The 1932 Ford Hot Rod Is Remade, on a Small Scale

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the 1932 Ford—the granddaddy of all hot rods—the Petersen Automotive Museum asked leading hot rod builders to think big by thinking small. The museum sent a pedal car replica of the iconic machine to nine hot rod shops across America and told them to have at it. The uniquely customized toys are being auctioned to support a Petersen house charity.

Troy Ladd and the team at Hollywood Hot Rods in Burbank, Calif., tackled the challenge in typically obsessive style. Disappointed in the toy he was given, Ladd junked it and made an original pedal car modeled after “Respect Tradition,” his full-size tribute to the 1932 Ford, completed in 2007. The petite Respect Tradition has a Hemi engine, a leather interior, and a hand-built, all-steel chassis. In all, 10 people lavished 100 man-hours on the toy. “It’s a good example of our work because we created an entire car body from nothing. That’s what we do in real life,” Ladd says.

RM Auctions will sell HHR’s mini-masterpiece and two more hot rod pedal cars on August 18 at its Monterey sale at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center during Pebble Beach week. All three carry presale estimates of $8,000 to $12,000, but bidders eyeing Respect Tradition should ready for a fight. Ladd says the owner of the original “will probably be bidding on it.” The second trio will be offered at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, scheduled for January 13-20, 2013, and the final trio will be part of RM Auction's annual sale on Amelia Island, Fla. in March 2013. (www.petersen.org)

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