The New Paint Job

dscf5104Hot rod and custom car builders are more courageous than the average mundane motorist. They dream more and dare more.

This is seen in all the rat rods, street racer machines, hot rods, low-riders, and show cars. Every one of these is the labour of both a great deal of love and a great deal of money. And also a great deal of a patience dealing with the licencing authorities. As soon as any of the car enthusiasts thinks up the most modest of modifications – fitting a fighter plane engine to a family sedan for instance – they have to commence a round of grovelling negotiations with the joy-spoiling jobsworths at the vehicle department.

But one good thing that can be done is a coat of paint. As long as the re-spray is a simple modification of the original scheme, the official nay-sayers do not bother to take an interest. Perhaps even they have their limits…

dscf0397So that would likely explain the new coat of paint on UHN-661. It’s a Morris 1500 from the 70′ that was seen in the Big Al’s Poker Run of 2016 in the red and black scheme. The bonnet then had a wrap on it simulating a carbon fibre panel. A particularly specific look.

dscf5105Well, time has changed, and a year later has brough forth a retro look to the Morris – a metalflake paint job in dark bronze. It is a fascinating finish, and as an older car enthusiast, I must say I prefer it to the carbon fibre look. As with all show-car finishes, it has a real depth to it – not least because the actual metal flakes need more support medium to remain suspended in the finish.

dscf0400Now rodding a British-built car is unusual – I counted less than half a dozen on the field last Saturday. This is odd in a country that was sustained by the British car industry for longer and to a greater extent than that of the North American manufacturers. One would logically expect there to be more left-overs from the era that could be made into hot rods. It is unusual to see – as unusual as the use of Japanese cars for the same purposes. Even rarer are continental cars turned to the hot rod or custom side – any cars still extant are generally refurbished as veteran or vintage types.

dscf0399I hope that UHN-661 continues to be remade as the time goes on. I see she now has lakes pipes, though I have no idea whether they are connected to the exhaust or, for that matter, to a lake…Well, they look cool, nevertheless.



The Winner


” I’m sorry sir, the title of Coolest Car is already taken. Your silver/grey smoke gunmetal i34/Laxidestrical Deutsche Humpmobil Sportt Ezstravaganzzza 3 is all very well, but this other gentleman has a yellow 1958 Chevrolet custom car. The exit road is just over there and you are free to go. Have a nice day. ”

Well, it was never really a contest, was it? I mean the Humpmobil might have had gold-washed cylinders and an automatic warm and fuzzy feeler arm under the dash, and it might have cost the sort of money that would keep Subiaco in Chardonnay for a year but the Chevy had the thing won as soon as it appeared on the field…


Pinstriping. Not just the nose, but the wireless aerials. PinstripedĀ aerials. Matched left and right.


Lakes pipes. Lakes pipes on the ground. The car goes up and down. It is alive. The Humpmobil has difficulty registering on the radar, let alone going up and down.


Chrome. Real chrome. Chrome that you can touch without having it come off on your finger.

And a roof with metal flake paint. There is no-one on Earth that can be sad when they see metalflake paint. It is like the stars brought down to us.


Now as for the interior, I can understand that you are upset. Your Humpmobil does not have a spotlight with handle control. It doesn’t have fuzzy dice or multiple dials or a locking glove compartment. I can feel your pain. Perhaps when you next buy a motor vehicle to impress your neighbours you will be more careful.


I can only leave you with the best wishes of the pin-up girl on the rocker panel. Please keep your spirits up and see if you can find some back issues of ROD & CUSTOM magazine to give to some inspiration.