Gone are the days when building a hot rod meant swapping in a junkyard motor and some bolt-ons to any old jalopy. The collector car market is now dominated by elite restoration shops that completely deconstruct and reassemble the classics of yesterday as modern hot rods. These cars are adorned with precision machined parts, exotic materials like titanium and carbon fiber, and one-off fabricated parts. In many cases, these frame-off resto-mods may take one to three years to build and cost upwards of $150,000 or more!
Hot rodding has become an over-the-top, “mine’s-bigger-than-yours” competition of insane proportions. The latest example of this comes from SpeedKore Performance in Grafton, Wisconsin. Their 1970 Dodge Charger “Tantrum” is one of the wildest custom car builds I have ever seen.
In 1970, the only people working with carbon fiber would have been the aviation industry and NASA. This space-age material is incredibly lightweight and strong. At the time this car rolled off the production line, it would have been unthinkable to have such materials in a passenger car. But that’s exactly what Speedkore have done: carbon fiber hood, front fenders, and bumpers.
If cars could talk, I think most of them would probably just be complaining all the time. Loudly. They would whine about not having their oil changed often enough, about speed bumps, or maybe about kids spilling drinks inside them. Some of them would most likely piss and moan about not getting to “stretch their legs” on the open road often enough. Others would be begging to be painted a different color, or even to simply be run through a car wash every once in a while. A few of the grievances would be understandable, but for the most part, nobody would have anything real to complain about.
In a crowded parking lot world populated by obnoxious loudmouth econoboxes desperately vying for your attention, this guy would be way in the back by himself, staring at the ground, reluctant to even speak. There would be an awkward silence for what would have felt like an eternity, after which he would pick his weary head up, look you dead in the eye, and you two would share a brief moment of understanding. Just before you start to turn and walk the other way, a hoarse, gravelly voice- barley audible over the din of the parking lot- would utter “I’ve seen some shit”.