Deaner Probst's 1933 Ford
1933 Ford Cabriolet owned and built by Dean Probst of Jefferson, Wisconsin. Known as "Lil Dough," Probst found the car in 1957. The body was all screwed up, so he dragged it home and worked on it that winter. By 1958 Probst and his wife were driving the car around as their second car.
During the build, Dean Z'ed the frame and channeled the body six inches over the frame. It was originally dressed up with chromed nerf bars front and back, quad lights, and a filled 1932 Ford grille shell. Inside he upholstered the car in a wild diamond-tufted red and white harlequin Naugahyde. The pattern was repeated on the top boot, in the trunk, and on the firewall.
Power came from a bored and stroked 1951 Chrysler 331-CID "Firepower" Hemi that ran four Stromberg 97 carburetors on a Crower log manifold. According to a featured story in Rod & Custom October 1962, there wasn't much unchromed on the mill. The engine was also polished and ported, and it ran an Isky cam. The exhaust manifold and the exhaust system were homebuilt. Running a Schiefer flywheel, the engine was hooked to a 1939 Ford three-speed gearbox with a truck adapter on the back for an open driveshaft. The transmission featured 25-tooth Zephyr gears. All work, except for the 27 coats of Dakota Red lacquer was done by Deaner, and according to an early featured story on the car, three years, $1,000, and countless hundreds of hours had been invested in it to turn it into a show car. At the time, Deaner had won 14 trophies in 15 shows
Dakota Red & Metalflake
He also adapted coil springs to a solid front axle, and it ran coil springs all around. An outstanding show item according to Rod & Custom October 1962. Deaner dressed the car up with a chromed and modified 1932 Ford grille shell. The grille was fabricated out of expanded metal and dresser drawer pulls. When the car was featured in Rod & Custom October 1962 it was painted Dakota Red over Silver Metalflake. The dash was chromed, and it featured a 1951 Ford gauge cluster and a 1956 Ford steering wheel.
This iteration featured nerf bars in the back, and according to the write up, Deaner had given every detail on the car the attention many give their entire cars. $5000 had been invested over a three-year period back then.
In 1959 Probst won first place with the car at a show, and he was invited to display the car at other shows. In August of 1960, he won the street rod class at the third annual Custom Car Showcase in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a show held by the Kettle Moraine Motor Club. In 1961 Deaner won the "Best Engine" award at the Custom Car Showcase in Sheboygan. He took it to the NHRA Nationals in 1961 where it came second in its class. He returned for the 1962 show where he won first place in his class. The 1962 iteration of the cabriolet featured a striking red Metalflake paint job. In October of 1962, the car was featured in Rod & Custom Magazine. According to the story, Deaner was a hobbyist who built the car for his own pleasure, " but he made the mistake of entering a show and winning first place. Now he's permanently wrapped up in... SHOW BIZ."
In 1963, Dean and the car appeared on the cover of one of Petersen Publishing Co.’s Spotlite Books called Custom Hot Rods, which was put together by the editors of Rod & Custom Magazine. The Little Dough also made the cover of an issue of Rod & Custom. After it won at the nationals, Midwest show promoter Ray Farhner rented the car for a year to display at his shows. In April of 2022 Richard "Fuzzy" Fuerholzer told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that he believed Farhner painted it orchid and put a new interior in it. By the time the car was given back to Dean, it had noticeably deteriorated. He still drove it a few more years before putting it away in a shed for the next 30 years. By then, an oval grille had been fabricated in the back of the car. His buddy Vern Cletes, who owned a body shop, helped make the opening out of a Pontiac bumper valance that was turned around.
Dean brought the car out of storage in 1999, and he spent the three next years rebuilding it. After he had fixed the car up, he started showing it again. Early in 2021 the car was owned by Dean's nephew Jeff.
For Sale at the Indy 2022 Mecum Auctions
Magazine Features and Appearances
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