Guaranteed to dazzle – Get out your sunglasses. Here comes George’s Flaming ’47 | TheUnion.com
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Guaranteed to dazzle – Get out your sunglasses. Here comes George’s Flaming ’47

George Paranzan has owned his 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Five Passenger Coupe since 1962. Then a junior at St. Joseph’s High School in Fremont, he traded his father’s older 1942 Ford Coupe and $25 to a friend at an Oakland wrecking yard for the ’47. The car ran, and he drove it to school during his junior and senior years.

After graduating in 1964, Paranzan turned the ’47 Coupe into a dragster and regularly competed at the Fremont Drag Strip between 1965 and 1988.

During his drag racing career, the Coupe had a 350 cubic-inch Chevy V8 under the hood and a four-speed manual transmission. Clocked at an elapsed time of 11.11 seconds to 119.20 mph, his ’47 won the Street Rodder Magazine Nostalgia Nationals in 1983 and ’84 in the Bracket 3 class.



George Paranzan wasn’t alone while he raced. His wife, Sue, often accompanied him in the cab and served as both pit crew and traveling companion. When asked about her relationship with the car, she hooked her thumb toward her husband and said, “George.”

Their first date was at the Fremont Race Track, and they spent their honeymoon at the 1971 NHRA Winter Nationals at Pomona.




Paranzan changed the Coupe to a street car after the Fremont Drag Strip ” then called the Baylands Raceway Park ” closed in November 1988. At that time, he changed the engine to a Chevy 408 cubic inch small-block V8 and installed an automatic transmission, power steering, air conditioning, and disk brakes. The larger engine meant easier cruising.

The Paranzans and their ’47 Coupe have a family relationship. They have used their Coupe to tour the country, travel to car shows, and travel with their children when they were younger. In fact, both George Paranzan and his daughter took their original driver’s license tests in the ’47 Coupe.

Originally Glade Green, a factory shade, Paranzan painted the car orange in 1995. When he first purchased his vehicle, he told his mother he wanted to paint it orange, but it took a few years to get that done. The flames were custom-painted by a friend in the Bay Area, a “former Hells Angel” who has since found religion. Done in the same shop that pioneered and introduced the famous Candy Apple Red colors of the 1950s and ’60s, the ’47 is a complete restoration paint job, all the way into the engine compartment.

After 31 years in Fremont, the Paranzans are new to the Nevada County area. They have lived in Lake Wildwood for only three months. New to the Roamin Angels car club, they added their names to the roster only a couple of weeks ago.

George and Sue will show their beautiful ’47 during the Grass Valley Downtown Association Car Show this month. Look for them there. After that, they plan to attend a car show in Washington in July, and will probably be a part of the Roamin Angels Car Show later this year at the Nevada County Fair Grounds.

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The Union is interested in custom, classic and collector’s vehicles. Contact Louise Caulfield louisec@theunion.com.


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