Fifty years in business has earned Chuck Wanamaker—proud third-generation owner of Waldwick Auto Service Center in Waldwick, NJ—the right to say, “No car is ever done.” With more than 100 cars in his personal collection, Wanamaker is always weeding through the pile and looking to take a ride to the next level. But it’s his assortment of highly-desirable ’32 Ford hot rods that has us beckoning for some details.
1932 Red Soft Top Cabriolet with Rumble Seat
This ’32 Ford happens to be a fiberglass replica of the original. And being a convertible, the body style is actually slightly longer with a bigger interior to accommodate the soft top when down. “The steel convertibles go for very big money. This one does just fine,” said Wanamaker, who commented that the guy he bought it from lived and breathed the car. The big block Chevy is complemented with a camshaft, four-barrel carb, automatic transmission, and surprisingly 500+ horsepower out of a hefty 2,000 lb. hot rod. “It’s a pretty stout little car. The wheels on the back are only one of 50 ever made. So, the car has some oddity to it,” added Wanamaker. The soft top is dressed to the nines with modern flare and amenities, including leather interior and air conditioning.
1932 Yellow Hardtop
Purchased about 10 years ago and mocked up after the classic American Graffiti, this gem was the brainchild of a father-son duo that spent nearly a decade making it perfect. The only problem, it wouldn’t run. A deal was made: Wanamaker offered up his ’56 Chevy along with some cash and took the looker home. Upon parting ways, both parties felt like they walked away with a winner. And the cherry on top, Wanamaker realized it was a basic ignition issue that kept the car from running. A new distributor and she fired right up. “It’s a steel ’32 Ford and chopped, so the windows are even shorter. The front axle is all chromed out and it runs on a unique manifrey four-carb system and an automatic transmission,” said Wanamaker.
1932 Brown Hardtop with Rumble Seat
Possibly the crown jewel of the group, this pristine brown hardtop was purchased back in the 1980s and accompanied Wanamaker’s sister on her wedding day. “It’s been with us a very, very long time,” he said. An all steel car with fiberglass fenders that sports a Corvette rear end, Jaguar rack and pinion steering in the front, air conditioning, and automatic tranny. “The bodies alone go for 20-30K,” continued Wanamaker. Not only has it appreciated in value throughout the years, but it’s an enjoyable turnkey ride.
1932 Red Pickup
Purchased about six years ago, Wanamaker loves the rarity of this ’32 Ford. “We had to fix some transmission and suspension issues when we got it, but other than that… It’s a V8 Chevy with air conditioning, a wood lined truck bed with a custom bedcover, wired wheels, and an automatic transmission that handles 300 horsepower,” he said.
1932 Project Car
Thirty years ago, Wanamaker discovered a diamond in the rough. The ’32 Ford project car was in pieces, but a trained eye could spot the potential. He was sold. “There was a ton of money just sitting there in pieces, with the body, frame, and chrome. We’ve dumped about 10K just in parts for the frame to sit properly on the body,” said Wanamaker. “It’s set up for a big block Ford… an expensive project, but we plan to keep it,” he added. As for the plans? Chop the roofline like the yellow hardtop and pump it full of piss and vinegar. “Maybe a 429 HEMI…700-800 horsepower and wicked fast,” continued Wanamaker. The goal is for the paint job on the coupe to match the same light blue color scheme as his old Willy’s.
Have a ’32 Ford gem in your private collection? We want to hear all about it in the comments!