Like many of us clutching at the printed material before you, the owner and creator of this bejewelled ’32 Ford roadster is just a car guy that likes to work with his hands.
Following in his brother’s footsteps, Peter Miller chose an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner at the age of 16 in a little shop named GTS Tooling in Melbourne. After cutting his teeth on a variety of machines and honing his skills for 11 years, he opened his own business, Centre Tooling in 1984, where he proceeded to create automotive injection moulding dies in 3D from solid blocks.
Now retired and content with son’s Luke and Beau at the business helm, Peter has finally found the time to finish his concept roadster after 15 years in the making.
Peter and wife Debbie have enjoyed many miles and a taste of show success with their 1955 Chevy coupe but it was the contemporary styled deuce roadsters originating from the USA that caught their eye for a pre ’48 project.
“I really liked the stubby grill on the ’32 Ford and was captivated by some of the stretched versions that featured in American magazines,” Peter informs. “Guys like Boyd Coddington, Chip Foose and I think Jerry Kugel had one on the go.”
With newfound inspiration, Peter located his perfect muse at Deuce Customs and had the body mated to a revised frame from Rod City Repros. Keep in mind that this was a decade and a half ago and these guys were producing state of the art aftermarket components locally and abroad.
Peter conveyed his chassis requirements to include Jaguar rear suspension with a four inch kick and pinched rails, six inches longer then stock. While he hadn’t settled on an engine manufacturer at the time it was a visit to purchase the independent third member that led to his discovery of the ideal component.
“I went to pick up the Jag rear assembly and saw a guy working on a big aluminium engine and thought how well that would suit the concept. The long alloy block was a V12, also from Jaguar, so we included it in the chassis design.”
With the chassis completed and fitted with the fibreglass body from Ken Brownlee, the major puzzle pieces for Peter’s project were hauled home where he continued to refine his unconventional roadster.
“I originally bought the car to build for Debbie, but it all went a bit haywire,” Pete confesses.
The haywire bit will partially explain why it’s taken so long for C-Deuce to go from concept to reality. The other portion of the equation is that Peter is a perfectionist and an innovator. From converting the stock six cylinder heads to belt driven quad cam masterpieces; to designing, machining and polishing every wheel right down to the matching wheel nuts, there’s nothing standard about this hot rod.
“Hot rodding is making as much as you can yourself, it’s a hobby and that’s what it should be about. I just love working with my hands no matter how long it takes,” he chimes in.
Peter and Debbie débuted C-Deuce at the inaugural Meguiar’s MotorEx Melbourne in July this year and left with a gold medal for innovation and bronze for undercarriage. That’s an achievement Peter is extremely proud of and he thanks all who were involved with the lengthy build for their patience and continued support. He also has a special thank you to wife Debbie, who not only provided much needed patience but the dollars when necessary.
“I still tell Deb that it’s hers if she’s game to drive it! It’s great to finally see it finished.”