Wayne Knudson's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe owned by Wayne Knudson of Toledo, Ohio. The chopped and channeled coupe is believed to have been built by Knudson in the mid-late 1950s. Its design and craftsmanship made it stand out, turning it into a local legend. According to later owner Dean Micetich, "The chop and leadwork is incredible. Definitively not a backyard build," he told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in September of 2023. Back then, there were speculations about the involvement of Bill Hines, a renowned automobile customizer, particularly in the chopping, body molding delete, and molded rear fenders of the car. However, concrete evidence of Hines' involvement remained elusive. A photo of the coupe taken at the first Toledo Auto Rama at Toledo's Civic Auditorium in 1957 revealed a small sign on the cowl that stated that the bodywork was done by Maedel's. "Ted Maedel was one of the first to open a speed shop after the war, and his opened around 1946 in Toledo and ended up on LaGrange Street," Mark Mazur told Sondre Kvipt in November of 2023. "Ted also did bodywork at the shop, as evidenced by the placard on the car."
Ownership by Warren Bookman
The Coupe was later acquired by Warren Bookman, the organizer of the Toledo Auto Rama. Under Bookman's ownership, the car was prominently showcased at the Auto Rama, drawing significant attention and acclaim from attendees and automobile enthusiasts.
Rediscovered by Billy Coates
Over the years, the car's prominence waned, and it faded from public view. In 1972, it was put to rest and parked. Its legend was kept alive in automobile enthusiast circles, and in 2010, it was notably featured with a photo in the book The Cobra in the Barn by Tom Cotter. Back then, it was owned by professional car hunter Billy Coates of Charlotte, North Carolina. Coates purchased the car from Gary Mohr of Swanton, Ohio in 1997. He paid $550 for the old hot rod. According to Cotter's book, Mohr had purchased the car in 1971. All four wheels on the car were frozen, so Coates needed to use the winch when he loaded it onto his trailer. Coates told Cotter that the body was perfect, "with no rust anywhere. The window regulators still worked perfectly and all the wood in the body was original and perfect." Powered by an Olds engine, it had been hopped-up with an Edmunds dual two-barrel carburetor manifold and a Mallory ignition. The exhaust headers seemed to be homemade. It ran a 1939 Ford gearbox and a 1932 Ford rear axle.
Coates told Cotter that he had a dilemma knowing what to do with the car. He liked to drive his hot rods, so he started modernizing it, installing a TCI dropped front axle with disc brakes. Coates also installed a Lincoln Zephyr three-speed gearbox, a 1940 Ford column shift, heat, air-conditioning, and power seats. Future plans included a 1950s-styled rolled and pleated interior and a Budweiser Red paint job. Unfortunately, Billy passed away in 2011, before he was able to complete the rebuild.
Dean Micetich Becomes its Caretaker
In 2023, Dean Micetich of Dice Magazine discovered the car in a garage a mere 15 minutes from his residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dean first saw the hot rod in Cotter's book. Recognizing its historical value, he acquired the historic hot rod from Billy's widow in September of that year. He plans to gather parts and get it back to the 1950s configuration.
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