Built by Eddie van der Walt
Let’s think about Hot Rods, what’s the first make that comes up, Ford, Chevy or maybe even Mercury but how far down the list would you put Fiat?
Eddie van der Walt from Bethal put that particular make ahead of all the rest when he unleashed his creation on an unsuspecting world. Eddie isn’t a run of the mill Rodder as you will see in this article but I love it. We need to follow our own way and stop looking over the pond to see what we should be doing.
It all started when Eddie found an old body rusting away in a chicken coup in Pretoria. The base of his dreams was a 1934 Fiat Topolino with more rust than paint. The original Topolino was equipped with a 569 cc four-cylinder, side-valve, water-cooled engine producing an earth shattering 13 bhp. Eddie decided to up the ante a bit and fitted a 5.7 lt 351 Cleveland Ford V8. Air gets fed into the engine via a Webber 4 barrel carb and the spent gasses exit through custom exhausts loud enough to wake the whole town. The original chassis wouldn’t do since the wiper motor nowadays has more power than the whole engine did more than 70 years ago so Eddie fabricated his own extra strong version. The engine is bolted to the frame and connected to the rear Ford Capri diff via a c3 auto gearbox. The rear wheels are 13″ but shod with the biggest slick tyres this side of Tarlton.
Words can’t do this build justice.
The massive Eagle Goodyear tyres just look right on this monster of a car.The passenger door is bolted closed so just one person at a time on this thrill ride.
The paint was done by Eddie himself but 2K or Duco was not on the cards for his Rod. Dulux acrylic PVA does just fine thanks. A 1936 Ford grill and 30’s Chevy head lights in front of a 351 Cleveland V8, we could easily think this is a normal Rod. No high tech garage or dust proof build bench for this Rodder, the rear yard, dust and all, will do just fine thanks.
The firewall had to be moved back to fit this massive engine into an engine bay that was never meant to take it, a beautiful job for sure.
Getting the stance right is one of the biggest parts of giving a Rod the right attitude. A+ on that part
Some people see an old roasting dish, Eddie sees a home made bug catcher. How many of us would have thought of that?
Rusty, dirty and unmistakably homemade but it sure makes anyone with high octane blood doe-eyed.
A hand crafted hood ornament lets you know, this is a one of a kind car.
A WWII duffel coat is the perfect seat cover for a handmade masterpiece.
And coupled with the same era gas mask, it involuntarily makes you think “MAD MAX”.
Hand built steering wheel and industrial looking gearlever sets this monsters interior apart from the rest. Rust is also the paint colour of choice for the dashboard.
It might not be your kind of Rod but we all have to agree, it was one of a kind but sadly, she is no more.