What do you do when older brothers or neighbours return from fighting a war in Europe and bring with them a nifty sports machine that makes your hand-me-down Model A look very old and sad? If you lived in late-1940s USA you lowered your Ford as far as the ancient chassis would allow, acquired a second-hand V8 from the millions considered War Surplus and built a Hot Rod.
For many young rodders, the freedom of owning a car was second only to the achievement of building it largely yourself or with assistance from a local body shop.
Witness the line from the Beach Boys ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ where the Deuce owner brags about having the “pink slip Daddy”. In US automotive parlance, pink-slips denote clear title to a car with no money owing.
Australia caught rodding fever somewhat later than the USA, however the 1960s saw the rise of rod or ‘street machine’ clubs and cars being built that matched the visual spectacle of those from across the Pacific.
From there an industry emerged with welders, metal workers, painters and trimmers of the highest calibre recruited by panel shops that would specialise in ‘custom’ builds. Many spectacular rods from the early days were still home-built, however as competition on the show circuit became more intense and the demands for detail more exacting, pretty much everyone needed the best welding set, spray booth and sewing machines in the market and they cost major money.
Owning a pre-1950s rod and registering it as a Special Interest vehicle involves joining a Club with affiliations to the Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF). There are many such clubs throughout Australia; find one on-line or ask an owner next time you visit a show where rods are on display.
Arranging Street Rod, Custom Car or Modified Insurance via Enthusiast is easy too. Among our team are people who have owned, constructed and judged these types of vehicles and who can analyse the quality of the work involved and identify at a glance the type of engine and other items that contribute to your vehicle’s value.
Photo courtesy of : Deluxe Rod Shop