Media Coverage on Specialty Cars

Media Coverage

AS YOU CAN TELL, by Bill Neumann's introduction, he's been a hot rod innovator, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that his import car business, Neuspeed, would influence him to blend his two loves-German technology and street rodding. He has done it by building a most unusual '32 Ford roadster, powered by a 12-cylinder BMW engine tucked neatly between the frame rails of the '32.

How fast is it? Let's put it this way: the engine is out of a '96 BMW 750iL sedan that weighs more than 4,500 pounds but covers 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds. That's fast. Now consider that Neumann's '32 weighs roughly 2,500 pounds less. Can you say really fast.

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Neumann has wanted to build a car like this for the past 35 years, and now that he had the time, resources and inclination to do it exactly the way he envisioned it, he could make certain it was done right. The build started with the frame- a tube chassis, which was acquired from Tri-C Engineering in Valencia, California, and finished by Terry Davis' Country Rod Shop in Camarillo, California, and Neumann himself.

The fully custom tube chassis has a 112 inch wheel base and is painted silver with a clear coat applied by Applied Powder Coating in Oxnard, California. A Kugel independent front suspension with Bilstein coil cover shocks was installed on the rails, along with Corvette disc brakes. The rear also received the Kugel treatment, with an IRS and more Bilstein coil covers and Corvette discs.

To handle the power and torque, Bill Nuemann had B&M modify a Chevy 700R4 transmission to BMW engine specs. A billet aluminum adapter was made by Scott Morton to hook the trans to the BMW block. Lokar got the nod when it came to the transmission and other accessory items, as it supplied a shifter, shift indicator, trans dip stock and throttle valve cable. The oil cooler, lines, and fittings came from Goodridge, while the oil cooler fan is from SPAL. After the transmission and BMW engine were bolted together, Coast Driveline built a drive shaft for the car.

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A knockout interior had to be developed to go along with the rest of the high-class parts. Starting with the dash, Scott Morton built a custom billet version that was finished off by Nuemann and polished by the Polishing Shop. The VDO Cockpit gauges have custom oval glass that blends nicely with the rest of the interior. A MOMO steering wheel tops a Flaming River steering column.

A custom aluminum 20-gallon fuel tank uses a BMW fuel pump and VDO sender to supply the 12 hungry cylinders. The polishing Shop in Oxnard, California buffed the tank to a mirror finish. The corners of the chassis are decorated with HRE 18-inch rear and 17-inch front wheels and rubber from Michelin with Pilot sport 255/45ZR18 in back and 215/45ZR17 in front. A Kugel rack-and-pinion keeps the car pointed straight-when Nuemann wants it that way-and once he get is on the track, pointed in whatever direction he desires.

Allan Wray at Conejo Upholstery in Thousand Oaks, California, upholstered the custom bucket seats in pearl-gray leather. Mercedes medium-gray carpet contrasts just enough to make a difference. Ken Whitney of Wire One supplied the wiring, which Nuemann also helped complete. Stainless steel nuts, bolts, washers and more were contained from RH Fasteners in Orange, California.

With the chassis ready to receive the BMW engine, Nuemann made sure the parts were the quality needed for this level of project. The Polishing Shop went at each part, including the stock BMW parts and the billet aluminum units Nuemann supplied.
In case you're not familiar with the BMW engine, here are a few specs to ponder. The V-12 engine uses an aluminum silicon allow block, aluminum heads and manifold, and displaces 5.4 liters. The crankshaft is forged and resides in seven main bearings with four-bolt main caps. Horsepower is 326 at 5,000 rpm, while torque is a stout 361 lb-ft at 3,900 rpm. The overhead valve engine has needle-bearing rocker arms and two valves per cylinder. Hose Techniques in Torrance, California, supplied silicone water and vacuum hoses. The aluminum radiator was polished and then black-anodized by Elite Metal Finishing in Oxnard, California. A Nippondenso alternator was attached using a custom billet mount, while Electromotive in Manassas, Virginia, took care of the ECU. Taylor Cable supplied the 8mm wires with Beru ends.

The next phase of the buildup was the steel '32 Ford Roadster body. Tri-C Engineering and Country Rod Shop both got involved in the building process.

The body was a channeled 6 inches, the door hinges were hidden, the firewall was smoothed and electric latches were added to the doors and trunk. Installing the grille shell and bars was a group effort, with COuntry Rod SHop, Scott Morton and Nuemann getting involved. The headwinds Cibie high-performance lights include daytime driving lights. LED signal and taillights are from Hi tech LED Products in Canoga Park, California. Keith Northcott at Above All Glass in Westlake Village, California, cus a '61 Corvette one-piece curved windshield, while County Road Shop built the windshield frame.

The intake manifold was custom-fabricated and uses a big-bore Corvette throttle body. The headers were built by Tri-C Engineering and were polished and collated by Xtreme Coating in Oxnard, California. The exhaust system is Neuspeed polished stainless steel. Scott Morton of Camirillo, California built an armful custom billet parts, including the pulleys, covers, spark plug wire looks, motor mounts and more. The engine was set up by Fred Schuettler of electromotive, Richard Clewett of Clewett Engineering in Manhattan Beach, California, and Nuemann's son Aaron. Vis Sias of Sias Tuning accomplished ECU wiring and programming, with the benefit of dyno testing by Aaron Nuemann.

When everything was in place Tim Burks, as House of Customs in Lancaster, California, did all the bodywork. Frank Dimambro of House of Customs painted the final product using PPG Cherry Red.

This unusual build took four years of painstaking work, but we have to say the wait and all the effort was well worth it. Not only is this a one-of-a-kind roadster, but it's also a fitting follow-up to the Nuemann Special and the roadster Bill Nuemann has always wanted.