’32 Ford oldest hot rod at Mukilteo car show

By Sara Bruestle | Jun 18, 2014
Photo by: Sara Bruestle Tom Nielsen’s ’32 Ford coupe will be one of about 150 cars – from restored classics to the most modern rides – featured in the fifth annual Mukilteo Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 22 at the Historic Flight Foundation. It will be one of the oldest cars on display.

Whenever Tom Nielsen takes his ’32 Ford coupe down Colby Avenue, he’s reminded of the weekend nights he cruised downtown Everett more than 50 years ago.

Nielsen, 70, of Mukilteo, recently won the 2014 Cruzin’ to Colby Sponsor’s Pick award for his ’32 Ford.

“I went to Everett High School, and we used to cruise Colby on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Nielsen, who graduated in 1962. “It was a tradition from years past. Now they just do it once a year for the car show.”

Seattle Rod-Tiques car club has hosted the Cruzin’ to Colby car show over Memorial Day Weekend in downtown Everett since 1999.

Nielsen won sponsor Angel of the Winds Casino’s award for favorite Accurate Automotive.

“It was neat, because I have a lot of roots there,” Nielsen said of winning the award. “But more than winning, it’s a just chance to show off my car in Everett, where I went to high school.”

His Ford will be one of about 150 cars – from restored classics to the most modern rides – featured in the fifth annual Mukilteo Car Show on Sunday, June 22. It will be one of the oldest cars on display. (There’s also a ’32 Ford convertible registered.)

When he was 16, Nielsen bought a ’41 Mercury convertible with a Cadillac engine. He won awards at a lot of shows with that car, including one at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962.

But the Mercury wasn’t what he wanted. Since high school, Nielsen had wanted a ’32 Ford hot rod. He found one in 1992.

“It’s the quintessential hot rod,” Nielsen said. The ’32 is one of the most desirable years to have. Even the Beach Boys had a song about it.

“It connects me to my past, having an interest in cars when I was a teenager.”

Nielsen spent seven years restoring the Ford and transforming it into a hot rod.

The car has a Chevrolet 350 engine, bigger whitewall tires on the rear and smaller tires on the front, and a dropped axle.

It has an all-steel original Ford body and chrome parts in the undercarriage. The paint is black with red highlights, and it has an all-black custom interior.

“It’s changed quite a bit,” he said. “It’s not close to stock.”

A lover of classic cars, Nielsen has also built and/or owned a ’33 Ford, ’34 Ford, a ’49 Mercury and a ’54 Chevy convertible. He’s won awards for those cars, too. He’s working on a ’57 Thunderbird right now.

“Once you finish them, and you drive them around for awhile, but then you’re ready to move on to a new project,” Nielsen said.

Mukilteo Car Show

Mukilteo’s car show, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Historic Flight Foundation tarmac, off of the Mukilteo Speedway at 10719 Bernie Webber Dr.

In addition to cars, there will be live music, a NASCAR racing simulator, face painting, food booths and a raffle drawing for prizes, including a Pandora bracelet valued at $575. Raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5.

Want to show your car? Register for $20 in advance or $25 the day of the show at www.mukilteo.org. Proceeds go to the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund.

Winners of Best of Show, Most Likely to Get a Ticket, People’s Choice, Favorite Street Rod, Favorite Custom/Special Interest, Favorite Original/Stock Vehicle, Favorite Sports Car, Favorite Pickup Truck, Favorite Muscle Car, and Favorite Motorcycle awards will be announced at 2:30 p.m. The first 100 cars will receive a commemorative dash plaque.

“We’ve added more [award] categories this year,” said Julie Martin, interim executive director for the chamber.

“As the car show has grown and become more established, we wanted to give more opportunities for people to win a trophy.”

For more information, call the Chamber office at 425-347-1456 or email mcc@mukilteochamber.org.

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