Street Shaker

Street Rodder - - Contents - Chuck Vranas

When you’re in­flu­enced early in life by Ed Roth’s au­to­mo­tive cre­ations and Rat Fink– in­fused art­work it’s easy to take that in­spi­ra­tion to the next level by cre­at­ing a per­sonal build that’s per­co­lated for decades in the back of your mind. We’re talk­ing about one that would look right at home on a Roth T-shirt hav­ing a mon­ster pok­ing out of the roof with a muscle-bound arm grab­bing at the shifter while in the midst of a wild smoky burnout. That’s what led Bob Rut­lidge of Hick­ory, North Carolina, to cre­ate his lat­est hot rod, com­plete with wicked pro­por­tions and su­per­charged V-8.

From his early days of grow­ing up in Rich­land, Michi­gan, one thing has been constant in Bob’s life and that’s an at­trac­tion to rad­i­cal hop-ups. Since his early model build­ing days at the fam­ily kitchen ta­ble through ex­pe­ri­enc­ing blis­ter­ing ni­tro-laced drag rac­ing at Martin US 131 Drag­way in the ’60s and ’70s, his at­trac­tion to cool cars is eas­ily traced back to in­flu­ences from his dad and un­cle. Learn­ing to drive the fam­ily dune buggy

long be­fore he earned his li­cense lit the fuse that con­tin­ued onto hang­ing out on a reg­u­lar ba­sis at fam­ily friend Bill Chalker’s Gulf gas sta­tion. It was the place where cool cars con­gre­gated, es­pe­cially since it was on the road that led US 131 where all the vis­it­ing rac­ers would pass by. He even­tu­ally started work­ing there af­ter high school, hon­ing his me­chan­i­cal skills while also dis­cov­er­ing lo­cal sal­vage yards to feed his need for

parts to build a num­ber of hot rods. He opened Rut­ter’s Rod Shop with his wife, Patt, 20 years ago in Kala­ma­zoo, Michi­gan, even­tu­ally re­lo­cat­ing the busi­ness to Hick­ory.

Want­ing to bring his dream build to life he lo­cated a ’30 Ford Model A coupe at the NSRA Louisville swap meet a few years ago. The car was a Wyoming barn find that had seen plenty of abuse, how­ever, it was an ideal start­ing point. To give the coupe per­fect pro­por­tions the stock frame was stretched

7 inches to a 110-inch wheel­base, packed with a cus­tom X-mem­ber and cross­mem­bers and kicked in the rear. To chan­nel all the power out back a Ford 9-inch was filled with 3.25 gears spin­ning 31-spline axles, sus­pended in place by a Hei­dts tri­an­gu­lated four-link com­bined with Al­dan Amer­i­can coilover shocks. For per­fect han­dling and daz­zling looks a Hei­dts Su­per­ride

IFS fea­tures pol­ished stain­less up­per and lower con­trol arms with match­ing spin­dles deftly matched to Al­dan Amer­i­can coilover shocks and an an­tiroll bar. To tame the beast fluid moves through stain­less lines to a Kugel Kom­po­nents dual mas­ter with Wil­wood discs and calipers an­chored at each cor­ner. Noth­ing

makes a state­ment bet­ter than a set of Bil­let Spe­cial­ties 17-inch front and 22-inch rear Chicaynemodel wheels wear­ing BFGoodrich rub­ber to bring it all to the pavement.

For shak­ing the streets Bob called on Dan Whis­nant at WSC Rac­ing En­gines & Heads in Casar to add plenty of venom to a ’70 454 Chevy mill. The block was mas­saged to 461 ci and filled with a 4-inch stroked Ea­gle crank with match­ing rods topped by a set of JE forged pis­tons urged by an Er­son hy­draulic roller cam. A set of Pa­triot Per­for­mance alu­minum heads make plenty of power, es­pe­cially when matched to a Weiand 8-71 su­per­charger topped with a pair of Hol­ley 600-cfm carbs wear­ing a Hil­born-style scoop. An MSD ig­ni­tion lights the fire with spent gases blow­ing through a set of cus­tom San­der­son zoomie head­ers. Added daz­zle comes from a Street & Per­for­mance ser­pen­tine sys­tem and plenty of plated and pol­ished bits. To move the goods a race-prepped TH400 trans from Phoenix Trans­mis­sions links to a cus­tom drive­shaft from Martin Spring. It’s all good for close to 900 hp to the rear wheels.

Bob wedge-chan­neled the body 7 inches at the cowl with a grad­ual trail off to­ward the rear. He fol­lowed with a grace­ful bow to the fire­wall while also short­en­ing and pie-wedg­ing the cowl fol­lowed by metal fin­ish­ing the en­tire body and set­ting all the gaps. To make the car stand out he se­lected PPG’s Sun­burst Gold Metal­lic to bring it all to life. Rut­ter’s Rod Shop team mem­ber Austin Ted­der then made the body ra­zor sharp and laid down the mile-deep vibe. The ’34 Chevy grille shell from Out­law Per­for­mance with an Alu­m­i­craft insert com­bined with the vi­brant red roof insert fin­ishes the look.

In­side a ’34 Chevy stan­dard dash was flush mounted and filled with an ar­ray of cus­tom Clas­sic In­stru­ments di­als to mon­i­tor the vitals while a LeCarra banjo-styled wheel nav­i­gates and a Gen­nie shifter pulls the gears. A cool breeze from Vin­tage Air keeps the of­fice per­fect while a cus­tom bench was cov­ered with yards of tra­di­tion­ally pleated bright red leather by A.J. Gisonda of Street Seats in Old Fort, North Carolina, who also cov­ered all sur­round­ing pan­els and laid out the com­ple­ment­ing Day­tona weave car­pet­ing.

We re­ally dig Bob’s Roth-in­spired vi­sion come to life and can’t wait to see it on the streets.

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