Home-Built Heroes: Two Hot Rods From Humble Beginnings

When we first started our Home-Built Heroes column, we were met with some skepticism. There were more than a couple opinions insisting that, you the readers, would not be interested in seeing cars that might not be considered “high-dollar” rides. I argued to the contrary, and you guys responded overwhelmingly in favor of the column.

That being said, we want to continue bring you the series, and we need your help. We need you to send us images of your hot rods. We would like to see exterior, engine, and interior shots, and have you tell us everything about your car. How you found it, why this car, and what you have done to it. You can reach us at chevyhardcore@powerautomedia.com.

This week, we have assembled a pair of really cool hot rods that exemplify the term home-built.

Family-Found First-Gen

When it comes to locating a project car, sometimes we happen upon the perfect vehicle by chance. More often than not, finding that perfect starting point requires the help of wither friends or family.

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Brian shaved the door handle, badging, and the side marker lights. Astute readers will also note he added doors from a ’68.

Brian Keiper tells us he wasn’t actually the person that found this car, he had help. “My son found this car. It was put in a storage garage in 2001. I went and looked at it, and it was a mess. I paid $900 for it,” Brian said. Once he got the car home, he replaced the hood, front fenders and wheel wells, radiator support, floors, both quarter-panels and outer wheel houses, and the trunk floor. The body was then painted Black Cherry Pearl.

Inside is an entirely new interior, and the centerpiece is a B&M shifter connected to the Turbo 350 transmission. The engine a 327ci small-block that has been bored .040-inch over. The cylinders are filled with flat top pistons, and in the middle of it all, is a mild hydraulic camshaft. Up top is an Edelbrock 650 cfm carburetor on top of an Edelbrock intake.

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Brian replaced the original RS grill with a one piece billet grill.

Swedish Classic

The car hobby is not uniquely American, as Stefan Svensson, of Sweden will attest. “If you think that building hot rods is strictly an American hobby, think again. For me, it started in 2013, when I purchased a painted body and a frame.” When Stefan gained possession of the ’57, there were no gauges and almost no wiring. The painted shell contained just a driver’s seat, slicks, and a welded rear axle. The perfect makings for a race car project, but not so much for a street car.

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Although he started with a painted shell, it took three years to create this masterpiece.

Stefan’s resurrected Tri-Five is now powered by a salvage-sourced LS1 that remarkably, only had 4,000 miles on the odometer. That meant a rebuild was not needed, so it was cleaned up and Stefan added an LS6 intake. Behind that is a 4L60E transmission and a 9-inch rear with 3.50 gears.

To fill the area where only a driver’s seat once lived, Stefan enlisted the help of a friend to stitch up a new interior. You will also find Lokar, Grant, and AutoMeter components.

Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more – we can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to chevyhardcore@powerautomedia.com.

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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