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Rolling Bones 5-Window Coupe


Drive Train



We are beyond excited to offer the first Rolling Bones hot rod available for public auction.  Rolling Bones cars are built the same way they were done in period and meant for speeding along the salt flats of Bonneville AND driving the thousands of miles to get there!


A legacy has been built from a small old cow barn in Greenfield Center, near Saratoga Springs in Upstate NY.  It started with a pair of 3-window Deuces, built by two friends, that garnered acclaim wherever they went.  Enter collector and racer Dennis Varni who spied these cars and basically willed the business into being by insisting they build a car for him.

These cars are all business, built the way they would have been back in the 50's. With primitive tools and old school skill, in sharp contrast to today's shiny show queens with CNC machines and all the modern equipment.  

Builds generally start from a conversation in the Rolling Bones barn at a gathering in the middle of winter.  A bunch of old school hot rodders hanging out trading stories.  They almost all end the same way as well, you pick up your hot rod from the barn and then head west, with a growing posse of hot rodders, until you make it to the salt flats of Bonneville.  Because these cars are built to run!


Keith began working on cars at the age of 10, helping out a gentleman who had a small auto repair shop in an old cow barn.  He would continue helping Duane through high school.  He went through all the typical cars a teenager does, until one day he traded a '57 Eldorado for a Deuce Roadster project.  Once he completed that build, everything changed.

His second hotrod was a basket case '34 roadster he began working on.  It was this car that Ken first saw when they met at a local rod run.  A few years later Keith & Ken had become friends and they both happened to acquire '32 Deuce coupes projects at the same time. 

Ken was a talented artist, along with fine art painting, he would make money painting monsters, hot rods and choppers on t-shirts.  He was introduced to the hot rod world by his older brother who was also an artist, but in his case a master knife maker.  His love affair for building all sorts of cars was born. Years later his son Matt bought a '49 Ford F1 truck and they worked on it together.  It was during one of those early runs in that truck that they both met Keith.  

As we mentioned, a few years later they both acquired those '32 coupes and began working on them together.   It was those two rods, that when shown to the world, illustrated the combined talents of what would eventually become the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop in that same cow barn Keith worked in as a kid.


Every Rolling Bones build receives a story about how it came to being.  Just another part of the creative process of the Rolling Bones crew.  #22's story started from the 'fancy' Pierce Arrow dash that was slated for the car.

"Edward Pumphrey wasn't exactly your typical rum runner.  Put it this way, once accused of being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he laughed 'Just one spoon? Hell no, I was born with the whole canteen!'  To an outsider, Teddy had an enviable life of limitless wealth and endless parties, but he was bored with his empty, shallow existence... Spice entered his world in the early hours one morning when the owner of a speakeasy suggested that he could find excitement as one of his delivery drivers.

It was exactly what he was looking for, he didn't even want payment, the thrill would be enough.  He went out the next day and bought himself a black Ford coupe with the new 65 hp V8.... eventually he was caught, by the revenuers stretching a steel cable between a couple of trees - toore the roof clean off that coupe!

... Things turned from bad to worse when they dragged him in front of the judge, whose broken-hearted daughter was one of Teddy's many discarded conquests.  They gave him a choice, 'Marry the girl or leave town for good.'  ... Pumphrey caught the China Clipper to Manilla and was last heard of propping up the bar at the Pink Pussycat in Singapore.

So what of the coupe?  Well it was hauled back to the family ranch where the body was hung in a barn ... until one day, many decades later when a young Kirk Pumphrey had a great idea..."


Kirk Pumphrey and the Bones team worked together on the concept of the car, here is his Kirk's recollection of the process...

"My actual relationship with the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop started in February of 2013 when I attended my first of the annual Rolling Bones get-togethers in Greenfield Center, New York in that cow barn. There were 9 of us from the San Francisco Bay Area, some whom already owned Bones cars and others like myself, who had admired them from afar.

