With the Internet at our fingertips, it can be easy to forget just how easy us grease monkeys have it when it comes to building a hot rod.
Besides the hundreds of websites and magazines devoted to selling car parts, the car culture has taken to the web in such a way that almost every question has already been answered.
Back in the day, if you had a problem you either figured it out yourself and didn’t get it fixed.
It still amazes us what people like Budgie Haley were able to do with a few tools and a primitive engine. The Jalopy Journal did a nice little feature on one of Haley’s hot rods, the Tennessee Deuce, which as it turns out is still alive today.
Haley was a good ol’ boy from Tennessee, lacking access to the shops and skills of those on the East Coast. Inspired by the cars he saw in Hot Rod Magazine, he set about building himself a rod that rivaled what he saw in magazines.
Starting with a mint ’32 roadster, he had a 279 V8 under the hood and customized the car in subtle but important ways, such as eliminating the fenders and replacing the stock steering wheel with that from a 1940 Ford. For his efforts, Haley was rewarded with a feature in Rod & Custom Magazine in 1954.
He also mounted tube shocks midway across the headlight arms, and eventually upgraded to a small block Chevy engine that took that car upwards of 126 mph in the quarter-mile. The car has undergone several incantations, including an era of dog dish hubcaps, and the Tennessee Deuce will hopefully be at the HAMB drags again this year. An old hot rod lives on.