Roy's Highboy

Jan. 1, 2020
Twenty years ago, Roy Brizio built this car to prove a point. "B&M wanted to demonstrate the reliability of their (then-new) superchargers, Performance Automotive Warehouse (PAW) wanted to showcase the reliability of their engines, and we wanted

Roy Brizio built this hot rod to prove a point — hot rods don't have to be trailer queens.

Twenty years ago, Roy Brizio built this car to prove a point. "B&M wanted to demonstrate the reliability of their (then-new) superchargers, Performance Automotive Warehouse (PAW) wanted to showcase the reliability of their engines, and we wanted to show the dependability of our cars," said Brizio of Brizio Street Rods, Inc., located in South San Francisco.

It worked. This year, when it was time to compile a list of the most significant 1932 Fords of all time, Brizio's '32 highboy made the cut. In addition, this car is about to become part of a Brizio section in the GMP Diecast model Vintage Deuce collection. If you want to see this piece of hot-rodding history, visit the GMP Diecast booth at SEMA (booth #24813).


When the car was finished, it hit the road. "This roadster has been across the country more times than I can count," said Brizio. "We put more than 20,000 miles on it in just one summer," he recalled. After the car had been shown at 10 National Street Rod Association (NSRA) events and two Good Guys events, Brizio did the unthinkable—he turned the car over to 10 key hot-rod-type journalists across the country where even more miles were added to the VDO odometer. This car is no trailer queen; it's driven on a regular basis and has logged 62,016 miles.
Brizio's shop built the chassis using a set of Barry Lobeck's Just-A-Hobby frame rails that were notched in the front and C'd in the rear. The car uses a Super Bell dropped I-beam front axle, located by a set of Pete & Jake's four-bar links. The front end uses a Posies leaf spring unit.
On the rear, the roadster is fitted with a 9-inch Ford live axle with ladder bars, coil-over shock absorbers, and a Panhard rod. The front brakes are JFZ discs and the rear brakes are Ford drums. Front wheels are 14x6-inch American Racing five-spoke alloys and the rears are 15x8-inch American Racing five-spoke alloy wheels.
The engine is a 351 Ford Windsor assembled by the late "Dandy" Dick Landy and the engine buildup was featured in the July 1988 issue of HOT ROD magazine. The polished B&M supercharger looks good sitting on top of the engine and under the chrome air cleaner. B&M no longer manufactures superchargers, but when the company decided to leave the supercharger business, Weiand stepped in and purchased the equipment.

The body is a Wescott's fiberglass replica with hidden hinges and shaved handles and beads. The three-piece hood was aligned with a filled grille shell equipped with a DF Metalworks insert. The windshield is a DuVall design with a strong rake. Front headlights are 8-inch King Bee and the 1939 Ford teardrops are used for the taillights.

One of the things that makes this classic roadster memorable is the paint job. "Art Himsl shot the Camaro with blue and magenta scallops on the car," said Brizio. "The paint still looks great today."

Tom Long of GMP Diecast plans to issue a 1:18 scale diecast model of Brizio's roadster and put the car on display at the SEMA Show. "It takes a lot of work to create an accurate representation of a car. We can spend days taking hundreds of photos, scaling, and measuring. Sometimes we have to disassemble pieces to get the correct measurements. Then it costs between $150,000 to $200,000 for the tooling," Long said.

The diecast model of Brizio's '32 highboy will have opening doors, an opening trunk, steering, an opening hood, and even a wired and plumbed Ford 351 Windsor engine—just like the real thing.

"We are targeting the hot-rod guys with this collection," said Long. "Some guys already own display cabinets, but for those who don't, we can sell them a display case."

Hot-rod parts manufacturers and distributors should anticipate a sales increase in the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008. The 75th anniversary of the Deuce has raised awareness and the release of the Vintage Deuce GMP Diecast model line should also pique interest and increase sales of hot rods and their parts.
The specialty-parts market was born serving the hot-rod market and has now expanded into many different areas, including muscle cars, late-model muscle cars, trucks, imports, drifters, and more. But if you want to expand your business, consider serving as many markets are possible. Not everyone can be everything to everybody, but knowing and understanding the hot-rod segment is important. Hot-rod builders are generally highly qualified DIYers, but if you have the confidence of your customers, they will often have you perform the work.

As baby boomers age and retire, they will return to their roots. If they had a hot rod or wanted one when they were young, they will now have the time and money to build or buy the hot rod they always wanted. Don't be surprised if your customers come in and ask for "parts like I saw on Roy Brizio's highboy hot rod." Make sure you and your staff are ready to supply them.


American Racing (310) 635-7806

Barry Lobeck Just-A-Hobby (440) 232-0210

B&M Racing and Performance Products, Inc. (818) 882-6422

Dan Fink (DF) Metalworks (714) 841-6200

GMP Diecast (800) 536-1637

Pete & Jake's Hot Rod Parts (800) 334-7240

Posies Rods and Customs (717) 566-3340

Sierra Racing Products (775) 882-3500

Weiand (270) 781-9741

Wescott's Auto (800)

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