bullet holes didn’t stop this 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe’s resurrection

In 2002, my friend Alex McGillervery and I heard about this coupe for sale. We drove to Phoenix to meet with the seller and arrived at what could be described as the ultimate hot-rod house. The guy had been building hot rods his entire life. Facing old age and realizing he would never get to build all of them, he had started to liquidate his stash of projects.

 

After looking at the coupe body, we were told that another coupe body would be for sale, as well. We each made separate deals for our prospective bodies and parts, then loaded the trailer to head back to Tucson.

 

Alex and I started with my coupe since it was the cheaper one and in worse shape. It had 227 bullet holes in it, and that became the car’s name ... Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

 

https://www.hagerty.com/media/member-stories/227-bullet-holes-didnt-stop-this-1932-ford-5-window-cou...

 

53 REPLIES 53
Saanich2006
New Driver

Why doesn't the article explain the significance of the bullet holes and where they came from?  Sort of defeats the purpose of the article and its title?!

Sajeev
Community Manager

Considering the author bought it from a third party that had a collection of 32 Fords, the reasons for those bullet holes died off a long time ago. The current owner certainly didn't shoot up his own car.
Saanich2006
New Driver

Just wondered if it was like a Bonnie and Clyde car from a shoot out!

40Ford
Intermediate Driver

I'd guess that it sat for a long time out in some field and it got used as target practice. 

gpsuya
Intermediate Driver

A Ford Engine (Especially a Flathead) would make it perfect.

PGA2
Pit Crew

Amen to that, I was thinking the same thing.

Phil in TX

Justice
New Driver

I bleed blue oval blue, wouldn't have, put a flatly in it!

cultleader
Pit Crew

I’ll second amen that one!

PGA2
Pit Crew

Cool project. I always wanted a '32 but I wanted a full fendered roadster. Never found one. I would have to go the fiberglass route today, but at 73 it isn't likely I will ever build one.

Phil in TX

Jake
Pit Crew

Why not?  I'm 72-1/2 & have started on building a '33 Ford Roadster.  I can't think of a better way to spend my time than working in my shop on a car.  It beats the daylights out of sitting in front of a TV all day long!

Jake (also in TX)

97Cobra
Intermediate Driver

Beautiful piece of work Looks great to bad you couldn't user a decent motor to drive the FORD. A small block 221 to 351 would have made it even better. But still nice work. 

Lightning1
Detailer

Excellent work on this coupe, but you should have lots of pix to document the project.

chrlsful
Advanced Driver

seems happy w/the results. What else matters? I'd make different choices but not mine.  Facing similar choices - how many projects left? esp w/a growing more antique body (weak, arthritis, eyes) lower income and increasing need to farm out specific 'stronger man' pieces of a whole project.  

dgcarlson12
Passenger

I say each to his own. Just wonder how he was able to count/document the number of holes😲😲😲😲

VA-Apraisr
New Driver

Never saw a photo of the 227 BULLET HOLES??? Come on............

slombard
Hagerty Employee

Check out the picture that shows all the bullet holes..........

Kyzyl
Navigator

Really Ron Carlsten???  Why did you waste my time???

Apparently Hagerty is desperate for articles, or didn't take the time to proof this one.  Very sad.

slombard
Hagerty Employee

What about the story has offended you so? Not a fan of hot rods? Of restorations?

dakrei
Passenger

Do you really need a detailed explanation on bullet holes in a car carcass found in the desert.   

OldCarMan
Advanced Driver

Since that was the title to draw the reader in, photos of the damage would be more than appropriate!

Jim_H
New Driver

Was this the car from Bonnie and Clyde?

ChrisRoher
Pit Crew
Sajeev
Community Manager

Google is almost always my friend!

40Ford
Intermediate Driver

Now that was a well written article! 

Thanks for the link! 

Pete
Pit Crew

Nice deuce coupe!  The bullet holes are visible in the picture of the rusted body.  The left rear quarter is riddled with holes.  Regarding the "Ford in a Ford" comments, I agree that a flathead would be cool, but a small block Ford is no more at home in a deuce coupe than a SBC.  

 

It appears that the car being sprayed black in the photo (a stock height coupe) isn't the chopped coupe subject of the article.  

 

When it comes to chopped hi-boy coupes, I think they look better with a chopped grille shell, like the Graffiti coupe.  Visually, the resulting downward rake of the radiator support rods flows better with the downward rake of the whole car.  

