Hot Rodding News...
It is often said, “All good things come to those who wait.” In the case of Les Howlett and his recently completed Model A roadster, the wait has been some 25 years, as that’s the length of time since he first made his mark on the UK custom scene.
I fell out with Boyd Coddington almost from the get-go – in fact, the first time we met, back in 1982, when he brought the Jamie Musselman, AMBR-winning, '33 Roadster to England.
British hot rodders are a hardy bunch. If you were to ask most motoring enthusiasts if they’d fancy rummaging around a scrap yard during the winter months, you’d probably get a negative response. Hot rodders are not your average car enthusiasts, however, and spurred on by the promise of a bargain,
Visiting Home Grown Hot Rods is always an interesting experience and even more so in the winter months when there’s not much happening on the street. Seeing three roadsters under construction and Andy Barry’s metalworking skills on Keith Abrehart’s steel three window coupe, made it an inspirational day out.
In 2007, the annual Grand National Roadster Show, located for the fourth year in a row at the Fairplex, Pomona, California, right next to the NHRA Motorsports Museum, clearly enjoyed the benefit of the 75th Anniversary of
Regular readers may have noticed a couple of existing features written by Karen & Keith Baker, charting specific exploits of their recent tour of California. This week we bring you the concluding part of this series, with a fascinating look at rodding and biker establishments, plus some key individuals
If you’ve ever been to the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, then you will know it can be decidedly daunting. With more than 2,000 exhibitors occupying over 1 million square feet of space to cover, that’s a lot of shoe leather!
On October 30, Jim Peltz wrote a great story for the Los Angeles Times about the city's lost drag strips: Lions, San Fernando, San Gabriel, Fontana, Colton, Irwindale, Saugus, Orange County, Ontario, Riverside, and most recently L.A. County better known to locals as Palmdale.
It seems that both Chrysler and GM are placing something of an emphasis on hot rods at this year’s SEMA show, while Ford has gone all European with customised versions of the Focus.
Anyone looking for an autumnal hot rod fix would have found just the tonic at the recent National Custom & Sports Car Show "Winter Warmer", which took place at the newly refurbished facilities at Doncaster Racecourse over the weekend of October 20-21st.
Regular readers may recall the first part of Paul and Beth Barrow's hot rod adventure, featured on August 11, which left them stranded in Monaco, well here's the concluding part of their epic journey to Italy driving their just completed Model A.
Sadly, that's it. The summer's outdoor hot rodding season has come to a close - it's dark by 7.00pm and seems to be getting colder by the day. For many who came to the Bracknell Breakfast Run last Sunday, as well as those who participated in other events occurring over the same weekend, it was probably the last time this year that hot rods and their owners will be assembling
Mike Taylor’s steel '38 Willys coupe (with '41 front sheet metal) is one hot rod that has made a big impression on the UK scene this year. It’s not that the car hasn’t been around for a while, as Mike purchased it as long ago as 1982; it perhaps has more to do with his decision to add a blower atop that 355 Chevy motor, which instantly added a “wow” factor to the coupe wherever it went.
Sheffield, well-known former steel producing capital of the UK, witnessed the arrival of a considerable amount of old tin last weekend as the Steel City Cruisers staged their 30th Anniversary Rod Run. Once again, the site of all this activity was outside the city centre, on a sports ground used by the club for the past 15 years.
It’s hard to believe, but Home Grown Hot Rods is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. That’s 10 years of creating high-quality hot rods and chassis packages, as well as undertaking a complete range of hot rod fabrication work.
The 33rd Street Rod Nationals organised by the National Association of Street Clubs (NASC) took place last weekend at the now established venue of Trinity Park (Suffolk County Showground) outside Ipswich.
Meeting up with prolific hot rodder, Dave Haskell, last week was really like stepping back in time. The last time I’d seen Dave was around 1980, when I was Assistant Editor of Hot Car magazine (selling 150,000 copies a month back then) and had interviewed him about his just-completed Model Y.
Since the last time of writing, rather a lot has happened to the DRC Review Project Model A, but the most significant fact is that, after two years, it is now a registered, insured, running, driving car. One or two niggling issues remain to be sorted, but we’re effectively there, the only slight
What a strange feeling to go to Bonneville for the first time in many years and not be racing a car. Well, that’s what I thought, but when I arrived on the salt after an 800-mile drive from Los Angeles, the team of Van Blarcom and Gilmore, who now run the Thacker and Shine Roadster, made all things good by recording the car’s best-ever speed of 210.9 mph.
