Why RODS & PINS ?
The Long Story Short.
If I have to pinpoint a stage in my life when my passion for American Hot Rods was born, I would have to say it was the day I was sitting next to a buddy in high school who was drawing fabulous caricatures of pimped out automotive creations with outrageous big wheels in his Latin work book!! The look of these “Ed Roth-like cartoons” resonated deeply with me and right then and there swore to myself that I would build my own real-life Hot Rod someday in the future.
From that day on, I was fascinated by cars and motorbikes, attending all types of races and car shows – whether high speed track racing, sprints, off-road, car rally cross, drags, motocross, F1, you name it, I was there!! Hollywood movies about cars, trucks, bikes and races also played a major role in my inspiration !!
My first serious project, at the age of about 14, was restoring an A.J.S. Single 500 motorbike, which had to be done in secret at a friend’s house, as my father was totally against bikes because of injuries sustained from racing Speedway bikes himself. Unfortunately, I only kept that bike for a very short time, as it was pretty difficult to only ride it over weekends – while keeping an eye out for my dad! Since then, I have bought and sold many different makes and types of bikes, but Harley Davidson’s have a special place in my heart.
As much as I love most things automotive, restoring classics has never rung my bell. Hot Rods were so much more rebellious – making old cars faster, lower or higher, flashier, somehow sexier than the original creation was my infatuation. I’ve believe that just about anybody can restore a classic car or bike with all the original parts, but that would just be boring!! It needs to be changed and improved so subtly that if the original designer saw it, he would think. WOW !! ..I should have done that.
American cars and bikes in my mind, have always been bigger, better and have more muscle than any other breed around, so they generally have been my choice and preference to restore & modify.
Since those early days at high school and university, I have completed various car and bike projects and sold a few of them along the way – something I have regretted in hindsight. Now I am simply unable to part with any of my babies.
In 1994 I met Ivor Pringle, while hunting for CJ2A Jeep parts. In passing, he showed me his dream car, in various fiberglass bits and pieces. It was a 1934 Ford 3-window coupe project that he was planning to build & sell in South Africa. It was chopped just like “Eliminator” (the ZZ-Top Hot Rod). I was blown away.!! The Hot Rod virus had really been notched up. After that, there was no stopping me.
Gaye and I were very lucky to see the real So-Cal built & Billy Gibbons’s owned Eliminator at the 50th NSRA in 2019, which was quite a cathartic experience for me.
Another fascination I have had since an early age are pinball machines and all the allure associated with them. Pinball machines were banned at one stage in South Africa as they were considered to be gambling machines. This meant you could only find one in the back room of the local corner Café. This pastime was also outlawed by my dad, which obviously made the attraction even greater. Playing pinny EVERYDAY after school was much more fun than doing homework.
I have slowly but surely built up my collection over the years. Due to lack of space in my home, I have built a dedicated pinball room which affords family and friends many hours of fun.
This website is simply a showcase to share my passion with like-minded enthusiasts. I hope it gives you as much pleasure as I have had building and collecting my wheeled and pinned treasures and the experiences I’ve had on the way.
My latest project is a 1952 Zwitter VW Beetle Restomod with all the bells and whistles…….. watch this space!!