Hot Rod’s First Primered Cover Car

How The 11-Second Eastwood & Barakat 1932 Ford Sedan Accidentally Became Historic

It was a bold move to put a primered car on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1982. That prime piece of car magazine real estate was supposed to be reserved for the hobby’s brightest, most pristine stars. Cars with nice paint, anyway—like a 1972 ‘Cuda with a retina-sizzling color combination. But check out the other car on Hot Rod‘s cover from November 1982. There it is in the back—the Eastwood & Barakat 1932 Ford sedan, sucking up light with its flat red oxide primer finish. The main cover blurb says “Graffiti Nights,” but it could have said “Primered Low-Dollar Deuce Gets More Attention Than Wildly Painted Mopar.”

To be fair, those people in the picture are models, posing the way the photographer told them to. And Allen Owen’s ‘Cuda deserved its prominent spot on the cover of Hot Rod. The ‘Cuda was stunning, but the Eastwood & Barakat sedan was historic. And not just because it was the first primered hot rod to earn a spot on an HR cover.

The car wasn’t meant to be historic, and Pete Eastwood and Rick Barakat might have been surprised when it became that. Their only intention was to build a fast hot rod, and to build it quick and cheap. “Built from a pile of parts scrounged from both P-Wood and Bearcat’s garages” is how the immortal Gray Baskerville described it in his Hot Rod feature story. “The body is, at best, a pile of rust. It’s piles of fun to drive. And when you pile in the front seat, the cacophony generated from unfettered exhaust headers mixed with rattling tin and quivering quarter panels is strong enough to set off Cal Tech’s seismograph. But it’s bitchin’!”

Eastwood built the highboy chassis with a bunch of what would now be called traditional parts. Barakat built the Chevy small-block engine, a trial and error proposition with cracked blocks and heads and off-the-workbench parts. The body was a deteriorated shell they pulled out of a ravine and bought for $300. It was mostly rust holes connected by bits of sheetmetal. The car was finished in 12 weeks at a cost of approximately $4,000.

Baskerville was with Pete Eastwood and Rick Barakat for the Hot Rod track test at Orange County International Raceway. In street dress, the sedan ran a quarter-mile dragstrip elapsed time of 12.11 seconds at 113.92 miles per hour. With the mufflers removed and the quick-release headlights detached, it ran 11.59 at 117.49 mph.

Eastwood and Barakat didn’t build the car with the expectation of it becoming historically significant. The body was eventually sold and turned it into a beautiful rod with a few more refined elements, such as paint. The chassis was kept for a short-lived roadster project. The car that appeared on Hot Rod‘s cover in 1982 did become historic, however. In 2006, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the 1932 Ford, the Eastwood & Barakat sedan was included on the famous list of “The 75 Most Significant ’32 Ford Hot Rods Of All Time.”

Related: E&B Sedan Tribute

A few years later, Bill Paul of Highland, Illinois, built a tribute version of the E&B sedan that was featured in Street Rodder Magazine. In 2012, Eastwood and Barakat began building a near replica of the sedan they had first built 30 years before. It turned out great and made its debut at Hot Rod‘s 65th anniversary homecoming at the Pomona Fairplex. The color photographs here are the newer car. Hot Rod once again accompanied Eastwood and Barakat to a dragstrip (Irwindale Speedway this time) for some testing and published a feature on the recreated car.

Related: Eastwood and Barakat at the Dragstrip 

Hot Rod editor Leonard Emanuelson earned proper respect for putting the Eastwood & Barakat Deuce on the cover of Hot Rod, where it belonged, back in 1982. He also devoted that issue’s editorial column to the car. “The Eastwood & Barakat sedan represents to me what hot rodding was all about in the beginning.” Hot rods had become “ultra sophisticated,” he wrote, “but somewhere in this transition we have lost the savagery, the rawness that makes the hair on your arms stand up when a rod drives by. The Eastwood & Barakat sedan brings those emotions back—it’s more animal than car.”

Building the Original Eastwood & Barakat 1932 Ford Sedan

Body & Paint

  • 1932 Ford Tudor sedan body, fenderless
  • crazy amount of rust repair
  • 3-inch chop
  • top insert built from 1963 Ford station wagon sheetmetal
  • Red oxide primer paint, white and red lettering, Hugger Orange on the frame


  • 1932 Ford frame, boxed
  • Dropped 1934 Ford I-beam front axle
  • 1940 Ford front spindles
  • front and rear Aldan adjustable tubular shocks
  • front 4-bar
  • front leaf springs with reversed eyes
  • rear buggy spring suspension
  • Pete & Jake’s rear ladder bars
  • Currie Enterprises 9-inch Ford rearend with 3.42:1 gears and Detroit Locker
  • 1947 Ford front drum brakes, 1957 Ford rear drum brakes
  • 1972 Vega steering gear
  • 1957 Ford rearend with 4.56:1 gears and limited-slip differential

Wheels & Tires

  • Halibrand wheels, 15×4.5 and 16×10
  • Pirelli front tires 1.55-15, Firestone rear tires 14-16

Engine & Transmission

  • 1970 Chevy 355 engine
  • TRW flat-top pistons
  • mild cam
  • Chevrolet and Iskenderian valvetrain components
  • Chevy Camaro Z28 intake manifold
  • Holley 780cfm carburetor
  • Positive Performance-style headers
  • GM TH400 transmission


  • Ford Mustang bucket seats
  • Stewart Warner gauges
  • Vega GT steering wheel and Dodge van column
  • 1969 Dodge van shifter

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Hot Rod’s First Primered Cover Car