Regular readers of Custom Car will no doubt remember the name of Paul Barrow from the Kev Elliot era of editorship. Paul’s caricature artwork of hot rods featured fairly prominently in the publication and his undoubted talents were no doubt a source of inspiration to many.
Twelve months ago, my partner, Beth, and I took a holiday in the Umbria region of Italy, to check out the possibilities of getting married there. On our return to the UK, we decided it was feasible, but a further part of the plan called for me to finish my Model A sedan for the journey this year.
So many good things happened at last weekend’s NSRA Supernationals at Old Warden, near Biggleswade, that it’s difficult to know where to start. Firstly, the weather forecasters got it wrong and we had glorious sunshine for most of the weekend.
Hertfordshire-based Rick Hooper seems to have built up something of a reputation for putting together Ford Popular/Anglia-based street rods, as the two you see before you are the products of this talented individual.
By basing the 2007 edition of the European Street Rod Nationals just over the English Channel, in Caen, in Normandy, the organisers of this long-running event ensured a healthy UK participation. Brits had the choice of several easy Normandy ferry crossings, including one directly into Caen itself, or for those who preferred to drive, there was a 250-mile run along France’s northern
If you think the bright red, three window coupe owned by Phil Mallas looks familiar, then you’d be right. It was first featured in Custom Car in 2000 and looked a little different then. On the outside was a three piece hood, a plastic grille surround and fuel tank cover with recessed number plate aperture, body coloured running boards and slightly lower profile rear tyres.
It’s been awhile, but hopefully, we are now on the home stretch with the DRC Review Model A Sedan. At the end of the last episode of Back to the Future, the car had been moved from Home Grown Hot Rods’ premises, on the outskirts of Southend, to Neil’s Auto Interiors, in nearby Hawkwell, to have its interior trimmed out. UK rodders will undoubtedly be more familiar with it as the home of Neil Tadman, automotive upholsterer extraordinaire.
If there was ever any doubt as to how contagious hot rodding can be, then you only have to spend 10 minutes chatting to Louis Turner and his good friend Phil Mallas and it’s clear that it runs through their veins.
For British-based rodders who regularly check out the US hot rod websites or read the specialist magazines, the sight of Dee Young’s 1931 Ford roadster pick-up at the recent Billing Fun Run may well have had them scratching their heads, for the car, although new to the UK scene, seemed somehow vaguely familiar.
Every year, there is a flurry of activity in garages around the country as owners prepare their cars for the annual NSRA Billing Fun Run, which this year took place over the weekend of June 1-3.
The Ace Café continues to be a conveniently placed magnet for American automotive enthusiasts around the home counties, and a varied mix of hot rods, customs and muscle cars were assembled for the Executioner’s Spring Riot event this week. The good news is that the car park is much better marshalled, so you can get in and out much more easily, and the great weather resulted in another high turnout.
Anyone remotely interested in hot rodding in the UK will have no doubt heard the name of Keith Atkinson, a prolific hot rodder and car constructor with over 10 significant hot rods to his name. We wanted to find out more about Keith’s hot rodding roots and ended up in hot rod heaven while visiting him at home in Camberley, chatting about his past projects and looking at the new cars taking shape within the walls of his extensive garage.
Henry Rossi of Gilroy, California has a unique tale to tell. At the tender age of 14 he had his driver’s licence and drove himself to school in a 1934 Ford five window coupe hot rod – how cool is that?
To coincide with the special Gene Winfield celebration at Valley Gas Speed Shop last Sunday, the company opened its doors to visitors, revealing several major projects underway.
If someone were to ask for the names of the legendary American customisers and painters of the 1960s, then amongst the likes of George Barris, Ed Roth, Dean Jeffries, Darryl Starbird and Bill Cushenbery, would undoubtedly be the name of Gene Winfield.
