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John Gunsaulis' 1932 Ford Phaeton

November 2008

John Gunsaulis' 1932 Ford Phaeton

In the mid-to-late '60s John Gunsaulis' father, Richard "Speedy" Gunsaulis, answered an ad for an Australian-built 1932 Ford Phaeton that was for sale in Boston. According to the Thacker resources, they only built 75 Model B Deluxe Phaetons in Australia. He eventually purchased the rare car and brought it home where it sat for many years in the family hobby shop, earmarked as a "one day" project. Although Richard built many other cars over the years, John lost his father before it was completed.
John recently found himself deep in the throws of an intensive '28 Ford roaster pickup build and losing motivation and needed to give himself project that he could finish easily.
He decided that if the allegedly "rebuilt" banger motor would fire up, he would build it. The motor sparkeded to life with minimal work and the project began.
The body was sitting on top of the frame and the entire car had been loosely bolted together in a mock-up fashion. John pulled everything apart and reassembled it, being careful not to change any of the car's "character."
John decided to build the Phaeton in the early '40s style - just before aftermarket parts began changing the way hot rods looked. He studied many black and white photographs before electing to leave the suspension at stock height and give the car the "proper rake" by using big and little Firestones on the Kelsey Hayes wires.
Following his traditional build plan he left the chassis bone stock, including the springs, front axle and brakes. He removed the fenders and chopped the windshield five inches.
The cool tub was just the thing to cure his hot rod burn out blues and now he's eyeballing his stalled RPU project with a fresh new perspective.

Tech Specs


  • Australian 1932 Ford Phaeton
  • Chopped windshield
  • Custom mixed Martin Senour paint by Russ Freund


  • Stock frame, brakes, axles, etc.


  • Stock 200ci 1932 four-banger with a Model C head
  • Tillotson updraft carb
  • Exhaust made from a 1936 torque tube
  • Three speed trans

Rolling stock

  • Kelsey Hayes wheels
  • 5.00-16 front tires
  • 8.90 rears


  • Stock, custom tonneau cover by George Frank
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