Though some may fall into the category of "they're so ugly, only their mother could love them," others are just vehicles not a lot of people think about turning into a hot rod. We're talking about Odd Rods-the misfits of motoring.
Ford-based rodding is certainly the norm in the West and it seems the farther east you travel, you see more of a variation of makes and marques. Maybe non-standard rods are easier to come by, and they are almost always cheaper than what's popular in the moment, but whatever the reason for their existence, it most certainly takes a good imagination to go where very few have ever gone before.
A set of 17-inch Intro wheels...
A set of 17-inch Intro wheels (8s and 10s) were bolted up with Nitto rubber (225/50 and 275/50) and Ted Lesher covered the car using DuPont's Super Jet Black paint. The factory trim was reinstalled, as were the re-chromed bumpers. With a little more than 2,000 hours in the build, Bob Rosecrants can safely say he owns one of the sharpest Plymouths to roll on down the road in a long time.
Hot rodding an old Plymouth is nothing new (many were converted into drag cars), nor is building up a Rambler wagon (there have been a few, including one that won the Don Ridler Memorial Award at the Detroit Autorama a couple of years ago).
But the only way to judge whether or not someone nailed the concept is by the finished product, and we offer up two examples of the correct formula: Bob Rosencrants' '49 Plymouth coupe and LuAnn Lesher's '60 Rambler wagon. A large portion of getting it right has got to be attitude and, though it's accomplished by various means, the result is always the same: you wish you'd built it yourself.
1949 Plymouth Business Coupe
Bob Rosencrants was attracted...
Bob Rosencrants was attracted to the '49 Plymouth business coupe as a child-his grandfather had one and said one day he was going to give it to Bob. That never happened but, as Bob tells it: "some guys are attracted to ugly women-he likes ugly cars." Decades had passed and Bob was able to track down another coupe in Minnesota, but it wasn't the "no rust" project he was promised. Nonetheless he gave Ted Lesher, at Ted's Body Shop in Des Moines, IA, a call to do the build, which started with reinforcing the stock chassis.
The firewall was modified and the floorboards repaired and a Fatman Fabrications IFS system went in. A Ford 9-inch posi rear (3.55:1) with triangulated four-bar and a Moser axle slid underneath, too, and ShockWave shocks went in at each corner. An 11-inch front disc brake system (with ECI parts) was also installed, which work with the 11-inch drums out back.
A single Holley carb feeds...
A single Holley carb feeds the 5.7L Hemi engine, which is cooled by a Walker radiator. Jason Rains assembled the motor and supplied the TCI Automotive 727 Torq-Flite transmission as well. With a Precision Racing Components air cleaner, Street & Performance headers, aluminized exhaust, and Flowmaster 60 Series mufflers, the V-8 pumps out 360 hp.
The dash is stock, though...
The dash is stock, though the top section was wrapped in the same leather used throughout by Upholstery Unlimited in Clinton, IA. The seats are out of a '76 Pontiac LeMans, and the gauges are from Classic Instruments. Zigs Street Rods supplied the steering wheel, which bolts to an ididit column. Under the leather and fabric interior you'll find Dynamat insulation and wiring furnished by American Autowire. Keeping it all cool is a Vintage Air climate-control system.