Still the World’s Coolest All-Wheel Drive ’32 Roadster
Back in the mists of time—1995 to be exact—Summit Racing Equipment unveiled the QuadraDeuce, the world’s first all-wheel drive ’32 roadster. Based on a Larry Erikson rendering, the car set the street rod world on its collective ear.
In addition to the all-wheel drive system pirated from a GMC Syclone, the Q-Deuce sported a 500-plus horsepower, all-aluminum small block, a T56 six-speed, custom A-arm/pushrod front suspension, and a Corvette ZR-1 rear axle. The thing was gawd-awful quick, too. Car & Driver Magazine got it to do zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds, making it the quickest car the mag ever tested.
But time waits for no man or hot rod. As the turn of the century approached, the QuadraDeuce was in need of a makeover. But how do you make something as radical as an all-wheel drive ’32 roadster fresh and new again? Simple—you take it to Troy’s house.
“I read the (original) QuadraDeuce articles when Street Rodder Magazine was following it, and I really liked the concept of an all-wheel drive ’32,” Troy said in an interview a few years ago. “I thought it would be kinda neat if we could put our treatment to it. When we got the opportunity to do the car and it came to the shop, we had a ton of ideas in about five minutes.”
Troy and graphics wizard Bob Thrash set out to create a fresh, radical look while preserving the Q-Deuce’s basic suspension design and all-wheel drive powertrain. The hood and side panels, exhaust system, brakes, six-speed, wheels and tires, headlights and taillights, and most of the interior went into the trash barrel. What remained were the engine, Syclone front differential and transfer case, ZR-1 rear pumpkin, the frame, the Harwood fiberglass/carbon fiber body, the grille shell insert, and the dash. From this collection of pieces, the QuadraDeuce was reborn.
A once-over reveals the obvious changes: reshaped roof, a new steel hood and aluminum side panels (all fabricated in Troy’s shop), hidden exhaust, one-off Billet Specialties wheels on BFGoodrich g-Force tires, and the PPG Smoked Charcoal and Wild Cherry tutone paint with Bob Thrash-applied flames.
But the more you look, the more you see what Troy really wrought. The graceful front A-arms have been shortened two inches to make the front track the same as the rear. The headlights and grille shell are handmade. The two inch dual exhaust now exits into a single stainless steel tip centered in the roll pan. And the round taillights have been replaced by molded-in rectangular LED units.
More Rad Rides craftwork lurks under the hood. One of Troy’s signature air cleaners covers most of the 9.0:1 compression, 406 cubic inch small block. Built by the late John Lingenfelter at Lingenfelter Performance, the engine was recammed with a Comp Cams solid roller camshaft and topped with 18 degree Bowtie heads, a Bowtie intake, and DFI fuel injection. Troy smoothed and painted the intake, bolted on carbon fiber valve covers, chromed and polished the front accessories and pulleys, and fabbed a very trick aluminum shroud for the 15 inch fan and Griffin radiator.
The 406 is connected to a Rossler TH-700-R4 with a 3,000 rpm stall converter. The automatic handles the 406’s 594 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque quite nicely and makes the QuadraDeuce more tractable on the street.
The interior is deceptively simple. A bench seat replaces the Q-Deuce's original buckets for a more traditional roadster look. The gauge pods were axed and the fiberglass dash was reworked to accept Auto Meter carbon fiber gauges. A short console houses a B&M Hammer shifter, and everything is covered in leather or carpeting. Troy calls the upholstery color oatmeal. We just call it tasty.
Ever since the QuadraDeuce rolled out of Rad Rides in 2000, the car has been a gearhead magnet. Even five years later, the roadster is still fresh, still attracting people’s attention wherever it goes. Fortunately for you, the QuadraDeuce will be at a number of events this year, so you have a decent chance at seeing the car in the metal, er, fiberglass. Just be sure to bring a friend, ’cause it’ll take two of ya to see everything Rad Rides did to the world’s first—and still the only—all wheel drive ’32.
Frame: Harwood frame rails stretched to 115" wheelbase, modified for transmission, exhaust, and suspension mounting, painted to match body
Front Suspension: Pushrod activated A-arm shortened 2", billet aluminum spindles by Summit, QA1 adjustable shocks and springs, GMC Syclone differential with custom half-shafts by Summit, 3.43 gears and limited slip
Rear Suspension: Four-link with QA1 coil-over shocks, custom antisway bar, Corvette ZR-1 center section with 3.73 gears and limited slip differential
Brakes: Baer four wheel disc (13 1/2" front, 14" rear)
Wheels and Tires: One-off Billet Specialties wheels (18 x 8 front, 20 x 10 rear), BFGoodrich g-Force tires (235/40ZR-18 front, 275/35-20 rear)
Engine and Transmission
Type:Chevy 400 small block bored to 406 cubic inches, 594 horsepower/450 foot-pounds torque
Reciprocating Assembly: Summit steel crank, Summit connecting rods, 9.0 forged pistons—assembly is balanced
Camshaft: Comp Cams solid roller cam, 294° duration
Cylinder Heads: GM Performance Parts 18° Bowtie heads, ported, polished, and cc-ed
Valvetrain: Jesel valve springs, 1.60 aluminum rocker arms, and pushrods
Induction:Chevy Bowtie 18° aluminum intake modified to accept DFI electronic fuel injection, 35 lb.-hr. Bosch fuel injectors
Ignition: MSD Billet distributor, MSD Blaster coil, MSD ignition wires
Exhaust: Custom 2" primary headers, custom 2" dual exhaust with balance tube and Flowmaster mufflers, exhaust empties into single tailpipe tip—system is HPC coated
Transmission: TH-700R-4 automatic with 3,000 rpm stall converter, built by Rossler Transmission
Other Items: Custom Griffin radiator with 15" electric fan and custom aluminum shroud by Rad Rides, carbon fiber valve covers, one-off Billet Specialties pulleys, custom air cleaner by Rad Rides
Engine Built By: John Lingenfelter, Lingenfelter Performance
Paint and Body
Paint: PPG Smoke Charcoal Silver and Wild Cherry
Body Modifications: Recontoured roof, handbuilt steel hood, aluminum side panels, grille shell, headlights, roll pans, and taillights, all by Rad Rides
Bodywork By: Warren Lewis at Rad Rides
Paint By: St. Aubin Auto Body, Manteno, IL
Flames and Graphics By: Bob Thrash, Manteno, IL
Seat: Custom bench
Carpet and Upholstery: Oatmeal wool carpet and leather
Dash Custom built fiberglass with cover for B&M Hammer shifter
Gauges: Auto Meter Ultra-Lite carbon fiber gauges (tach, speedometer, oil pressure, water temperature, and ammeter)
Other Modifications: Billet Specialties tilt steering column, Billet Specialties steering wheel
Upholstery By: Kip Kuiper