Building a Real Hot Rod Cheap!
Part of Hot Rod Coalition’s mission is to connect the 25-40 year old demographic to the custom car culture. The HRC team decided after a solid year of developing a website (www.hotrodcoalition.com) that it was now the perfect opportunity to pioneer a new show circuit that reached the Central Valley’s youth. We first picked out a first class venue that attracts this particular age bracket. We now have a “Rods on the Bluff” show series that is bringing 400+ cars and over 4,000 spectators. Though the event has been successful and many young men are being exposed to the custom car world they still continue to believe that they will not be able to afford a hot rod until they are empty nesters and retired. Well my team of fabricators, painters, engineers, and upholsterers are going to take you as the reader on a journey and personally prove that if you want an innovative and traditional hot rod while not burning a hole in your pocket, YOU CAN!
On a quest to find the perfect rod for this project we searched high and low. Numerous times a day we visited the classified ads on Craigslist, Ebay, The H.A.M.B, GoodGuys, Hot Rod Hotline, and many other sites that’s catered to the enthusiast searching for a new project. We quickly realized that many of the most desirable cars were out of our ultra conservative budget. After coming back to the drawing board I asked the team, “What about a T-Bucket?” Wow, I was not expecting a unanimous “No!” We debated for an hour or so and I came to the conclusion that this small group of like minded individuals all thought that T-Buckets had to have a 14 inch rim with a 31 inch slick in the back with a flashy 1980’s style paint job and every bolt on part from a cheesy catalog. We then dug into many new T-Bucket projects online that have been debuted in the last couple of years and realized that they really have gone against the grain lately. With the entire team fitting in this targeted 25-40 demographic you could see them get excited about what a new school T-Bucket could really look like.
We decided that a steel ’27 T or ‘23 would be a perfect starting point to kick this build into high gear. After driving all over the Valley we quickly realized that finding a steel body that was in halfway decent shape was a lot harder than we thought. Back to the drawing board we realized that if we wanted to make the SEMA Show and the Grand National Roadster Show we needed to get a move on it. The topic of steel vs. fiberglass came up for discussion and fiberglass quickly got shot down. However, we realized that we could pick up a glass body for less than $500.00 and the painter promised that he could make it perfect so that everybody would respect it. So here we are on Monday, May 28th pondering what to do next. Our goal of debuting this custom bucket at Hot Rod Coalitions October 5th Rods on the Bluff is an ambitious deadline but we are going to bust our tails to make it happen. In the coming weeks check www.hotrodcoalition.com and www.oldcarandmotorsports.com for up to date news and pictures of this build. Listed below is the team that will make this affordable hot rod a reality. Hopefully this will prove to the next generation that they can get in the game now if they are determined to.
Shane McMullen-Grossi Speed & Fab (559) 392-1283
Mike Jimenez-Jimenez Custom Paint (559) 307-2699
Todd Jones-Fresno Tap Recycling 866-240-7100
Craig Fry- Fresno Auto Finishes Inc. (559) 291-4077
Speedway Motors 800-979-0122