Never having been to the Surrey Street Rodders Wheels Day before, we didn’t really know what to expect. We’d heard it was a popular event that kicked-off the show season with a varied mix of cars on show. We'd been advised to get there early to avoid long delays getting into the Rushmoor Arena showground
It was hot rod nirvana around the Home Counties over the Easter bank holiday. In addition to Wheels Day held in Hampshire on Easter Friday there was Keith Harman’s Bracknell Breakfast Run to look forward to in Berkshire on the Monday. However, unlike Wheels Day, Keith’s event, now in its second year, is a hot rods only affair and with another great weather forecast promised, it had the makings of something special. In the end, it really was
Here at DRCReview we are constantly amazed by the inventiveness and skill of rodders who continue to raise the bar with regards to street rod construction in the UK. The hobby is now on an altogether higher plane and it’s thanks to people like Brackpacker Dave Sturgess. His fresh-out-of-the-box, Gold Candy coupe has all of the hallmarks of a Pro-build, but with the exception of the paint and interior, it’s all come together in Dave’s garage in Earley,
Kids have a habit of changing your life. One day you might be driving around in a two-seater hot rod, minding your own business, and the next minute, the car is reluctantly up for sale to make way for one with more seats. Of course, faced with this dilemma, ace hot rod trimmer, Neil Tadman, could have chosen the safe family option, and gone for a modern saloon – something sensible,
The final feature from our trip to the US earlier this year focuses on one of the oldest and most recognisable names in the speed equipment industry – Mooneyes. We are grateful to Chico Kodama, President of Mooneyes USA, who took the time out to talk to DRCReview and gave us an overview of the business.
Ed “Big Daddy” Roth needs no introduction to the world of Kustom Kulture, mainly because he and the likes of Von Dutch and Robert Williams were largely responsible for the movement. It seems that the initial Kustom Kulture art show, at Laguna Art Museum in 1993, firmly established hot rod and custom artwork in the public eye. Well before that, however, Roth had created a
Britain’s love of hot rod culture is stronger than ever and clearly has a die-hard following. How else can you explain the record turnout of traders and public for last weekend’s NSRA Southern Swap Meet at Arena Essex, despite a
It doesn’t take much to get Southern Californian, Dave Cook, reminiscing about the ’50s, and a time when the fabled Track T was a regular sight on local race tracks. “They used to race them here at a track in Huntington Beach back in the 1940s and ’50s,” says Dave, “and, of course, they ran with
A friend of mine once told me that there is always something going on in an automotive sense every week in California. Now it would be fair to say I viewed the claim with a certain amount of scepticism – that is, until my recent trip to the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, when I found you could quite easily fill virtually every minute of your time gazing at cool cars.
As rodding enthusiasts will know, Roy Brizio operates one of the biggest and most respected hot rod shops in the US and has built and continues to build exquisite hot rods for customers at the higher end of the market from his San Francisco shop. Today, Roy Brizio Street Rods operates with a staff of 14, and
Chip Foose has been at the cutting edge of contemporary hot rod design for over a decade. He helped turn the hot rod world on its ear with a number of stunning concepts while at Boyds, and more recently revealed the charitable and generous side of his character with the hit TV series Overhaulin’.
Without doubt, one of the major attractions (if not the major attraction for many dedicated rodders) at the recent Grand National Roadster Show was the marking of the 75th Anniversary of the 1932 Ford. We were fortunate enough to meet up with Larry Erickson, a Chief Designer for Ford’s Strategic Design Group (the same team that brought us the ’05 Mustang), who played a pivotal
All the results and award winners from this year's Grand National Roadster Show.
Imagine visiting an event the size of the London Motor Show and seeing nothing but street rods, customs and motorcycles, and you’ll begin to get an idea of the scale and impact of the Grand National Roadster Show, which
When we last checked on the progress of the DRC Review project Model A, the sedan body had just been carefully lowered onto the completed rolling chassis and securely mounted in place. Since then, Jon Golding and Andy Barry of Home Grown Hot Rods have been working away steadily reassembling
Remember the Custom Car shows at Alexandra Palace and those organised by Roger Attaway and Graham Kelsey at Belle Vue in Manchester during the 70 and 80s? They were major events for auto enthusiasts and still hold fond memories for many of those who attended.
On our travels this week, we decided to take a look at The Romance of Rust, Lance McCormack’s body/workshop in Ealing, West London, and follow up with a trip to Jon Golding’s Home Grown Hot Rods establishment, in Southend, to see how our project Model A was progressing, as well as get a general update on the company’s latest projects.
EXCLUSIVE! Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design, and the man who penned the Aston Martin DB7 and Jaguar XK, talks exclusively to DRCReview about his just-completed, steel-bodied Deuce Coupe.
The 32nd Nationals organised by the NASC took place at the renamed Trinity Park, Ipswich, and was by far the biggest and best yet. With over 1,200 pre-entries it was always looking to be a very special event. The gates opened at 8.30 am Friday, and saw a huge line of Street Rods and classic American
As those who have been involved with the NSRA for any length of time will probably know, Classicline Insurance has been operating as broker for the club now for over 10 years, and has many hundreds of satisfied policy holders on its books.
