Photos and article by Etienne Fouche
What is a Hot Rod? To me personally, it is always something that is built from the heart, regardless of what others may think. And not forgetting a powerful and noisy V8 thrown into the mix. Back in the day, youngsters were always finding new and cheap ways to get their little coupes and four doors to go faster which included, amongst other things, pulling off hubcaps, ripping out the back seat and removing windshield wiper arms. The end result that additional speed was gained by removing weight from the car. Other ways that were explored with regards to increasing speed of a vehicle were re-grinding camshafts for more lift and separation, fiddling with old Rochester single barrel carbs, filing ports and welding longer exhaust manifolds.
All of this created a new and exciting culture. Friends were made and lost in street races and Roadhouses, drive-in cinemas and tune-up shops were the places to be seen. Now, decades later, we still enjoy going fast and due to this, a lot of us still wish we were a part of that era.
Liza van Zyl made her dream a reality in the form of this neat fibreglass ‘33 Coupe Roadster. Liza and her husband, Adriaan have always loved high-powered cars. Both of them have enjoyed success doing circle track racing. This racing passion has taken them to America a few times and Liza has even raced in the States on the Dixie track, finishing a respectable 5th place against the Yanks. Through all their travels and American friends, it made their urge to own a Rod grow. Last year, at a car show, they noticed an orange ‘33 Coupe Roadster and they got to work on negotiating a price that would convince the owner to sell… R325 000 later and they finally owned their own Hot Rod. Adriaan started immediately by stripping the ‘33 down so that they could build the car of their dreams. They removed fenders, skirts. They added air suspension so that she could go low and left the rest of the suspension as the traditional Jag set up. Fast forward 8 months and there was finally form to Liza’s vision.
The body was prepared to perfection and shot with satin black paint. Some ghost flames were added to pull the whole theme together. Paint was done by Quinton Fouche of Satio Touch in Pretoria. The existing small block Chevy was improved with AFR heads and the cam changed to a slightly milder version for street use. The air fuel mixture gets sucked into the engine by a 650CFM Holley and spent gas exits out through a full stainless steel custom mandrel bent exhaust system. It must be said that this exhaust system is a work of art and cost a lot more than your typical Corolla mild steel set up.
All of this get up and go gets pushed down onto the road with steamroller size rear wheels that are 18.5 inches in diameter. This is serious rubber and the widest I have seen on a road legal car.
Custom widened American Racing wheels are wrapped with Hoosier tyres all round. The wheels just knock the look out the park as nothing spoils a car more than the wrong wheels. Interior-wise things were kept neat with two-bucket seats keeping the driver and passenger in place whilst the car takes corners. The first thing you see looking out the front window is the big flytrap intake polished to a shimmer. Dials are well in view with fuel and brake pedal in comfortable reach. For those readers whom have builda “kit car” will know that it is not always easy to get form and function right, something we take for granted in our daily drivers.
The cost to date of this build is R600K. This is by no means cheap speed like in “the good old days” but absolutely worth every penny for someone this passionate about Rodding. This car has already won various awards which include the Ivor Pringle floating award,
Best of Show, Best Rod, Best Engine Bay and the list goes on. No doubt “4ever17” will continue making waves within the Gauteng custom car scene. At the end of the day, Hot Rodding can be summarized as self-expression, art, damn cool and a dream come true.