From my early conversations with friends, this was the opportunity to experience the hot rod culture as it was in the early 1950’s. The experience created in that barn in sub-zero weather solidified the saying"That’s the Bones way”, I was sold! Coming back the next February (2014) in even colder weather (!), I once again met my fellow enthusiasts, now friends, from the US, Canada and England. It was during that trip that Ken, Keith and I solidified plans to create my own 'Bones' car.

Working with Ken Schmidt we explored multiple thoughts for the build. I wanted a 32 five-window coupe, but Ken was somewhat reluctant.  They have built roadsters, 3-windows, 5-windows and sedans.  I remember the conversation, Ken and I were standing next to his hot rod and he was rubbing his hand on the car.  He was telling me about his brother and his metal working expertise (Ken’s brother was a world class knife builder with many of his works in museums).  Unfortunately Ken had lost his brother a number of years earlier, he spoke about how he felt his brother was always with him, again absentmindedly rubbing the paint on his car. I mentioned to Ken your brother is in your hot rod, Ken smiled, nodded and said yes he is with me, in the paint. 

So that was the start of the 32 five window build. 

The Bones crew had free reign to design my car, I had only three specific requests: Dearborn blue for the paint, a French Block flathead built by my friend Tom Batchelor and a dash from an old Pierce Arrow."


CHASSIS & BODY: This is the first Bones build to start with a new United Pacific body. New wood, window mechanisms, epoxy coated for long term protection. The frame rails were fabricated in New York and transported to California to mount adjustable suspension front & rear, firewall, wishbones, drilled front axle, radiator & shell. It has a custom built belly pan, it’s a work of art, makes one proud to know true craftsmen are still among us.

SUSPENSION: Torsion bar suspension, front and rear, Adjustable front shocks mounted behind radiator, activated by lever arms from opposite side of suspension levers. Suspension lever arms mounted on hardened rollers, it makes for a very clean front end in keeping with the Bonneville style.  Custom finned racing brake drums are flush to the inside of wheel edge

ENGINE: New French block flathead V8 with governor boss removed, S.C.o.T blower and Navarro blower heads. Engine finish and details made to look period  (waxed string ties, WWII s/s aircraft clamps, etc)  Cam grind to provide for drivability i.e. enough torque to drive at 80 mph at 2,000 rpm.  Tom Batchelor and Dema Elgin of Elgin cams working with the goal of drivability absolutely nailed the profile. The proof has been averaging over 80 mph across Nebraska at a comfortable 2,000 rpm’s, while winning it's share of flathead drag races too!  The alternator is mounted on the rearend, driven by a belt from the driveshaft.  Bee Hive oil filter converted to full pressure and flow with o-ring seals 

ELECTRICAL: The alternator kicks in at 17 mph and the electrical system will operate for 6 to 8 hours without charging, so if caught in traffic on a hot day with the radiator cooling fan operating your are good for 6 hours. Pertronix ignition also reduces the electrical draw 

DRIVETRAIN:  Five speed Tremec T5 trans with short shift kit,  4X16 front, 5x16 rear steel wheels. Hot Rod Works rear end as specified by Tom Batchelor and Rolling Bones with ratio to match engine rpm’s and transmission ratios. Cowl Steering Box.

INTERIOR: 1932 Pierce Arrow dash. The gauges are the effort of Tom Batchelor, Ken Schmidt and Classic Instruments.. Bones builds usually have lots of gauges from the WWII era, but we felt it was important to stay true to 1932 Pierce Arrow look and feel.  Tom insisted on a lean/rich mixture gauge to help with tuning. That gauge was originally from a Rolls Royce with the face changed to keep with the spirit of Pierce Arrow.  Interior leather was completed by the Bones trimmer. Shift knob was sourced from Lucky’s Hot Rod Shop. Key fob is hand engraved by the lead Canadian currency engraver a Rolling Bones winter meeting participan.  Custom hand built rear mirrors.

Upon it's arrival in California the car has been cared for continually by Roy Brizio of Brizo Hot Rods.

COMING SOON! or call 415.730.5352 for more information.

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