dates : 21st Nov 2004
25th Nov 2004
hot-rodder’s dream starts out something like this.
Good solid metal with perhaps a bit of surface rust to
take the sheen off the paint that’s left over.
All the essential trim, which gives you the option of
retaining the bits you want and discarding the rest.
This is a basic canvass, covered at this point in
rust-killing gunk. But when the time is right, this 1949
bullet-nosed Ford will be cruising the streets faster
than Henry Ford and his son Edsel ever dreamed possible.
Monty Booth is the man who owns the mouldering old Ford.
And once you step inside his Aladdin’s cave of street-rodding
treasures out in Midrand, you realize that it’s only a
matter of time before the forty-niner will be gleaming
in candy-apple splendor and burbling like any
well-fettled V8 should. Chevys, Fords, Willys, pick-ups,
A massive 671 Dyers blower, or Supercharger, sits atop
this big-block Chevy motor, crammed into a 140 Willys
two-door Gasser, as these cars are known. Horsepower
outputs from a motor like this? Think big, six-hundred
or so, perhaps even more.
Pinball machines, posters and the inevitable Hog
motor-sickle, or Harley Davidson as those
not-in-the-know would call it. This is one man’s idea
of street-rodding heaven.
second street rod was a classic 1938 Chev Coupe, a car
that is a staple for many rodders in South Africa.
Painted in Corvette red by the famous Harry Corbett, it
runs the classic Ford 38-style blue-dot tail lights
which are totally illegal everywhere, but say loud and
clear that you are a rebel with a cause.
Other touches include a Jaguar XJ6 filler cap neatly
"frenched" into the bodywork, loud-and-proud
exhaust pipes and the low look.
is Monty’s 1958 Chev Apache pick-up, finished in mean
black. This is not just mean to look at, it runs a
seven-and-a-half-litre big-block Chevy motor, a wild
cam, and interior detailed with BMW seats, a Momo
wood-rim steering wheel, VDO gauges custom built into
the standard dash and impressive Steelie Wheels.
These are imported wheels from the United States and
feature the retro look caps and chrome trim that Monty
As he says, why do every rod the same? Every one should
|Another dream he had was
to recapture the moment of his youth when he spent time
in a Chev El Camino pick up.
He loves the flames, done once again by the famous Mr
Corbett. The body was a wreck when he bought it, but
hours of lead filling and a special V8 grille give it a
Muscle car look from the late 1960s.
The flames represent hundreds of hours of masking and
re-masking in reverse fashion to get the different
colours overlaying each other.
for a cruise and what better car than a look-alike of
one of the stars of the movie Grease?
This car is in fact a 1942 Ford two-door, chopped to
convertible configuration by previous owner Steve Katz.
The headlights have been frenched or sunken in, and all
the excess trim on the car has been ditched in favour of
a menacing black presence.
Thankfully the chrome 1940s Ford grille remains,
although it has been tidied up, and gives a wonderful
shimmering presence as the car cruises the streets.
street rodders, the go is more about potential than
actually exploiting all that horsepower.
For this reason most cars run automatic transmissions to
go with the ubiquitous Chevy V8 power.
Inside, the look is plain and clean, with round classic
dials enhancing the no-frills approach.
The wheels are from a 1980 Chevrolet Corvette and the
low stance is thanks to a late-model Chevy suspension.
The number plate is a play on the car’s year of
manufacturer, and the fact that its owner thinks it is
"Far Too Cool."
You could probably say the same about all of Monty Booth’s
Car Torque is