- 2012 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award “Great 8” Finalist
- Bodywork by the renowned Craig Naff of Woodstock, Virginia
- Striking dark blue exterior over a cognac leather interior; custom Budnik wheels
- Chevrolet LT1 V-8; automatic transmission
- A beautifully executed example of American custom car craftsmanship
For generations, the 1932 Ford has served as the ultimate blank canvas for countless hot rods and customs, from enthusiastic-but-amateur backyard builds to no-expense-spared creations that showcase the very best in automotive craftsmanship. This Three-Window Coupe, named “Retrospect,” is an exceptional example of the latter: When it debuted at the 2012 Detroit Autorama, it was honored as a “Great 8” finalist for the coveted Ridler Award—one of the custom car world’s most hotly contested trophies.
The bodywork, unquestionably the star of this exquisite build, was handled by the renowned Craig Naff of Woodstock, Virginia. A true artisan, Naff is perhaps most widely known for bringing ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbon’s radical custom 1948 Cadillac “CadZZilla” from sketch to reality during his time at the storied Boyd Coddington’s shop.
For Retrospect, Naff took a less extreme approach, artfully and thoroughly reworking the “Deuce Coupe’s” famous lines. The raked stance gives the car a classic street rod profile, yet subtle details abound: A custom apron links the car’s flowing fenders just beneath a modified rendition of the iconic 1932 Ford grille; badges, door hinges, and even the trunk handle have been removed; the radiator filler cap has been tucked under the hood for a cleaner look. It is finished in a deep blue so dark that, in certain light, it almost seems black.
Equal attention has been paid to the interior, which has been trimmed in a rich cognac leather (a color carried to the exterior by pairs of subtle pinstripes). Centrally mounted instruments are set into an engine-turned panel, but switchgear and other distractions are kept to a minimum.
Tucked under the hood, beneath a custom engine cover, is a Chevrolet LT1 V-8 paired with an automatic transmission; the motor’s gleaming dual exhausts run the length of the immaculately detailed undercarriage. At each corner, you will find coilover shocks, with independent suspension up front. Tucked behind a one-off set of Budnik wheels are disc brakes with custom louvered covers—a detail emblematic of the level of work that went into the seldom-seen areas of the car.
Purchased by the consignor in 2021 from the gentleman who originally commissioned its build, “Retrospect” has seen extremely limited road use and has spent much of its post-Autorama life out of the public eye. A true representation of the custom craftsman’s art, this Great 8 contender is as dazzling today as it was when it debuted in 2012, and will no doubt draw admiring crowds wherever it appears.