The most repeated rule in street rodding is that there aren't any rules in street rodding. Whether that's true or not, there are definitely a few "general principles" that have been proven over time. Technical rules help prevent mechanical failures. Design rules help prevent empty trophy cases. A rule obeyed by most rodders, from backyard hobbyists to pro builders, involves teamwork. The most successful projects are almost always the result of teamwork—the fabricator, the mechanic, the painter, the upholsterer, the parts chaser, the friend who shows up with pizza at midnight—all working together toward the same goal.
Nick Testa and Roy Brizio have worked together on several of Testa's cars. This stunning chocolate brown 1932 Ford Fordor sedan is one of the most recent. Nick, like many rodders, had a cool car in high school, took a break from the hobby to start a business and a family, and got back into it as soon as he could. And he's collected a few cars in the last several years. About three years ago, he started looking for a 1932 Ford sedan. Tudors are the choice of a lot of enthusiasts, but Nick wanted a Fordor. "The Fordor is more appealing to me," he told us. "I like the look of the three windows on the side and the suicide doors. There's a little more going on. They're a little more menacing, like a gangster getaway car." He found the perfect raw material in Central California: a complete, bone-stock, Flathead-powered driver. It was exactly what he was looking for—or would be once it was finished by Roy Brizio with the modifications he wanted.
Nick said that the build didn't start with a predetermined concept in mind. Instead, the project evolved through a series of conversations and decisions over the course of the build. He knew he wanted a healthy chop out of the original Ford steel top. Four inches is ambitious but looks right. Three rows of small louvers in the Jack Hagemann three-piece aluminum hood was preferred over larger louvers, which would look more "street rod" than the car needed, and OTB Gear 682-J guide-style headlights have longer housings that are better suited for the full-fendered car. Other exterior elements include the Johnson's Hot Rod Shop 1932 Ford taillights, Bob Drake Reproductions bumpers, Dan Fink grille insert, and Vintique repro door handles.
Consistent with the teamwork idea, Roy Brizio frequently partners with Darryl Hollenbeck at Vintage Color Studio for final sheetmetal and paintwork. Nick wanted a solid, non-metallic color for the Fordor and was determined to avoid black, yellow, or red. He had seen a Ferrari painted a beautiful shade of rich brown that impressed him. The Ferrari owner brushed him off when Nick asked him about it, but the color stayed in his memory. Hollenbeck prepared sample panels and the result is a custom mix called Rosa Maroon. The chrome was handled by Sherm's Custom Plating in Sacramento, another regular contributor to Brizio projects.