People

The street machine scene

Despite the high cost, increasing rarity, and demanding time commitment, Perth’s hot rod scene provides a place for fans of vintage cars and customisation to connect.

Paul Graffin, 52, is a member of the Cranksters Rod and Kustom Club and bought his Australian-customised hot rod for $63,000.

Mr Graffin had always been attracted to the hobby but it was only after his friend died of motor neurone disease at the age of 49 that he decided to pull his hot rod dream off the backburner.

For some hot rod enthusiasts the simple act of owning a souped up street machine is enough, but for Bret Ramsey the joy comes from building one.

“They’ll build a car, they’ll drive it for 12 months, get sick of it and they might sell it to put towards their next project,” said Mr Ramsey, a member of the Wanderers Hot Rod Club.

Mr Ramsey, 53, has spent two years helping his son, Michael, 20, build his first hot rod in time for the Sandgroper Street Rod Nationals next year.

Michael’s age makes him a rarity in the hot rod scene and he is already planning to build another car.

Peter Daw paid a carton of beer for his run-down hot rod and has spent the past four years using his experience in the automotive repair industry to rebuild it.

“Once you get to 40 you can either go to Rotary of other things but they’re all old fellas and I decided, ‘nah, I didn’t wan’t to do that’,” said Mr Daw who is treasurer of the Conrodders Street Rod Club Inc.

“I wanted to do something for myself.”

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