When I think of the San Francisco Bay Area, I think of hippies, hilly streets, cable cars, cloudy days and sourdough bread. The last thing I think of is hot rodding, which I associate strongly with southern California.
But if you venture over to Pleasant Hill, California, a little town in the East Bay area, you’ll find Hill’s Rod and Custom and their amazing 1951 Studebaker woody project. I saw this car on display at the Dynamat booth at SEMA 2013.
On the show floor, the dark green coupe with gorgeous woody bodywork was drawing quite a crowd from passersby, and for good reason. Studebaker was a popular car company after World War II, but they never produced a fastback car or a woody. This is an extremely custom build with some expert-level fabrication.
This car is set up to do more than just look pretty. Underneath, the whole thing rides on an Art Morrison chassis which will help it stay planted through the turns.
Even more unique than the car’s bodywork is the engine – a 390ci Ford V8 from an Edsel that is wearing a very rare prototype fuel-injection system from Propulsion Development Laboratories. This motor was featured on the cover of the June 1959 issue of Hot Rod Magazine! While there’s nothing wrong with sticking a crate motor in your hot rod, the heritage of this engine adds to the car’s story and makes it just a little more original and unique.
The car was basically complete aside from the interior, and I’m sure it will be as gorgeous as the rest of the car when finished. My hat goes off to Hill’s Rod and Custom on this truly one-of-a-kind build!