If someone mentions the term "hot rod", the image that forms in your head probably isn't dissimilar from the '32 Ford Highboy Roadster you see here. Jay Leno drives said roadster in his latest video and as the car's restorer Bruce Meyer explains, it pretty much matches that image of the perfect hot rod everyone has in their head.
It's the right year—1932—and has the right 'Highboy' body style, that of the body mounted on top of the chassis. It has no fenders so keeps that true open-wheel look. The frame has been notched to bring the body closer to the ground and, importantly for a car popularized in Southern California, it's a roadster—letting you and your passengers get your kicks in the sun.
It really is an original car, but Meyer reveals that it's been through plenty of changes throughout its life—with yellow paintwork, side pipes and even a small-block Chevy finding their way onto the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] vehicle at some point. It's also said to have been in several movies, but its current state now reflects its original condition, as seen on the cover of an early copy of Hot Rod magazine. The car underwent a thorough restoration and once again replicates that original hot rod look and feel.
What's it like to drive? As ever, Jay tries it out—though takes it easy in deference to the car's age. Leno notes that it no longer feels as fast as perhaps it once did, but stresses that cars such as this '32 are all about the look, sound and feel. While you won't be able to drive it yourself—without replicating it, anyway—you'll be able to get close to this original hot rod. It's being commemorated in a new stamp series, and for the time being at least, it's on display at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.