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A Deuce With a Colorful History

A Deuce With a Colorful History
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By John Gunnell
 
Today Wayne Schreier’s Deuce is the color of orange juice, but the soft-spoken hot rodder found out that the car was built earlier than he thought and had been painted different colors over the years. Wayne bought the car around 1975. Awhile after that, in the ‘80s, he ran into the car’s previous owner at a hot rod show. “I think I used to own this car,” the man told Wayne. “Would you like some old pictures of it?” 
 
Wayne drives the coupe so he mounts radial tires
 
It took about a year before the man sent Wayne photos of the car with a letter about it's history. The photos told Wayne the car dated back to at least 1963. In a photo taken that year, the car was gold. In a 1967 photo, the car was red. In the third picture, taken in 1970, the Deuce was yellow. Wayne put the man’s photos with a picture he had taken of the car in 1977—when it was pink.The letter said the ‘32 Ford had been made into a hot rod before the 1963 photo. It originally had a ‘52 Olds V-8, but since it was a little tired, the previous owner swapped in a 324-cid ‘54 Olds V-8 with J-2 carburetion. The 324 worked better with the torque tube rear end and three-speed “Top Loader” transmission. 
 
The bobbed rear fenders are welded to the body.
 
Though they functioned well with the Olds engine, the Top Loader and the Ford rear end were a little weak durability-wise. One transmission didn’t hold up and blew up. The rear axle shafts also wore out. Wayne put in a ’69 Chevelle 350The three-window coupe body is metal, including the bobbed rear fenders that are custom welded to the body. The car originally had a rumble seat under the rear deck lid, but the gas tank and the battery hide there now. The body has been lowered down over the frame channels, but the top was not chopped.
 
Thunderbird interior.
 
Wayne’s Deuce coupe has ’40 Ford brakes and the blackwall tires are U.S. Royal P245/75R15 Tiger Paws in front and B.F. Goodrich P275/60R16 Radial T/As at the rear. The tires are mounted on vintage looking Cragar S/S five-spoke chrome reversed wheels. Installed in the cockpit is a pair of mid-‘60s T-Bird front bucket seats and vertically ribbed door panels. There’s a four-spoke steering wheel with a Chevy crossed flags horn button and a textured aluminum dash with full a full complement of black-faced Stewart-Warner gauges, plus a steering column mounted Stewart-Warner tach. There’s an under-dash radio.
 
A ’69 Chevelle donated the drive train.
 
When the car was being rebuilt, Wayne’s friends Kent Harrington and Dave Seeger rolled up their sleeves to help him with wrenching, welding and metal fabrication. Body man Lowell Johnson, of Waupaca, Wis., took care of the panel work and paint. The orange color is a popular Ford color.
 
Rear view proves this coupe isn’t chopped.
 
Wayne’s wife Patty maintains a scrapbook on the car that includes the old photos showing the car in different colors. Wayne says he drives the car roughly 1,000 miles a year. When we asked Wayne if he has any plans for the car, he said that he just plans to drive the wheels off it. “We build them to drive them,” says Wayne. “When you build a car, it’s hard to get it all back together again,” Wayne noted. “I’m always happy when I get a car like this one back to the point where it’s running and ready for the road so I can drive it and have fun with it. My cars aren’t perfect by any means, but I really enjoy driving them.”