How to build a hot rod from scratch. Chevrolet 1928
Like any red blooded young Australian kid, as soon as I saw my very first Hot Rod in 1969 I just had to have one. Career, marriage, kids, house…and sheds! Had to come first.
Everybody probably knows just how much it costs to build a hot rod, so I kind of put the thought out of my mind and decided to build a lovely XY GT replica instead. Some of you would have seen it getting around on cruise nights over the last couple of years.
Sometimes sh*t happens and we have all heard the story of “I found this one in an old shed and…” Well it sort of happened just like that. One of the guys at work cut into a conversation we were having about cars and hot rods at SMOKO. The story went like: “I know where there is an old steel 28 Chev Roadster in a shed”, and so I said: “really?”, and he said “and its for sale for $2000”.
Needless to say I had to follow up on this Roadster and fast. To cut a long story short the old guy was not well, and just wanted to clear his sheds out for a quick sale and then set his missus up in a retirement home in Gawler before his time ran out. $2000 changed hands and I drove out of there faster than hell before he could change his mind! I already had plans to spend all of that night on Tread Hunter shopping for parts.
When I got home Julie (the wife) went ballistic! All I had was a car trailer full of tin panels and a rusty old chassis.
The 64 Dodge Phoenix I was working on got the flick sideways and I started to build the 28 Chev Roadster instead. For the unknowing, there is a reason why Chevrolet’s of this age are so rare. They were supported by a heap of wood which used to rot away at an alarming rate. When the Chevy’s fell apart (literally), they most often ended up in the local tip.
The first 12 months were spent “steeling out” the body with 25mm SHS.
This the model car I decided to copy.
It screamed nostalgia hot rod from every angle.
To make sure I stayed true to my original plan I had it tattooed onto my arm so I wouldn’t forget or compromise the original concept!
The 2nd year was spent building a chassis and mounting up all the running gear (see Tech sheet at the end). The 3rd year has been spent painting and final assembly. Sounds really easy doesn’t it? It wasn’t trust me.
This is my first hot rod build and I had to do countless hours of research and talking to people to make sure I stayed on track.
Lots and lots of welding
The most expensive bits. It was cheaper to buy a ‘crate’ 350 Chev and brand new Turbo 350 than it was to buy 2nd hand and then rebuild them by about $3000. You do the math!
Thanks to our friends at “Out Law Speed Shop”.
The roadsters first reveal was as promised at the 2009 SMASA Show and Shine. It copped plenty of attention and by the end of the day my voice was worn out talking to all the people who were keen to ask how to build a rod for themselves.
Anyway, the Roadster has since been pulled apart, painted and reassembled as you see it in these pictures.
I have to do everything by myself except for trimming to cut costs. Along the way I have taught myself many new skills.
I’m planning on revealing the Hot Rod for the final time with engine running and all painted ready for TAC inspections and Registration at Brian’s workshop “Cool Trimming”on the 23 August. You will definitely start seeing this Rod at SMASA cruise nights late 2009.
Bucket seats are from a Mercedes and covered in ‘Hot Rod Red’ by “Cool Trimming”. Thanks a bunch Brian. New lap sash belts also.
Tony’s tip: “Develop a vision in your head, put it on paper, go for it, and stick to the plan. Anybody can create artwork like this.”
Tech Sheet and Specs:
“Too kool for Skool”
|Occupation:||Australian Public Servant & Reservist|
|Body:||Original steel Roadster, custom steel roof, custom Radiator support panel.|
|Color:||L65(Brilliant red) and L44 (White)|
|Paint Type:||Acrylic by Protec paints|
|Engine:||350 Chevrolet (4 bolt mains)|
|Tranny:||Turbo 350 by B&M with stage 2 shift kit and 2500 stall|
|Exhaust:||LakesHeaders, 2 1/4” pipe & Turbo Mufflers|
|Intake/Carb:||Eldelbrock Torker II & Holley 600 vac sec|
|Chassis:||Original 1928 Chev fully boxed with K member|
|Track:||Front (1511mm) – rear (1575 mm)|
|Wheel base:||106 inches|
|Rear end:||Ford 9 inch / 3.54:1 LSD with richmond Gears|
|Suspension Info:||Front : k&k custom with Jaguar upper and lower control arms. Jag coil over shocks. Commodore Rack & pinion.Rear: four bar with pan hard bar and Jag coil over shocks|
|Brakes:||Front – jag 11” ventilated disc with 3 spot brembo’s.Rear – ford 10” drum’s. xA Ford. XE Booster and master cylinder|
|Wheels:||Steel (jag front and custom rear)|
|Tyres:||Hoosier 185/70R15 and 255/60R15|
|Upholstery:||‘Hot Rod Red’ by “Cool Trimming”|
|Dash Board:||VDO Gauges|
|Steering Column:||Bedford truck|
|Steering wheel:||Bedford truck|
|lights:||39 Ford truck with h4 lenses, Hella LED’s|
Special thanks to:
General Motors Chevrolet (god bless em), OutLaw speed shop, Sprint Auto Parts, Protec Paints, Cool trimming, and My very patient family.
Tony Lear, SMASA member
And this is how I saw the hot rod through my camera: