Sometimes it’s our everyday craft that prepares us for a great mission we’ll come to conquer in the future. That sure seems to be the case for 35 year-old, Fender master guitar builder, Paul Waller of Temecula, California. After speaking with A.J. Baime of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), we’ve got the scoop on this hot rodder and his model of choice.
The hot rod phenomenon began in the late 1920s; young guys would find junkyard cars to fix up, put big motors on them, and race through the streets. But it was the 1932 Ford that introduced the “highly modifiable and affordable flathead V8” which became the hot rodder’s model of choice. Paul Waller tells WSJ how his father began building his 1932 Ford three-window coupe, but never finished it. So, they made a deal and Waller took on the rest of the job. Being a fender guitar builder, he explains that in his occupation, he does a lot of sanding, shaping and prepping for paint – which is the same approach he took for building the 1932 Ford. “I built the car to look like something out of the late 1950s, with skinny tires and a chopped roof. The paint job took six months, I had to take the car apart – every nut, every bolt…” One of his father’s contributions to the car, is its 327 Chevrolet engine from an old El Camino, which he confirms does well by him, since he drives the vehicle to work most of the week. Waller tells WSJ, “While it has updated brakes and three-point-harness seat belts, it’s not exactly ergonomic…the car handles likes a school bus on peanut butter in turns. But in a straight line doing 80? It’s just a different kind of fun”