Hot rods are slowly becoming a new obsession of mine. A crackling V8 through short exhaust coming out the side of a small roadster and wire wheels wrapped in skinny tires has got to be the coolest form of transportation on the road, hands down. Ben Thomas builds hot rods full time at his shop, Rancho Deluxe, in Melbourne Australia. While the rest of the world progresses with new technologies and methods for making cars faster, safer, and the like; Ben has been working his way backwards. He apprenticed with Porsche for four years at age 18 and since then has stuck with the classics. By classics, I mean 30’s and 40’s era cars. I think that makes the jump from ‘classic’ to ‘OG.’ His pristine 1932 Ford is the perfect example of what hot rods are all about – small car, big engine, and a driver’s seat. It’s cool to see how hot rodding isn’t only an American institution and people from all over the world taking an interest in keeping these vehicles alive. What do you guys think? Are hot rods still the epitome of cool? Or should they be left at the diner in favor of something a little more modern?
:: Jonathan McWhorter