Jeff Rankin
Camarillo, California

Bob Condie
Milpitas, California

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What are Rodster® owners saying about the Rodster® Street Rod?

A few words with Bob Schoedler

Allentown, Pennsylvania

A note to Rodster® fans: The work that Bob Schoedler has documented below is not typical of building a Rodster® kit. These photos show the process of removing, rebuilding, and replacing both the engine and transmission, which are not necessary tasks if the donor vehicle is in good condition. Bob's wasn't...

But the work paid off. Here's a photo of Bob's Rodster and its trophies: Two "1st Place", One "3rd place", One "Presidential Award", and One "Top 20".

My '87 Blazer donor car was a good buy at $750.


I'm sending you the pictures I have taken so far; will send you more as they are developed. I'm including my story, if you want to use any of it.

Best regards to you, Henry, and the guys at the shop.

Bob Schoedler

Allentown, PA

The Rodster caught my eye as soon as I saw it in Hot Rod magazine.

Hot Rod Magazine coverIt was something different and you didn't have to start from a frame build-up, as with most other kit cars. I liked it so much that in February 1999, I sold my '62 Chevy Impala.

In March, I placed my order for a Rodster and started looking for a donor car almost immediately. Within a short time I found one on the Internet and, to my surprise, it was only about five miles from where I live. I went to see what it looked like and I liked what I saw. I got it at a reasonable price because the engine, a 2.8 liter V-6, had a rod through the oil pan.

Here, I'm starting to disassemble the car. The oil on the
floor is from the hole in the pan caused by an engine rod.

The blown 2.8 liter didn't bother me, as I was thinking, "I wonder what would happen if I could put in a V-8 engine. People I spoke to told me the 2.8 wasn't worth rebuilding, so I looked around and found a company that did install V-8's in S 10 chassis -- Jags That Run. I sent for their manual to see what was involved in doing it, which to my surprise didn't seem to be too hard a job. I felt I could do it if I followed their manual. I did and it wasn't, but it was time consuming.

This is the donor car, minus the blown-up engine and transmission.

I purchased and '86 Camaro IROC T.P.I. engine I found in a trader paper and also a 700R-4 transmission from a Camaro, as the S-10 trans is too small to fit up to a Camaro engine.

Before tearing my "new" '86 Camaro TPI engine down to rebuild it, I did a test fitting -- and it worked.

The only other thing -- besides some frame & body modifications -- for the engine to fit in the S10, was to shorten the driveshaft about 1 1/2". Now it fits like it was supposed to be in the S-10. I am very pleased with the installation.

New front and rear brakes were installed as I was lowering front and rear A frames. This picture was taken after painting the firewall and frame.

These photos show my rebuilt Camaro 700 R-4 transmission and my Camaro engine (after it was rebuilt and repainted).

As I said before, I ordered the kit car in March, and it was delivered in April. I really didn't start to work on any part of the car until about June 1st. After I placed my order, I found out I had to have prostate surgery. In April, I had that done and my recuperation period was a lengthy one, and also I could not do any lifting over fifteen pounds. During this period, though, I read the Rodster Assembly Manual over and over to get an idea of what was involved in the building of this car, as I had never built a kit car before.

With the drive shaft shortened one and a half inches, I installed the transmission.

My recuperation period over, I started work on the car, and was doing fine when I was told I had to have Radiation treatments every day until September. My mornings are spent going to and from the hospital, so I work on the car whenever I feel like it. I'm a retired firefighter, 62, and I love the Rodster.

Finally, I installed the engine in the frame!

Henry Caroselli has been most helpful with my questions for him and I believe he and his company will go a long way, providing a kit car at a reasonable price, and if I can build it, anyone can. With a little knowledge of tools and mechanics, you're on your way to a lot of driving fun and your Rodster will be all the rage at the car cruises. My Rodster Kit Car number is 054.  Have you heard of the TV show, "Car 54, Where Are You?" People will know where this car 54 will be. See you at the car cruises!!

The finished installation of the V-8 was a roaring success.

Dear Henry,

Here are the pictures I told you I would send to you, also the engine particulars. Engine is '86 Chevy 305ci. TPI w/Summit camsharft 0.50 lift @ 204-214 duration and super chip that gives me about 40 more hp. Combined with K&N air filter and other small additions, it develops 240+ hp, which to me is plenty of hp for the Rodster.

It really responds well when the accelerator is pressed and peole are amazed at how quick it is. I didn't have a lot of power in mind when I built the engine, because I knew the Rodster did not need a lot of power, being a small car, and I wanted a car that would give me good fuel mileage as well as a little zip. I am well satisfied at what power and mileage I get.

As I told you before I never thought I would ever have a car that would win me a trophy, but your well-designed Rodster did it for me. I never thought that I would have a show car and one that got me trophies, too. I am really proud of my Rodster, and I let people know it. Wherever I go, people ask me about it and they can't believe it started out as a Blazer. They just tell me, "You've got to be kidding," and I show them the pictures of it as it was, and they just stand there in amazement.

I never had more people ask me questions about a car than I have about the Rodster. It's like the article in one of the kit car magazines, under the picture of the Rodster, it says, "Can you find the Blazer in this picture?" Well, it's true. I ask people the same question.

All I can say is, if people want something different and to be a hit at car shows and cruises, they should get a Rodster. I can't say enough about my Rodster and I am very pleased with all the attention I get when I take the car for a ride. I will say I love to drive this little car and I do drive it as often as I can. I just love it.

Henry, if you do get any inquiries about the Rodster from my area, let me know, and if they haven't seen one all together, I would be happy to let them know what car show or cruise I would be at locally, so they could see it first hand.

See you at the shows, Car 54 out.

Bob Schoedler

Allentown, PA

This shows the B & M ratchet shifter installed.

And this is the great-looking finished interior.

Bob's complete Rodster is a beauty, but he wanted one more special finishing touch...

...a real convertible styled removable soft top -- so he had it specially made.

Two views of Bob's special soft top -- up and down.

Hi Henry,

Here are pictures of the soft top I had made for the Rodster.

Also, that's me with the Rodster at one of our rolling cruises. It is a big hit wherever I take the car. The rolling cruise was about two weeks before I had the top on, and on that day it did rain, but just enough to make the car wet -- but I enjoyed the rain as it was a hot day and it felt good on my face.

I am taking the car to as many cruises and car shows as I can make, not only local, but into New Jersey and other parts of PA. I want to show your car as much as I can. 

At one car cruise last week, I was approached and asked if I would be willing to go to a show as an exhibitor car and it would cost me nothing. That's a first for me, so I happily said yes I would be there. I never had so much attention with a car as I have had with the Rodster. Best investment I ever made on a car.

Best regards,

Bob Schoedler