Creating an original hot rod concept these days is not exactly an easy task. It tends to be the case that UK rodding trends are heavily influenced by whatever is currently hot in the US of A, and there’s no denying we’re going through a ‘60s revival at the moment.
When we left the DRC Review Model A project car at the end of Back to the Future – Part 4, the chassis, complete with GM Performance Parts crate engine, was almost ready to stand on its own four wheels, while the amazingly well-preserved body (for a 77-year old), along with fenders, running boards and splash aprons, was at the paint shop for final preparation and the laying down of our chosen colours.
Paul Kennedy enjoys supreme bragging rights. When he watches old cine footage lovingly assembled by the Jackson Brothers for their Gasser Wars videos, he can say, "Hey, there’s my car!"
What most people don’t know is that to become a member of the elite Bonneville 200 MPH club, you have to actually break a record at over 200 mph - not just go 200 mph. It isn’t that easy!
Steve Fletcher has done what the majority of rodders on both sides of the Atlantic can only dream about – build a stunning street rod, take it to the Grand National Roadster Show in the US, and walk away with a major trophy.
Norm Grabowski, the undoubted godfather of the Model T hot rod, took time out to chat with DRCReview at the recent NSRA Supernationals. Here he talks about his first trip to England and how the Kookie car changed his life.
It’s difficult to understand the current state of affairs in UK hot rodding. On the one hand, there seems to be less interest in the hobby as far as the print media is concerned, but on the other, the hard evidence presented by the rods and customs assembled for this past weekend’s NSRA Supernationals
Keith Baker likes his hot rods hot, and there’s nothing much hotter than stuffing a 478 cu in Hemi between the frame rails of a ’32 roadster. This is very much a work-in-progress report on what will likely be the fastest, baddest, Model B roadster to hit the UK rodding scene next year – if Keith
Yes, DRCReview.com is featuring another shiny hot rod, and no, we are not going to fall in line with the current trend in political correctness, and apologise. That’s because, in our opinion, Kev Smith’s ‘32 coupe is one of
We love the latest Volkswagen ads on TV. They show a couple walking into their local dealership, where a coy sales rep builds up the suspense before revealing the price of a new car. The couple look astonished, presumably because they can’t believe the cost of the latest model rather than how
When we last saw the DRC Review Project Model A at Home Grown Hot Rods’ Southend-on-Sea workshop, it looked amazingly complete, apparently lacking only a full set of wheels and tyres, plus a bench seat with a Mexican
“Knocked out!” That was how NSRA Chairman, David Biggadyke, responded when asked for his reaction to last weekend’s Billing Fun Run rod and custom extravaganza at Billing Aquadrome. This year, the popular event entered its 34th year at the Northamptonshire venue and attracted an unprecedented turnout of top-quality cars.
To the uninitiated, one of the more apparently contradictory aspects of building a hot rod – or indeed, any car – from scratch is that it has to be built “twice”. In the case of the Drag, Rod & Classic Review Model A Ford project car, the initial build was completed last week at Home Grown Hot Rod’s Southend-on-Sea workshop, and as this instalment of the story is written, the Tudor Sedan is now merely a pile of bits, some of which are at the chrome
It’s 14 years since the NASC first held its annual Spring Nationals event at the now-established venue of Drayton Manor, and this year’s event was another epic that was booked up well in advance. This is a firm favourite not only with rodders, but also with families, as pre-registering for the weekend gained them free admission to the local zoo and popular theme park. It was therefore perhaps no wonder that the entry list was filled well in advance of the cut-off
Reviving the Ace Café has been a great move for everyone involved in the automotive/bike scene, and undoubtedly for its enthusiastic owners, as well. The Ace not only provides a great focal point for car clubs and petrol heads in the London area, but also enjoys its own special mystique as an established part of UK “rocker” folklore. Quite apart from the cars and motorcycles, though, it’s an
Forgive us if it seems as though DRCReview.com is devoting too much time to the products of Home Grown Hot Rods – after all, stories about the machinery rolling out of the Southend company’s workshop seem to appear here on a regular basis. The truth of the
It’s difficult to know where the first three months of 2006 have gone, but there is no question the time has flown by since the initial instalment of the story concerning the build of our 1929 Model A Ford street rod appeared in Drag, Rod & Classic Review. A visit to the Xtreme Wheels Show at Alexandra Palace in late February focused the mind, though, as the sight of a large number of beautifully turned out rods grouped together within the surroundings of the main hall at Ally
Kevin Foster has always had one overriding ambition – to own a stunning ‘34 Ford three-window coupe. He’s been a hot rodder for many years, and owned a 1932 Ford Roadster in which, by his own admission, he felt slightly vulnerable. He had always hankered after a ‘34 three-window coupe, and when, by chance, he was able to acquire one, there was no question as to the identity of the person who would be entrusted with the build – Jon Golding at Home Grown Hot Rods.
