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There are a lot of insane hot rods out there and they all vary in skill, craftsmanship and attitude, but one thing they do all seem to have in common is their drivability. The guys at Drive have introduced us to a steampunk hot rod that has it all, including some great handling.
The old phrase ‘the devil is in the detail’ is something that springs to mind when looking at this car. It’s a replica of the 1933 Ford Roadster and so the fundamentals of the car are over 80 years old and one of the most influential designs ever, I’d say that’s impressive.
The origins of this steampunk hot rod
Chris Miranda at West Coast Auto Craft found himself at a steampunk convention and had the ingenious idea of capturing the essence of steampunk in a car. To him, it was a moment of clarity.
There are different kinds of builders out there and there are a lot of people that will build a replica car – like this one – from a catalogue with no ingenuity or originality. The craftsman, however, is the one who gets right down to the metal, redesigns it and puts it back together again.
Miranda created his own vision here. Everything, including the panels and the color combination, was done by him. Originally, Miranda didn’t have a passion for cars. He wandered into a vintage Ferrari restoration shop when he was younger and during his parents’ divorce, he found himself back there. Miranda talks about how it could have been any shop, a shop for furniture, and he would have found himself doing it.
How did he do it?
When it comes to building a steampunk hot rod, it’s hard to capture the history and build character into the car at the same time. But this one has that new age vibe that really works. If you get away from the fact that it’s a fiberglass kit car, everything about it is different. Initially, Miranda started working with aluminum but as the car developed he found brass and copper coming into the design which is what adds to the steampunk effect of the overall look.
During the design process, Miranda decided he wanted a central focus piece to really make it the ultimate steampunk hot rod. The idea of creating a gauge that the dash could be built around was incredibly appealing but trying to get the design on paper was particularly difficult. Discussing his idea with his wife over breakfast, she – because she’s an artist – was able to sketch out a concept drawing of what he wanted: one gauge with all the other gauges inside and built in a clock-like fashion that’s true to the steampunk style.
There’s no right or wrong way to build a car and individually each person has their own skillset in which to contribute to the project. Miranda had taken the time to get to know how each metal machine worked and how each part of the car is built and put together so when it comes to building his own designs, he’s as capable as a whole team of people.
The technical stuff
This car broke a lot of rules but it’s paid off. Mechanically, it has a 510 big block engine with fuel injection and has a lot of technology that’s used to build sprint cars. It has 650 hp and 2000 lbs torque.
Visually, it’s amazing.