Restoring a Rare '32 NashCoupe conundrums
Certain types of resto projects have become so common that aftermarket companies now make specific replacement parts for them. The '32 Ford, '57 Chevy, and early Camaros and Mustangs are obvious examples. So many companies offer reproduction components for these cars that finding period-correct parts has become almost as easy as ordering a pizza.
On the other hand, certain vehicles are so rare that it doesn't make financial sense for a company to invest in the tooling to make replacement parts for them. For instance, when was the last time you saw a '32 Nash? Or could even describe one to somebody? This lack of recognition is exactly what Richard Deluchi encounters every time he heads out on the highway in his model 1062 Coupe.
Apparently, not many people are familiar with the car. Deluchi and his wife Leslie are constantly being asked, "What kind of car is that-". He's heard that just a handful of Nash coupes are still even in existence, and not much information is available on them. According to the Nash Car Club of America, and research compiled by American Motors in 1963, the original 1062 coupe sold for $777 in 1932, and came equipped with a six-cylinder engine.
The lack of information on the Nash coupe is both good and bad. While Deluchi drives an utterly distinctive ride, the hope is that he'll never need to find parts for it, having already been down that bumpy, muddy road. How he completed the car is a story of persistence and ingenuity, one we'll cover in several installments, so others can benefit from his experience for their own projects, rare or otherwise.
Walking the Planks
Deluchi's obscure street rod resto project actually started out as just a pile of components he came across just of couple doors away. The neighbor, frustrated by his lack of progress with the project, finally agreed to let Deluchi take this basket case off his hands.
The inside doorframes, door interiors, floor, trunk and trunk lid all had wood in them. There was also wood extending from the door openings all the way around the back of the seats. Most of this timber was carefully taken out one piece at a time, and then used by Roger Hamby, Deluchi's paint and body man, as patterns to fabricate the new metal. The only wood left in the Nash is the back window framework and a few strips in the roof that the upholstery fastens to, so there's no longer much potential for starting a termite farm.
Deluchi's wife Leslie kept her good humor through the arduous process of rebuilding the body and tracking down all the right components. "This was one time Richard actually enjoyed shopping," she laughs. "This was also one project I didn't mind him staying out in his shop all night and me delivering dinner to him out there."
Given the rarity of this rod, it's not surprising that a lot of folks have already asked to buy it. The Deluchis aren't selling though, as they're still having too much fun driving to as many rod runs as possible and meeting street-rod friends along the way-answering those inevitable questions about their mystery ride. In response to some of these inquiries about their project, we'll be digging into various aspects of the buildup in upcoming articles. So stay tuned for more details on the chassis, drivetrain, bodywork and interior, and we'll supply some answers.
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