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Hagerty Employee

American Speed Company’s Speed33 kit is hot rod heaven

The hot rod business is one of America’s best kept secrets. We drool on cue when the Ridler Award is presented at the Detroit Autorama and hold our collective breath when informed that CadMad, the 2019 winner, involved 15 years of effort, required some 4000 hours of craftsmanship, and consumed $2.3 million of the owner’s net worth. But CadMad is, literally, a once-per-fortunate-lifetime experience. Read the full article on


Beautiful Cars. Mark is a true modern craftsman. 


BRAVO to both Hagerty and Mark Trostle. The work is inspirational and more important it is the perfect evolution of the American Hot Rod. BRAVO.

Intermediate Driver

Thank goodness for guys ike Trostle, he is keeping the Real Hot Rod candle alive !!

His repos are authentic creations and beautiful as well.  Keep u the good work.

Intermediate Driver

  This car is really beautiful, and represents some serious engineering talent. I appreciate that there will always be a market for brand new, digitally scanned, custom made, blank check cars. This one should have its own reality TV show. But please don't call it a 33 Ford. It was not made by Ford, in 1933, and has almost no FoMoCo parts.

  This "hot rod candle" is plastic, with a battery powered flickering LED flame.    The real "hot rod candle" is still burning in 2 car garages and backyards across America, as builders scrounge cool vintage parts and scrape knuckles. ... Gary


This is the wealthy's 'toy box.' Just as they frothed at the mouth at the Harley Davidson, West Coast Choppers, Orange County Chopper fad back about 10 years ago. This is really no different than buying a Lambo and or Ferrari. I have to agree the guys that are in the houses that are in the middle of nowhere and somewhere with barely two nickels to their name making something out of nothing are the real 'hot rodders.' So the owners of the said car are going to cruise in it to go golfing or play tennis etc.


After the riddle award went to the biggest bucks a while back and just about everything went Billet, including the nuts and bolts, craftsmanship, and how much you can pay for it does not make a RODDER. I rodder has busted nickels, bills, and scrounging up whatever they can to make a car that they have sitting partially done and bitched about getting rid of "that piece of junk" espoused by their significant other. 


They envision running their little piece of Americana on the street.  I say screw the 'blank check' unlimited funds crowd no knowing how to replace anything or build anything. Complete and utter insult to those that are just doing what they can with their 'dream car' in the midst of trying to keep food on the table and that is the only 'escape' is among scrap that they managed to pay for while trying to keep working at a job that has a salary that these pseudo rodders would spend with their friends on a vacation or a weekend out with the spouse to buy designer bags made by child labor.


I am not harping on the craftsmanship, he is an artisan no doubt.  His business savvy making a compelling desire for those that want to 'imitate' being a blank check rodder is something that is equally as deserving of the work itself.  Blank Check rodders think that they are part of the rodding scene when it is actually part of the pseudo of what has made anything and everything about true rodding nothing of the sort.  All the money in the world cannot relate to a feeling or toil and time spent with something that allowed you to escape the mundane when that is all you have to create your own piece of 'heaven.'  


In a way they are buying into the irony in this is that they are in contempt with the displays of $200,000 blatant eff you to those that have the grit, desire but not the capital to get their 'project' that is under the tarp or back of the garage to run down the road.  I speak from experience.  My dad had a 36 Dodge and he was a house painter and worked at a factory at Dana.  He was completely giddy buying this and that trying to find parts for that car and bid on ebay.  Then when he came it was like it was Christmas day and he was a toddler and unwrapping the box that contained a small odd or end for the door or for the dash.  


When push came to shove, it never saw the road with him in it, but I toiled with him and we dreamed.     We browed the adds for the dropped chrome axels and suspension kits as well as the Vintage Air Conditioned Systems.  The built to spec crate motors and the beautiful tuck and leather interiors with the Vedo Gauges.   It became completely a wealthy person's proposition.  Then when everyone including Mercedes went to Primer Colors for the paint job, it was over the top.  But wait they wanted everything new underneath a pseudo-Ratrod.  Let's make the brand new look old.  


After my dad died of Lung Cancer about 9 years or so, I not only lost interest, I found the whole market catering more to more that have the funds than the ones that don't.  Places that accept blank check 'orders' are the death of everything that is a true rodder.  I am sorry to see it go to the wealthy that will never know what it means as they clearly display an imitation of what was a unique part of American Culture.  


Intermediate Driver

I believe  "Davie acknowledges that this is a $200,000 (or so) project, half of which is attributable to parts, including the Speed33 body, and more than 1000 hours of his labor." is more like hot rod HELL. 1000 hrs labor is not a glowing testament to what must be of the poor fit of the body since this is basically a 1-800 car.


wow, I believe "1933ford" must truly understand what is required to hand build a quality vehicle , the caliber of which is NOT a basic 1-800-kit car, (put bolt "A" through hole "1", squirt paint, wrap with vinyl, ship).....sorry for those out there who either do, or do not understand craftsmanship required to create a vehicle a beauty, its very easy make comments without knowledge.


Decades in I'm still smitten with my rat rod T-Bucket but Oh My Gawd these things are beautiful enough to tempt my heart! And less than $30K for a bona fide new steel body on a steel frame seems reasonable to me.