Rodster® owners saying about the Rodster® Street
A few words with
How did you find
out about the Rodster Street Rod?
I originally wanted to build
a ‘32 Ford coupe kit car. One night while I was looking on the
internet I found the Rodster website. Ever since I was a kid I have
liked the look of the ’40 Ford and this really got my attention.
I went through the website numerous times looking at the Sedan Delivery.
Why do you like the
With most of the kit cars
there is only room for two. But with the Sedan Delivery there is room
in the back for two more people and it can be a very practical car.
I live in Pennsylvania where we do not have sunny or warm weather all
of the time. This would really be more usable in this area.
When you decided
to order the car how did this process go?
There were not a lot of things
to decide on when I ordered the kit. I knew what I wanted to do with
the car before I ordered it.
Did the kit come
The kit arrived sooner than
I expected. In my daily job I deal with a lot of suppliers. They tell
you anything to get you to buy their products, but when it comes time
to deliver they always have a hand full of excuses as to why they are
weeks later than what you were promised. This did not happen.
Did you get your
manual ahead of time?
Yes, I did. I wanted to start
getting the car ready so when the kit came I would be ready to install
Was the manual easy
Yes, it was for me. I am
very mechanically inclined and this served as a very good guide. I read
how the kit is normally installed and made some changes in the way I
What kind of changes
and custom touches did you make?
There is a list of things
that I did:
1) I used the original
hood latch and mounted it to the top of the firewall. Then installed
the spring and safety catch on the hood. Now you can open the hood
from inside the car. It pops open when you pull the latch and the
safety catch keeps it from accidentally coming up if something fails.
2) There are gas springs
mounded on the right and left side under the hood. The brackets are
fiberglassed to the hood and bolted to the frame. They help lift the
hood and hold it open when the hood is up. There is almost no effort
required to open or close the hood.
3) Two pieces of 1/8”
fiberglass were cut and fitted between the rear fenders and the existing
wheel wells. They were fastened to the body and fiberglassed to the
new rear fenders. This gives the fenders support and keeps stuff from
being thrown up into the fender space.
4) There is a joint in
the new rocker panels where they are put together. I did not fasten
these two pieces together. I made a bracket that is fastened to the
existing inner rocker panel and the bottom on the new rocker panels.
This bracket gives it support and also allows you to remove the rockers
without removing the rear fenders.
5) The rear fenders are
fastened to the body with hex head sheet metal screws and construction
adhesive. This allowed the fenders to be drawn in tight to the body.
6) The hood hinge was
reworked to allow it to be adjustable. There are angle brackets on
the frame that are slotted. This enables the hinge block to be moved
up and down, front and back. This gets the hood to line up almost
perfectly with the front quarters.
7) The rear lights were
removed and filled in with sheet metal. There are ’39 Ford taillights
in their place.
8) The side mirrors were
removed and the doors were filled in with sheet metal. Peep mirrors
9) Brackets were made
for the radiator out of angle iron with gussets for support. They
are mounted in rubber to eliminate vibration from the frame.
10) A 4” channel
bumper was fabricated using some of the original bumper brackets.
It is tucked in front of the radiator and clears the hood. The shelf
brackets were eliminated and the inner fenders are bolted to the new
bumper. This made everything in the front solid.
11) The rear bumper was
sectioned 1” and moved forward 1 7/8”. This kept the rear
bumper functional and now it looks like it’s part of the body.
12) The headlights were
reworked. Originally there was about 5/8” of the bulb retaining
ring sticking out past the trim ring. Now the trim ring and the retaining
ring are even.
It sounds like you
made some good changes.
I feel that I took something
very good and made it a little better.
What did you buy
for a donor?
Around here a two wheel drive
S-10 Blazer is difficult to find. I started looking in junkyards for
a two-wheel drive frame. Once I found a frame, I looked at a couple
of four-wheel drive cars. I found one with a rust free body and an interior
almost like new. The 1985 S-10 I bought did not have an engine or transmission.
How long did it take
to change the frame?
It only took a couple of
hours. I used a two-post hydraulic garage lift to raise and lower the
body on the frames. It was a piece of cake to do and I would do it again.
What did you do to
the frame before you installed it?
I degreased it and tore it
all apart. At that point I replaced almost everything that could be
replaced and painted it.
What did you use
for a motor and transmission?
I rebuilt a 350 hp., four-bolt
main 355 cu. in. Chevy with a 650 Holley carburetor and used a reworked
700R4 that has a shift kit and all of the latest upgrades. It also has
a 2800 stall speed converter.
How many hours do
you have in the kit?
I did not keep exact time
on each part of the project but I feel I am close with my hours. I made
so many changes to the original donor it should be broken down in areas.
The installation of the kit took about 150 hrs. The preparation of the
frame and the change took about 100 hrs. The engine and transmission
installation took about 200 hours. The upgrades to the kit took about
another 150 hours and wet sanding and buffing the car took 30 hours.
The total time in the car is about 630 hours.
How many months did
it take you to do your car?
I bought the donor on October
22, 2002, ordered my kit on October 24, 2002 and had the car finished
on February 21, 2003.
When did you do the work?
Almost every night and weekend
was spent in the garage. I had two weeks off when the car went to the
Did you paint the
No. I had the painter do
the body work and he put a lot of clear on the car so that I could wet
sand and buff it. I have about 30 hours in that work.
Are you going to
build another Rodster Sedan Delivery?
Yes, in fact I am looking
at a couple of S-10 Blazers right now. I think I just have to build
a few more, it was so much fun.
Are you going to
do anything different the next time?
Yes. While I was building
this Sedan Delivery, neat ideas just kept coming up. I am running out
of toy space so I think I would like to build cars for other people
and keep thinking up new stuff to do to them.
What do you think
the price of a car should be?
They are like any Street
Rod; the more unique they become the higher the price will be.
Is this your first
No. I have been working on
cars for 40 years. I have had a lot of project cars and trucks.
Have you worked with
Yes. I have had a few boats
and Corvettes that I have done fiberglass work on.
How many miles do
you have on your car since it was completed?
About three miles. That is
about three times around the block. I have applied for a licensed but
have not received it. I expect it any day.
You said that you
had the car at a show already.
Yes. Two days after the car
was finished I trailered it to a show and got a trophy with it.
What were the comments
you got with the car?
The most asked question was
“What Is It?” People really liked the car and thought it
Would you care if
anyone would contact you about the kit?
No. I would be glad to talk
to anyone and share ideas and information.
Would you be interested
in building a Rodster for someone?
Sure. I think that would
be fun. I would be glad to talk to anyone interested in having a car
built for them.
What do you think
of our website?
It is really great. I have
read all of the articles from the Owners. It is neat to hear about the
cars. I wish every one would contribute an article about their car.
your e-Mail address, should people want to contact you?