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Sculpture Inspires Real Hot Rod Build

Sculpture Inspires Real Hot Rod Build
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Here’s the car with the sculpture behind it.

An interesting hot rod that we had the opportunity to see recently is a real-life replica of a bronze sculpture crafted by automotive artist Stanley Wanlass. The sculpture is called ‘”S’ Dueced.”  It is a 300-lb., hand-painted bronze piece depicting the unstyled integrity of a ’32 Ford Deuce Roadster built in the 1950s.

Stanley Wanlass has taught sculpture in the United States and abroad. He is president of Renaissance International, Inc. an Oregon-based design studio. He is an internationally known automotive sculptor and painter. As a child, Wanlass sculpted cars out of soap bars. During the ‘50's. as a young hot rod enthusiast, he built two ‘32 Fords that he showed and raced. To support his automotive pursuits he striped, flamed and scalloped local hot rods and customs.

Note the Ardun heads made by Zora Arkus-Duntov

Richard V. Munz and Jim Busby lovingly created a real car that’s nearly an exact replica of Wanlass’ artwork, which itself is based on one of the real cars he  put together in the ‘50s out of hand-made parts and junkyard components.. "This roadster will help serve as a reminder of how it used to be before it is all lost to history,” Munz had printed on a sign telling the story behind his and Busby’s project. His words show that he is definitely a man with a true sense of hot rodding history. He also explained that the car is meant to be different than “the 1-800- Deuce hot rods that people order from a catalog today.”

Munz credits the Jim Busby Racing Team of Laguna Beach, Calif., with the way that the car came out. Jim Stepan, Mike Morrison, Bharat Haran, Hank Westmoreland and Keith Hickson also helped with the build. David Busby put the Mercury flathead V-8 engine together complete with a set of rare Ardun hemi-type overhead-valve cylinder heads.As far as cosmetics go, Hukill Paint and Graphics handled the car’s “patined” finish and Van Butler Design did the interior stitching. Bob Iverson pin striped the car and Dick Rodwell fashioned the Wanlass-designed windshield.

A close-up of the Wanlass sculpture.

The car is a fenderless Deuce roadster with low-mounted headlights and a fuel tank ahead of the Deuce grille shell. The sideless hood has six rows of louvers punched in it. The windshield is cut down very low and laid back. Inside, is a single seat covered with deep red rolled and pleated leather or vinyl. The red paint was purposely applied to look faded, worn off in areas and scratched. White sidewall tires, steel wheels and doggie dish hubcaps set off the running gear.The real car is an amazingly accurate replica of the sculpture.  At his RVM Classics collection in Madison, Wis., Munz displays the car front and center, alongside the sculpture, to set the theme for his entire 60-car collection.