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Horsepower heaven at HGHRs
That's Hubert's car in the foreground, a customer's steel '32 coupe with injected 383 stroker motor and the shop '32 pick-up in the background
It’s been exactly a year since we last reported on the activity taking place at the Home Grown Hot Rods workshops in Southend. It’s always a busy place, and as might be expected, a lot has happened since that last visit, with rolling chassis being completed and finished cars rolling out of Jon Golding’s premises. Take, for instance, Hubert's steel ‘32 roadster. This was very much a job-in-progress when we visited last February, but as usual, Jon and bodywork expert, Andy Barry, have worked their magic and turned out another beautiful hot rod.
A typical garage scene at HGHRs - perfect! That's Adrian Day's steel coupe next to Hubert's Roadster - what a gorgeous looking ride
“We’re particularly pleased with Hubert’s car,” says Jon. “It’s as different as anything we’ve done and the first car we’ve assembled with a Hilborn-injected 502 big-block Chevy.” This is going to be a seriously quick car and is backed up with a quick-change rear end, Boptop cloth roof, Neil Tadman tan leather interior and matching tan striping by Neil Melliard – in fact, pretty much all the things HGHR customers want and have come to expect.
Neil Tadman did another masterful job of stitching up the interior - this time using Scottish Bridge of Weir Burnt Orange leather and Porsche German square weave carpet
Side exit exhausts and HGHR's trademark ET 3/Halibrand wheel combination evident here
There is no doubt Jon and Andy have always set very high standards when it comes to HGHR’s work, and that is probably one of the main reasons why a large percentage of customers go back to the company when they want another car built. Interestingly, HGHR’s reputation seems to be spreading in Europe, as evidenced by Hubert’s car, which will shortly be off to its owner in Germany, as well as by the fact Andy and Jon are preparing to start on Jose’s pristine, stock ’34 five-window coupe. The Ford will be chopped and equipped with a 400hp Chevy before being returned to its owner, in Portugal.
“Almost all of the projects lined up for 2009 have high horsepower motors,” says Jon. "We've decided to put the "hot" back into hot rods for 2009. The only exception is a lovely job we have under way based around a 28/29 Model A pick-up, which will feature a 200hp Zetec Ford four-banger.”
Kev Foster's truck is being carefully pieced together now it's back from the paint shop, while a customer's '32 chassis (above) awaits it rare English, RHD three window body
Once inside the workshop, we couldn’t help but notice Kev Foster’s fab ’46 Chevy pick-up, now back from the paint shop and in the throes of final body assembly. The deep gloss black paintwork will eventually provide the canvas for a wild Neil Melliard flame job. Under the hood is another injected 502 Chevy Rat motor, while air ride suspension will allow Kev to get down in the weeds with his new ride when he chooses. Adding the finishing touch, large diameter wheels shod with low-profile tyres fill the wheel arches to perfection. It’s another example of how HGHR can turn its collective talents to producing high-quality hot rods from other than the staple diet of early Fords.
On our last visit to HGHRs, Andy Barry was busy bringing the bodywork on a rare British ’32 three-window coupe up to scratch. Parts of the body turned out to be thinner than expected and this resulted in some fairly serious metal surgery over the months to get the coupe back into top condition. This time around, the body was in primer and awaiting its top coat, while the complete rolling chassis, equipped with 383 cube Chevy stroker motor, was sitting in the workshop ready for the body to be lowered into place. This will be one very classy, traditional-style hot rod, fitted out with equally trad paint and interior.
Stuart Story's '36 Coupe is another full-on project for 2009
Another interesting . . . er, story, concerns Stuart Story, who had his 1935 Ford five-window coupe built by HGHR some years ago, and has returned with a very straight and complete, stock ’36 Ford three-window coupe, which is in for the full hot rod treatment. The small-block Chevy motor destined for the car will feature tri-power carburetion, a five-speed Tremec transmission, air ride suspension and steel wheels, and will be painted – yes, you guessed it – black!
This is Brookville body No 69, which was ordered by Jon soon after the coupe became available. It arrived on Christmas eve - what a prezzie!
The wooding out of the body is very extensive - just like the original
As visitors to this web site may be aware, HGHR is an officially appointed dealer for Brookville bodies, so it should come as no surprise to learn they have examples in stock. Body No 69, a fully fitted out three-window coupe, is in the workshop, as delivered from Brookville’s Ohio factory last year. It has been completely wooded out and has hung doors, as well as the trunk lid, dash and much more. It’s an amazing body, which may well end up being another personal project for Jon.
Story: Andy Kirk & Graham Jones
Photos: Andy Kirk & Neil Tadman
Now this Hilborn-injected 383 stroked Chevy-powered coupe really shouts "hot rod"
Neil Melliard added some lovely touches to the rear of Hubert's roadster. Not sure if Hubert is making a personal statement here or if he's just an Austin Powers fan. There's a rolled rear pan grafted over the bobbed chassis rails and the pan is louvered to match those on the trunk lid and hood.
The highly polished injection system atop the 502 cube motor in Kev Foster's truck