Baby blue: Tommy Foster’s ’32 hot rod

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When most people think of a hot rod, their mind will often go to a ’32 Ford Roadster in either all red or black with flames down the sides. There’s a reason for this, as several highly-iconic and movie-used hot rods fit this exact description, however, one color you might not consider for an iconic ’32 Ford is baby blue. With the old hysteria of hot-rodders being dirty “good for nothings” that only caused accidents, it’s not a color that would pop into someone’s mind at first thought, but it should be.

This 1932 Ford Roadster hot rod was built by Tommy Foster in 1950, far away from the epicenter of hot rod culture of California, in Dearborn, Michigan. Starting with a derelict body of another hot rodder’s abandoned project, Tommy began making the car his own by smoothing and straightening the already channeled body. According to an interview he did with Hot Rod, Tommy did most of the body and fabrication work himself, outsourcing as little as possible and fabricating many parts that he couldn’t purchase. Being a Pontiac employee, Tommy thought it was only right to use GM parts for his build, so he swapped out the Ford flathead V-8 for a 331-cubic-inch OHV Cadillac V-8, which he paired with a porcelain-coated Detroit Racing dual-quad manifold and a set of Carter four-barrel carburetors.

Tommy decided on going with the baby blue shade for his roadster and put it everywhere he could, including the body, wheels, interior padding paired with white pleated seats, and even the engine block. This unique choice did not go unnoticed, as the car won many awards during its time on the show circuit including the “Most Outstanding Car” at the 1953 Motorama. Tommy owned and used the car for many years, including trips down the famous Woodward Avenue, where it always caught the eyes of passersby. The car has changed hands several times but eventually ended up in the collection of Richard Munz, who enjoys showing and driving the car whenever he can.

tommy foster hot rod side profile
Courtesy HVA

In recent times, Tommy Foster’s Roadster has been shown at both Pebble Beach and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, as well as having been recognized as one of the 75 most definitive hot rods as selected by Ford. It makes us happy to see this amazing hot rod build got the credit it deserves and has stayed in the limelight for decades since its inception.


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