Essex Arena seems a long way from Pomona but you won’t find a better place in the UK to pick up those ellusive parts and get your ride ready for the new season.
If ever you’re cruising the overcrowded freeways of Los Angeles and tune into the radio, you can’t help but hear the ads for Nick “Can’t Say No” Alexander’s BMW dealership in the “wholesale district” of Los Angeles.
Hot from winning the Riddler Award in Detroit, Chip Foose took The Big One - America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award - at this year’s 57th Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) with Ken Reister’s Illusion. Cost estimates for the build are well into six figures but the car is stunning. Whether it’s your style or not
It’s taken awhile, but hopefully, this will be the year I finally realise my hot-rodding dream. As explained in a news story that appeared in Drag Rod & Classic Review last July,
Some say, “It’s out of control.” Some say, “It’s a three-ringed circus.” But, everybody agrees the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas is notoriously B-I-G.
Big is not always better though (I never saw it all in four
It took Mother Nature millennia to create the Bonneville Salt Flats, man a few decades to almost destroy it, but only a few hours of hard rain to wash out this year’s Speed Week.
The NSRA’s SuperNationals at Old Warden Park, Biggleswade (July 29-31st) is the undoubted highlight on the NSRA calendar and as in previous years, did not disappoint for 2005 with a great turnout of street rods
The great thing about living in Los Angeles is that there’s some sort of car event on almost every day of the year. The bad thing about living in Los Angeles is that there’s some sort of car event on almost every day of the year. Consequently, you have to pick and choose carefully so as not to burn up your hard drive.
Having quickly established itself as a consistent record breaker on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in 2003 and 2004, General Motors will field factory race cars and one supported independent this year. Once again, the vehicles will be prepared by the SO-CAL Speed Shop.
The 200 mph street-driven Bonneville Roadster of Tony Thacker and Jimmy Shine was recently shipped to England where it competed in the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Keith and Sharon Murrell have been in a state of hot rodding utopia for over 20 years. Having built a couple of customs in the eighties and more recently a reworked ‘34 Ford Coupe finished in
It’s been 33 years since the first Billing Fun Run took place at Billing Aquadrome, Northants and the National Street Rod Association continued with their proven format for this year’s event, which took place over the weekend of June 3-5.
Victory in NASCAR's prestigious Daytona 500 for Jeff Gordon, an emphatic Nextel Cup series lead after just four races for Jimmy Johnson and a Las Vegas second place for rookie Kyle Busch could signal a return to the top slot for the five times
Allen Orchard is a man on a mission. Having campaigned a relatively stock Vauxhall Monaro in last year’s hotly contested GT Championship, his Emotional Engineering team
Xtreme Wheels 2005 took place at Alexandra Palace in North London over the weekend and followed a familiar pattern to last year’s event, but perhaps with more entries and publicity to give it a higher profile – or is it just that we remember it better 12 months on?
It's hard to believe but the word on the street is if you want to win the "Big Daddy" of car shows, the Grand National Roadster Show, (held at Pomona Fairplex over Jan 23-25) then a million bucks don't cut it. A cool mil' is just the cover
There is little doubt that Jon Golding, hot rodder, car constructor, self-confessed scooter nut and proprietor of Home Grown Hot Rods, has played a significant role in raising the profile of street rodding in the UK over the last 10 years.
When it began, more than 40 years ago, the annual SEMA Show was a small gathering of southern California speed equipment manufacturers. Now, more than 40 years later
Had you been at the Bonneville World Finals this past October, off in the distance to the north west you would have seen a shimmering apparition - what appeared to be a mirror image of the pits you were standing in but time-warped back to 1962.
The recent California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield not only brought together a mouth-watering mix of nostalgic dragsters but an equally high
Imagine driving 700 miles from Los Angeles to Bonneville in Utah at the wheel of a hot rod, making some pretty straightforward changes to the car
Gary McCormack’s 1932 Ford five-window coupe made its debut at the NSRA Supernationals and created quite a stir with its 409 Chevy V8 oozing hot rod appeal.
There's a quiet revolution taking place in the world of land speed racing, a revolution that is not immediately obvious.