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“When I pulled up to the burnout box, people grabbed their cameras. Tons of flashes were going off when I lit ’em up, lit ’em up big! Everyone went crazy!” Ken Belanger says with a smile. The memory was still fresh in his mind and the crowd’s response was the perfect pay off for completing his 1967 Ford Mustang coupe.
Destiny. Some people believe that all things and all interactions follow a predetermined path and you can’t change the outcome no matter how hard you try. The whole idea might sound a little far fetched, but if you’re Tim Tuel—owner of this incredible 1964 Impala SS convertible—you might feel a little different.
Every time Ron Kintz looks at his 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix, he can't help but smile. After spending ten years turning a scorched and melted scrap pile into this streamlined starship of a car, you'd think he'd be tired of seeing it. But for Ron, this car is a dream come true, and he made it happen with some sweat, some tears, and the help of his friends and family. The pride is plain to see even as he simply flicks on the headlights for the photographer. He ran those wires, installed that switch, polished that chrome trim around the lights by hand, and he did it all and more while keeping his business running and family growing.
“Big engine, big tires, and great sound—that’s my definition of a real hot rod,” preaches Detroit native Steve Weintraub. If you don’t know what he means, just check out his show-stealing 1931 Ford Model A coupe. Need more convincing? Ask him to start it up and hold on tight. From the moment the fire meets the fuel, the '31’s towering powerplant hits your senses with the thunder of big-bore combustion combined with the sweet whine from the blower—an irresistible sound for the true hot rodder. It took Steve four years to turn his manifesto into masterpiece; a rolling testimony to his belief that one man, with a limited budget and a little help from his friends, could build a no-compromises hot rod capable of standing toe-to-toe with big-name custom jobs on the competitive car show circuit.
The breathtaking, metallic root beer and champagne paint scheme covering Brian
Carder’s street rod is a perfect metaphor for his life-long obsession with the
iconic Willys Coupe. It began in his youth—watching in awe, as the Willys
gassers of the day shook the pavement at his local drag strip. Years later, when
the time was right for the empty-nester to realize his ultimate hot rod dream,
he had one goal—build the best ’41 coupe possible!
“I knew it had to have a big engine…” says Bob Motz of his 1970 Challenger R/T, “…and I wanted it to be different. I’ve seen my fair share of Chevy 350s and ’Cudas. They’re nice, but I wanted to have the car that you don’t see at every show and it had to be done right,” Bob continues. Mission accomplished.
Photos by Jason Marker, Full Custom Photo
The year: 1986. The place: a barn somewhere in New York state. The players: a car-mad high school senior and a neglected but still-proud 1956 Cadillac Sedan de Ville.
When bare metal just won’t make the grade, car enthusiasts and commercial shops call up Bob Bertelsen— owner of A Plus Powder Coaters in Columbiana, Ohio—to transform it into something special. So when Bob applied this same idea to his 1967 Camaro RS convertible, it’s no surprise that it turned out tougher than a $2 steak with a look that sizzles.
Back in 1967, a hot rodder bought this Corvette brand new as a daily driver and weekend warrior. He had lots of fun in it, and spent a great deal of time at his local speed shop, buying parts, bench racing, and talking with the owner and fellow customers.
Photography by Studio Martone
Ray Ruminski always wanted to build a Chevrolet sedan delivery—a wicked custom that would double as a shop wagon for Ray’s Radiator Clinic, his Warren, Michigan radiator and hot rod business. That desire was reinforced several-fold when a customer brought in a 1953 delivery for a V8 conversion and a suspension update.