Last updated on November 5, 2021
Today’s car is a 1932 Ford 3-window Coupe owned by Doyle Gammell. I saw this car at the Seal Beach (CA) Car Show. I’ll get to this car later….. First a bit of LA hot rod history:
Doyle’s original 1932 coupe, built years ago, was known to many as the “Doyle Gammell Coupe”. Even though Doyle’s name is a common thread that ties this story together there are other names involved. The car’s history begins with Dick Bergren, the earliest known owner. Bergen purchased the car in the early-1960s, but wanted to join the L.A. Roadster Club. So he traded the coupe and a show bike for Doyle’s stunning Model T roadster. Pink slips were exchanged at a Tridents’ indoor car show in Long Beach, CA.
Dick and Doyle would not cross paths again for decades, even though they were both members of the L.A. Roadster Club. One Father’s Day Show Doyle was working the gate with none other than Dick Bergen, when Tom Shiffilea pulled in with his purple flamed 1932 three window coupe. Doyle said “Hey, that’s my old car.” Apparently, between Doyle and Tom the car changed hands through a variety of owners with each of them making changes. It was not long before the car would change hands again. While building his collection of historically important hot rods, Bruce Meyer set his sights on the “Doyle Gammell Coupe”. and added it to his collection along with the Doane Spencer and Bob McGee ’32 Ford roadsters. Doyle himself had tried to buy the car only to be turned down.
Ultimately Doyle decided that with the long standing legend of the “Doyle Gammell Coupe” he would start a new build, re-creating the car that had haunted him for years. Doyle planned a 100-percent nut-and-bolt recreation, but ended up making a few changes to update the new version.
The “Doyle Gammell Coupe” was voted as one of the Top 75 1932 Fords for the 2007 75th Anniversary celebration at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA. Ford Motor Co. formed a panel of 25 experts to pick the 75 top cars. The list started out with 474 contenders, and nine months later the experts all agreed on the top 75.
Today’s car is the “Doyle Gammell’s Coupe”. It is finished in metallic Cordova Brown laid down by Doyle and Jim Gordon and striped by veteran striper Tom Kelley. The brown interior (instead of the original black) was stitched up by Eddie Martinez. Accessorized with Moon Equipment, where Doyle and his father once worked. It is powered by a Jon Barrett assembled small block Chevy 350 wearing a pair of reworked 327 heads. Gear drive, 9.5:1 compression pistons, with dual 4 bbl carburetors and Hedman headers. Transferring that power through a Richmond five-speed and Ford 9″ rear end. American Racing 5-spoke polished aluminum wheels finish the picture. The signature Moon tank up front finishes the original look of the “Doyle Gammell Coupe”.
What a great looking car! Now we have 2 of the “Doyle Gammell Coupe’s” prowling the streets in Los Angeles. Thanks for riding along, Frank