Article and photography by Richard Butschi
Archie Faulkner and Diana Schumacher have been married for 22 years and now live in Center Point, IA. Some couples contend that their marriage was “made in Heaven,” but Arch and Diana may claim that theirs was made in a garage. Both were into cars big-time, long before they met. Diana was selling cars at Deery Bros in Mt. Vernon, IA, where Archie would shop for parts. Destiny? This was in or around 1996. They were married shortly thereafter.
Diana was raised on a farm near Springville, IA, and grew up driving most anything with wheels. From Deery, she went to Junge Lincoln on Council St. NE, working in the service area and later in warranty administration for four to five years. She worked for Duffy Schamberger, near 33rd Ave, around 2005, later returning to Junge Lincoln.
Archie was raised around cars. His father ran Dean’s Auto Trim in Cedar Rapids, IA, and was responsible for many locals following in his footsteps. His grandparents ran a local trucking company, where he regularly got behind the wheel. He learned to “turn wrenches” in auto shop classes at Washington H.S. and won a Plymouth Troubleshooter’s competition while there. Around 1977, he opened up a Getty gas station on 1st Street SW and ran it for several years. Later, he worked at Rapids Chevrolet, earning his GM and ASE Master Technician certifications. To top things off, a couple years ago while attending drag races at Joliet, IL, he was recognized in the stands by a former high school classmate, Jeff Parks, who had moved to CA and eventually got involved with the National Hot Rod Association. They needed help that day, so Faulkner now works part-time at area races in various capacities, like the “Safety Safari,” which is responsible for driver safety, rescue and track maintenance.
Faulkner and Schumacher purchased the first of their three currently garaged “toys,” a ‘32 Ford roadster “highboy” hot rod, in 2008 from the widow of one of Archie’s oldest friends, Lyle “Spiffy” French, a local body man. French bought the car in Ottumwa, IA, in 2005 and drove it for about four years. He also owned a ‘56 Chevy big block and a ‘56 Ford pickup that Archie would work on occasionally. Faulkner went through the entire car, first straightening, then “boxing” the frame rails. The 383 stroker engine was pretty substantial when purchased, but Faulkner added a Scat crankshaft, TRW pistons and Calli rods. They later opted for a 6-71 blower from The Blower Shop in CA, with 3” Gilmore belt and 2 different drives. When “underdriven” it makes 700 to 725 hp at the rear wheels. When “overdriven”, the power jumps to 1000 hp on 110 octane race gas. Sitting atop the blower are two Holley “double-pumpers” with special metering plates for high pressure blower applications. There are no choke plates. The transmission is a custom TH350 with B&M internals that is connected to a narrowed 9” rearend with 3.90 gearing and 35 spline axles. The Hoosier rear tires are 29” in diameter x 15.5” wide on 15” American Racing wheels. Arch and Diana mentioned that it has a radio, but with Sanderson zoomies for exhaust they laughingly asked, “Who’s listening?”
Plans for the roadster include replacing 23-year-old paint, updating the interior and replacing the windshield with one made of Lexan as the tremendous torque has a tendency to crack a glass one. It has a removable hardtop, which provides shade, but rain can be an issue as there are no roll-up windows on the Deuce. After its purchase and a few modifications, Diana brought up the idea of her having a “toy” of her very own. A few years later, Arch surprised her with a 1955 Chevy 3100 pickup. At that point, one might surmise that the garage was at capacity with two cars and four Harleys, (yup, they’re also into bikes), but Diana got out the tape and proved that there was room for one more – a ‘66 Chevy Nova “gasser”! Arch has learned quickly that if Mama isn’t happy, nobody’s happy. (Next month: Diana’s ‘55 Chevy 3100 pickup. Stay tuned!)