NEWS FRONT SEPTEMBER 2017: ALL THE NEWS THAT MATTERS
AFTER what seems like an eternity, Street Machine Hot Rod #18 is upon us! On the cover is Scott Marshall’s iron-tough blown Hemi-powered Willys. Yep, the same Scott Marshall of MADNES Holden ute fame.
And while Scott has been building cars for a long time, he’s got a ways to catch up with Rod Hadfield. At 70 years young, Rod remains Australia’s most audacious custom car builder, and this issue we feature his latest creation: a ’48 Fiat Topolino, which is powered by a 527ci American LaFrance V12!
“The LaFrance is the best-looking engine you could ever imagine,” Rod reckons. “Built under contract by the Lycoming aircraft company, it was very advanced for its day and the quality was incredible.”
The same could be said for the way Rod has hot-rodded the engine and then jammed it inside the tiny Topolino. The build quality is off the charts, but like every car Rod has ever built, it wasn’t made to sit inside a glass case. “It is sheer terror driving it,” he says. “It twists up and off it goes.”
There are 12 other feature cars in this issue too, plus some great history stuff, including the story of Ron Willmott’s Munster Mouse funny car. The Mouse was built in Western Australia in the late 1960s, based upon a JWF Milano kit car. Ron started the project by rs at ry se uilt ate ano fitting the stove-hot 179 out of custom FC ute into the Milano and calling it Mighty Mouse.
With the addition of a full chassis and a flip-up body, the car became the centre-steer Munster Mouse! Ron takes us through the history of this cool example of the backyard innovation that made the early years of Aussie drag racing so much fun.
We also chat to Redcliffe Rodders, a group of young blokes who were building hot rods as far back as 1957!
Sixty years later, the guys involved are still good mates.
Some are still into hot rodding, but all of them have excellent tales to tell – some inspiring, some hair-raising! s his