Photos courtesy of Factory Five Racing

We’ve seen all kinds of Factory Five ’33 Hot Rod builds over the years; from blown flatheads, to Coyote 5.0s, to fully-fendered traditionals and plenty of custom-painted street machines. In 2016, FFR reinvented the Hot Rod by offering a steel body option, exemplified by a full-patina roadster on the cover of our December ’17 issue. And now, 10 years after the car’s introduction, Factory Five has reinvented the Hot Rod again, with key improvements in body styling, chassis engineering and interior comfort.

We got our first look at Factory Five’s new Gen 2 Hot Rod under the bright lights of the SEMA Show in November. With Royal Blue BASF paint, artillery-style wheels and a tan ragtop, the company’s demo car was a proper tribute to the classic blue oval design. Right off the bat, we noticed the new ’32 Deluxe nose and radiator surround, which suited the company’s demo car quite well. This optional feature is also available on the Hot Rod Truck model, and includes a new hood design to accommodate the larger radiator surround. Vented engine side covers also added vintage flavor, and FFR states that they help the engine run cooler.

But there are quite a few other improvements in the Gen 2 body that are not immediately visible. FFR added more curvature to the body by an inch, which reportedly allows better door-hinge construction and window access during assembly. You’ll also find that the new Gen 2 doors are wider by 0.8-inch.

Factory Five completely reworked the cockpit of the Hot Rod body, as well as the chassis, to improve interior space and the assembly procedure. By revising the footboxes and pushing the bulkhead back, Dave Smith claims that interior space has been drastically improved. The door openings were also redesigned to be easier to get into, with a lower cut in the front, bottom edge — a change reflected in the chassis itself. The Hot Rod’s floor was changed to a composite aluminum-sandwich design, which lowers the floor, while also improving chassis rigidity and reducing cockpit noise. Exhaust clearance was also improved here, and FFR states that 3.5-inch exhaust piping can now be used.

Getting down to details, the dash is now a separate panel, which is a change requested by many builders. The rear cockpit panel was also revised and is much easer to install. With these changes, builders are now able to use the bench seat from FFR’s Hot Rod Truck if desired.

While the chassis was under revision, the engineers at Factory Five took the opportunity to improve the suspension system. The solid axle three-link and four-link systems were massaged slightly to fit the rear wheel arch better. Also, a new panhard bar mount was added to simplify installation and some geometry improvements were borrowed from the Hot Rod Truck.

With great reception at the 2018 SEMA Show, Dave Smith and the crew are proud of the new ’33 Hot Rod:

“From big changes to small, we made the car better looking, easier to build, increased interior space, and added more options to make it easier to build your custom Hot Rod your way.” — Factory Five Racing

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