With all the recent talk about traditional rods and what they should and shouldn't be, wouldn't it be interesting to see a genuine hot rod from back in the day? Not some over-restored example of yesteryear, and not some electronically fuel-injected, crate-engined, 20-inch-wheeled modern interpretation of a classic hot rod, but a true specimen from the golden era.

Well, this isn't it. Despite the authentic vibe and its finely weathered look, it's only taken James a year to build. In fact, it's only been a complete truck for a short amount of time. Don't feel bad if you mistook it for a recently exhumed barn treasure. His creation had indeed been finely crafted, but why put such effort into building a down-and-out-looking beater? The origins of this particular roadster stem from the period it emulates, from back in the late-'50s. Of course, like most motorheads, James looked past the rough edges to see one of the coolest vehicles he has seen.

Years passed along with a number of other projects, many illustrating that this hobby can get spendy in a big hurry. Yet, despite the success of some of his other builds, James couldn't help thinking back to the days when rodders made do with what they had. That notion served as the inspiration for a new project, one that would be enjoyable while maintaining a fairly tight budget. Helping to kick-start the effort was the acquisition of a '34 Ford body in a straight trade for fabwork (right place, right time). James is quick to point out that all he got was a shell with two doors. We still say it was a helluva deal.

With so much of this roadster made up of ancient pieces and parts, discarded remnants, and whatever else he might have had lying around his shop, it might seem like little more than a prop. It was around this point that James realized that the used and abused parts he was amassing didn't look so much like junk as they did like something from back in the day.