Figuero
Intermediate Driver

At least the flathead is period correct.  But putting in a chevy 350 disguised as a 283? That's like putting in a 348 disguised as a 409.  Or Peyton Manning dressing as Eli Manning at a costume party. 

ChrisRoher
Pit Crew

"I was hoping for a Bonnie and Clyde type of story about the bullets, but alas that was not to be. Ron believes it was nothing more than target practice. How Ron would end up building a classic Deuce Coupe hot rod, however, might be as good as the Bonnie and Clyde story anyway."

lockleareugene
Passenger

why put a chevy eng. in a 32 ford. need a ford flat head

slombard
Hagerty Employee

Well, I'm sure he wants it to run.

OLDERbastard1
Detailer

Power to him to stick to the project for 17 years! Build what YOU want, don't worry about every one else.

TimeFixers
Pit Crew

I say Bonnie and Clyde.

JimmyV
New Driver

Would of liked to have seen the 227 bullet holes in a few photos! 

TransAm-forever
Pit Crew

I agree. Why even comment on the bullet holes or the specific work done to repair the damage. Nothing. Nada.

silverado
Intermediate Driver

Yes I believe a flatty would have been my choice and I was looking for a whole lot better story. Like maybe find out about bullet holes and what caliber LOL.

RallyeRalph
Intermediate Driver

Ron Carlsten's answer to the Mustang Bullitt. Nice work

Rick2
Intermediate Driver

A picture of the dash would have been nice.

roadio55
Intermediate Driver

If you click on any of the photos above, you can see more photos, including one of the dash. I wanted to see that too. They're also larger and you can see the bullet holes.

RSHMottoGuzzi
Pit Crew

That explains the bullets holes, target practice.  My first thought was the car body came from Chicago during Al Capone running of the City.  Who knows?

1fastcat
Pit Crew

Fantastic job Ron . I know , that when you do your own work , it can take a while . Most hot rodders are just like you , and me , not having deep pockets . 

warrene
Intermediate Driver

I'd have given anything for my '36 body looking that good and straight, this guy is a cream puff, he's never seen a bad start.   My '34 body came out of river in Montana, mud and fish a foot deep, a dirty dish rag looking better, people called me insane. .. ouch....

1933ford
Intermediate Driver

Click bait. From now on when I see Ron Carlsten I will pass.

slombard
Hagerty Employee

What does this even mean? 

mwmyers91
Intermediate Driver

Was this one of Bonnie and Clyde's cars ?

Maestro1
Advanced Driver

I want to say something about the Hemmings auction ad which appeared in the middle of the article. Hemmings, and I am a long time subscriber, is getting to be a pain in the ass with thier auction advertising. It's in your face all the time on their Internet,  and now when viewing their classified ads, which I've stopped doing, which means they are losing the business, probably don't care, one can't get past to the cars for sale without the in your face auction first.

I am very angry about this because I have been in the Hobby forever, and they have lost two of their anchors, Jim Mennetta and Richard Lentinello practically without saying anything to anybody and they won';t respond nor talk about what's happening to their subscribers. Hagerty on the other hands, has intelligent design, forthright and knowledgable articles, and has very good writers. Thank you for this article, and apologies for the outburst. 

 

Maestro1
Advanced Driver

Ron, very well done. I shake your hand. It's wonderful when the dream comes through, and all those involved should be congratulated. You should drive and enjoy it. I have a '66 Chevrolet Impala in the barn waiting for renewal, and I'm enjoying my other cars. I'm 83 years old, not too much wrenching now. It's given to others.  Thanks for this.

ChrisN
Passenger

I read the article just for the bullet hole story! A high school buddy’s Dad had a 32 Packard that belonged to a local gang in Peoria, Illinois (the Sheltons). It was beautifully restored except for a row of 45 caliber machine gun bullet holes across one rear fender.

Charlie
Pit Crew

I had a 1932 all steel Deuce coupe that was full fendered with running boards ,that I put a 1956 Olds engine and 1937 Cad-La-Salle floor shift in that was a blast to enter the stoplight gran prix in.  Later, I teamed up with by best buddy who had a bored and stroked Olds 396 c.i. engine, to run the coupe in the A/G class at the drags.  We had more fun with that !!

CamaroSSL78
Passenger

Determination, patience, longevity............awesome!

gster
Pit Crew

I'd like to know about the bullet holes as well....