Why I bought my Hiboy...



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It's official, I am now the proud owner of a "Deuce".
Being at the wheel of a 32 Hiboy gives the word "driving" a brand new meaning... It's windy, it's loud, it's fast, it's fun, it's unpractical, uncomfortable, unreasonable, positively wild and devilishly fast. Oh, and did I mention it is FAST? Watch your foot on that gas pedal! If you as much as "think" gas pedal the roadster will leap forward with a mean, bad ass GROWL. Everyone else: EAT MY DUST! hehehehe... Of course, stopping the darn thing is another story altogether! LOL

People often ask me: "Why a hotrod and why a Deuce Hiboy roadster?"
I usually simply tell them: " Just look at it. Need I say more? Behold! I present to you the quintessential American hotrod!"

I wish I could say that I grew up around classic cars and hotrods but such is not the case, for a family tragedy, back in the thirties, prevented it. You see, my grandfather was actually a French automotive electrician back in the 30's. Right when hotrodding was starting to flex its muscles... His passion for cars actually was to cost him his life: He got badly electrocuted in 1936 while working on a commercial transformer and although he initially survived the shock, his heart gave up a few weeks later while he was test driving on a windy mountain road.

               His car (pictured right) drove off a cliff and plunged into a lake. And so it would be that I would never get to meet my grandfather, but I believe that it is from him that I inherited my love for old cars. Thank you Grand dad! I love you, even though we never met. I know there is a little of you alive in me today.

Why else would a 12 year old girl walk up to her dad one afternoon and ask him: "Dad, why do cars run? Can you explain it to me?". He gracefully complied and from that moment I was hooked.

For the next few years I tinkered with my dad's car, to the best of my very, very, limited abilities. Our little family had moved from France to Lebanon and there was a civil war now going on (bad timing!). We spent most of our time trying to figure out how to stay alive, so my little hobby had to be put on hold for a while. Then came studies and college and soon working and moving from one continent to another... Please press the fast forward button. It is now the year 1987. I have just moved to the USA, my promised land, with one suit case in hand, a one way ticket and $400 in my pocket. Needless to say $400 won't get you far so the next many years would be spent working hard to support myself and build my new life here. Everything I own today I paid with hard earned money and that truly gives me a sense of achievement. There was no free rides or short cuts. But what that also means is: There was no classic car either, because I simply could not afford one :( ...

It was not until 2001 that finances started smiling upon my dream of owning a pre- WWII car. That year, I also became extremely addicted to Lindy Hop dancing. Lindy Hop (the true swing) reignited my passion for the WWII era, its great swing music, and wonderful, wonderful cars. The time had finally come.

Having a little money saved I decided to go 50/50 on a 1938 Hudson Terraplane Business deluxe coupe with my significant other, who wanted a "project". And a PROJECT it was, as the coupe was in need of FULL restoration. But once again, fate had it that I would never get to even sit in, let alone drive, my coupe. It went to the shop for frame, suspension, steering and brake work and got stuck there for almost two years and by then it was the relationship's turn to need a full restoration. Regrettably it turns out that old cars are easier to restore than relationships and so the (unfinished) coupe went with him when we split up. I am not sure which I mourned more: My lost love or my lost coupe LOL...  

Live and learn. I promised myself that as soon as I had financially recouped from my Hudson losses, I would start saving to buy another hotrod, and this time there would be no sharing of the pink slip. It would be mine, mine, mine and only ME (myself and I).

And that day came in August of 2006, just in time for my birthday! :)). Having saved money for several years I decided it was time to take the big leap of Faith (pun intended) LOL.  Even if that meant using up all of my savings. I was a woman with a mission, a woman with nothing to lose LOL. I started looking at all cars, make and models to see which would make my heart race. And just when one might think I would fall for another fat fender coupe, it was a fenderless early 30's car that would steal my heart: The 1932 Ford Hiboy roadster.

  For as soon as I saw the old pictures of roadsters racing on the dry lakes, I knew that this was the one for me. I was looking for something pre- WWII, something that made a statement. And I can't think of any other car that makes more of the statement "I am adventurous, free spirited and daring" than a 1932 Hiboy. This was by far the most "symbolic" hotrod of them all! The more I thought about all the downsides to owning such a car (unreasonable, unpractical, uncomfortable, not really street legal and furthermore darn EXPENSIVE - as in: OUCH, it hurts! It hurts! Make it stop!) the more I wanted nothing else.

After scanning the internet for 3 months, no less than 8 hours a day (yes, I am obsessive compulsive LOL), after going to every local car meet and show, after buying and combing with a fine tooth comb every local trade magazine known to man, I was about to give up (or have a nervous breakdown, whichever came first) when....

He finally came into my life. I saw him listed in the classic car trader and he had all the features I wanted (or just about), plus he was (now) local to me and last but not least, he was within my means. I drove down to Long Beach that sunny Sunday afternoon to meet Hiboy and it was love at first sight. Lonnie was moving up North and selling his house and both his hotrods. When I showed up he was having a final garage sale before moving out of his house and the roadster was parked in the driveway with a sign: FOR SALE. I smiled: Guess I bought my Deuce at a garage sale!! I'll let the photos and captions tell the rest of the story:


I bought my Hiboy at a garage sale? LOL


my grandfather's shop, FRANCE, 1936

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