1932 Ford Khougaz Lakes RoadsterSOLD
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Estimate: $350,000-$450,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $385,000

Specifications: 225bhp, 286 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine with four Stromberg 81 carbs, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf spring, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf spring and hypoid drive, four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 106"

Ford ’ s classic 1932 roadster, better known as “ the Deuce, ” has been, and always will be, the quintessential hot rod.

The 1932 Ford Kougaz Roadster is unquestionably outstanding, with elegant, timeless lines that transcend its age. However, with top speeds of over 130 mph eminently attainable, it wasn ’ t just looks that counted. Cars like the Lakes-Kougaz Roadster presented here, were equipped with souped up Ford flatheads developing as much as four times stock power. With such power, most examples were driven hard and fast with this particular Ford being no exception. Running on alcohol fuel in 1946, this famous roadster topped 141.95-mph at El Mirage Dry Lake. Its builder, a tough, battle-tested former Army Air Corps B-17 waist gunner named Jim Khougaz, had his own way of dealing with the Deuce ’ s ‘ barn door ’ aerodynamics.

Khougaz channeled his ’ 32 roadster a full seven inches over the frame, then crafted a filled and sectioned grille shell to match. To compete with small-silhouette, more competitive, T-bodied lakesters, he faired the body into the frame, then fabricated a full-length aluminum belly pan. A flat spoiler panel in front of the grille helped keep the nose down at speed. Running sans windshield, with a full tonneau cover, Jim ’ s roadster cut beautifully through the wind.

Although there wasn ’ t much time at high speeds to check instruments, Khougaz installed an original ‘ 34 Auburn panel, complete with a full set of period Stewart-Warner convex-lense gauges and a Bell fuel pressure pump. The distinctive finish was a custom shade of blue with dark red wheels. A pair of classic ’ 39 Ford teardrop taillights and a rolled pan finished the rear. For the street, Khougaz fitted a ’ 32 Ford windscreen that was chopped 3- inches.

After considerable experimenting, Jim built his own high-output 286-cid flathead using the best speed equipment of the era: a Winfield SU-1A cam, finned, high compression Edelbrock heads and a four-carburetor Edelbrock intake manifold, with twin Wico magnetos, then a Harman and Collins magneto. The block was ported and relieved, and all reciprocating parts were carefully balanced, (a specialty that later would earn Jim his living). The hood was extended two inches and the hot engine was enclosed with custom louvered side panels. At first, the roadster was both Jim Khougaz ’ s street and race car. He built a custom column shift setup for the three-speed transmission, and installed a ’ 48 Ford steering wheel. As his speeds rose, the car became more successful and more competition-focused, until it was virtually undriveable as anything but a racer. After winning a sizeable collection of coveted Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) timing tags, Khougaz retired this car in the mid-1950 ’ s. Occupied with his engine balancing business and the building of a T lakester, Khougaz stored the ‘ 32 roadster intact in his loft for forty years, then sold it to Indiana dentist, Dr. Mark Van Buskirk, who shipped it to Dave Simard ’ s East Coast Custom, Leominster, MA, for a comprehensive, five-year, body-off restoration. Although it had been unused for decades, the roadster was very complete. Simard was able to save a great deal of the original sheet metal. He and his crew fabricated a new belly pan that is a work of art. Wherever possible, they used original or correct NOS replacement parts. Steve Pierce, Gilford, NH, matched the original interior in pleated cordovan leather, and fabricated an authentic style tonneau cover. Viking Auto matched the paint to a sample found on the car. Mark Kirby, Motor City Flathead, built the 286-cid flathead engine, with all the correct parts, including a quartet of carefully rebuilt and tuned Stromberg 81 carburetors. The engine is equipped with a set of chromed lakes pipes that can be uncapped, or the exhaust can be routed underneath the car through a pair of ‘ Smithy ’ s ’ mufflers. Debuting at the 2001 Grand National Roadster Show, the roadster won the coveted Bruce Meyer Preservation Award, then appeared at Pebble Beach in the 2003 hot rod class. At the Amelia Island Concours d ’ Elegance in 2004, it won the hot rod class. Van Buskirk has run the Colorado Grand and the California Mille. This roadster has competed at the Monterey Historic Road Races. At Hershey in 2004, it was certified as an authentic racecar, and it won a First Junior award. This ‘ 32 has won trophies at the Rodeo Drive Concours d ’ Elegance, at Eyes on Classic Design and at many other venues. Numerous articles have included features in The Rodder ’ s Journal, Street Rodder Magazine, Rod & Custom, Old Cars Weekly, and Hop Up. This car is simply a kick to drive. Sitting at ground level, with the wind rushing by, and the powerful flathead rapping through its shortened pipes, you feel, even for just a moment, what Jim Khougaz experienced at El Mirage. It ’ s glorious. In 2006, the chopped and channeled Khougaz-Van Buskirk roadster was chosen as one of the Best ’ 32 Fords of All Time, joining an exclusive group of just 75 highly-respected deuces, and displayed at a special pavilion at the Grand National Roadster Show, earlier this year. A feared competitor in its day, the resurrected two-seater has been a relentless trophy-winner wherever it has been shown. A comfortable driver, it ’ s carried Van Buskirk and friends to many events including the Pasadena Roadster Club Reliability Run (which it won in 200X), and there ’ s a lot left to do for its next owner. This roadster is ready for its First Senior award at Hershey; it ’ s eligible for every historic hot rod show, all the 1000-mile specialty events, and it ’ s ready to cruise to the nearest Friday night gathering. The crisp crackle of its unmuffled exhaust brings smiles whenever this ‘ 32 appears. This car may be the most versatile hot rod in the auction. It ’ s eligible for nostalgia drag, vintage road racing, dry lakes racing (with just a few SCTA-required additions), hot rod road tours and more. Opportunities to purchase historic hot rods with unquestioned provenance like this one are few and far between.

The new owner will possess a remarkable survivor, a true period hot rod that ’ s instantly recognizable, highly- coveted and universally-respected. This is a Deuce for the ages.

Reference Number 10216

as of 6/6/2007

Car 1932 Ford Khougaz Lakes Roadster
VIN 18155453 
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