I was on my usual spring photo trip to Arizona, and SoCal Speed shop had told me about this very traditional and classic looking 32 High Boy they had just delivered to Fred Fleet in Phoenix. He told me he WAS ABOUT TO PURCHASE A FULL FENDERED 34 FORD ROADSTER AND WAS SPEAKING TO BOB EVERTS, RELATIVE TO A REALISTIC PRICE FOR THE CAR AND BOB SAID “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT WITH A ’34 WHEN YOU REALLY WANT A HIBOY?” “HERE, TALK TO THIS GUY WHO IS STANDING NEXT TO ME, I THINK HE CAN HELP YOU!”
AS IT TURNS OUT THE GUY WAS PETE CHAPORUS OF SO-CAL WHO WAS PUTTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES ON THE RED/WHITE SO-CAL CAR AND WE (BOB, PETE AND FRED) DECIDED TO BUILD ANOTHER ROADSTER SIMILAR BUT SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT TO THE SO-CAL ROADSTER.
SO-CAL HAD LEARNED QUITE A BIT ABOUT GOING INTO THE PRODUCTION OF CUSTOM BUILT ROADSTERS WITH THEIR CAR AND THE “FLEET SPECIAL” WAS THEIR FIRST 100% COMPLETE CUSTOMER CAR BUILT WITH ALL NEW PARTS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE GAS TANK AND FIREWALL.
THE CAR IS BUILT ON SO-CAL CHASIS #3 AND WITH BROOKFIELD BODY #17.THE CAR WAS ONE OF “ROD AND CUSTOM” MAGAZINE’S TOP 100 CARS OF 1999, WAS IN THE GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW IN 2000, WAS IN BLACKIE’S CAR SHOW IN FRESNO IN 2001 AND DID 500 MILES OF THE “HOT ROD 2000 POWER TOUR” AS WELL AS THREE OF THE ARIZONA “ROADSTER ROUNDUPS” (AN ANNUAL EVENT WITH 25 OF THE TOP ROADSTERS IN ARIZONA GOING ON AN 800 MILE TREK THROUGH ARIZONA EVERY SPRING.
This is what is so nice meeting guys like Fred, they have a garage full of drivers who regularly hits the for some fun drives on the pretty American back roads. He has a sturdy 350, 400 hp Chevy engine to move him safe trough all those miles, all hand built and balances of course. Rear Axle is 19” Ford and 3.22 drive ratio.
And a Richmond 5 speed takes all that power to the 18” wheels on Coker tires.
The interior is all leather with a LA Carrera steering wheel, the dash was made at SoCal and no radio, to noisy a ride for that.
Fred was a member at the best country club in Phoenix, the Presidential kind,, and we was given permission to a little corner of its was golf course and had a blast taking sunset photos of Fred’s very pretty car.. A perfect afternoon for any car shooter!