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Hagerty Employee

Variety pack: 4 builds highlighting the diversity of the modern custom

Where do you stand on hot rods?


For some collectors, only 100-point originality to concours perfection will do. They’ll scour factory documents and period photos to get their car looking exactly as it did the moment it left the assembly line, scoffing at any owner’s attempt to improve upon the manufacturer’s well-planned vision. After all, cars are only original once.


That kind of nut-and-bolt accuracy is important to maintaining the history of the cars that make up our hobby. But not for all of them. For every finely crafted sports car that was perfectly tuned at the factory, there have been hundreds of thousands of pedestrian models wearing the rough edges of mass production. Even in showroom condition, many of these cars don’t represent what their designers originally intended—or dreamed of in their off hours. There’s usually plenty of room for improvement.


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Pit Crew

All four although very different are magnificent. Our hobby is beautifully diverse.

Intermediate Driver

I would take the BMW any time.


yaz zer, money and skill can do some stuff.


Like to see even more 'diversity' with some '50s/60s Italian/Brit, late '30s - '40s usa, and far from least - trucks.  Can't narrow the hot-rod deffiniton. Too many of us out here~

Pit Crew

Not gonna lie, I love that Camaro, but sadly the leather interior and dark colors is not a good thing for Texas summers. So I would actually take the BMW. Good solid German engineering, lots of suspension and rolling gear upgrades that sound like they'd make it handle like a dream and be very safe, so I could definitely daily the Beemer. Can I have the Camaro as well?? PLEAAASE??


All amazing builds, thanks for the post.


Love it when all a car builder can talk about is how he built it for a celebrity, NEXT!!!!!!

Hagerty Employee

A grand total of one sentence in the entire article was about who the car belongs to.
Intermediate Driver

I wouldn't call this Camaro run of the mill but there are a lot of hot rod early Camaro's out there running LS engines.

Pit Crew

All very cool cars in their own way. I really like the look of the interior in the BMW. Nice to see these builds, all out of a State where the gov't wants to to be "zero emissions" by 2035. Hopefully it doesn't apply to resto's 


I'm fascinated by the idea of widening a 1st gen Camaro 5 inches. That must apply to the track as well meaning not only the body but the subframe has been extensively modified, no small feat. Sadly, somehow I can't detect any of it in the images, and I know these cars well. Perhaps five inches is too little to see but if that's the case, what's the point?

Hagerty Employee

Much wider tires is the point!
New Driver

Sorry,    into Antique Classics,  but I can see why these types of rebuilds get a  lot of attention.


Just for general info, East Bay Muscle Cars is in the incorporated city of Brentwood, near Antioch (another hot-rod hot bed) and about 50 miles east of San Francisco, which is often confused with the more famous UNincorporated city of Brentwood near Beverly Hills. 


Is it me or do all of these images look CGI?

Advanced Driver

Always wanted one of those early Beemers, That one is very nice.


I like the beemer the best because it is nicely customized while maintaining a lot of its original qualities. customizing a car is one thing - completely butchering it to where the only recognizable part of the original is the profile (maybe) is another story. if you really don't like old cars, build a new car that looks like an old car if the look is all you are after. i think the collectors of the next generation are going to be hard-pressed to find legitimately original cars that haven't had their drivetrains tossed, interiors gutted, and half of the sheet metal tossed in the metal barrel


I salute all these builders, and love the cars!  The only thing I don't like is those stupid band-aid tires.  The dude who built that Datsun knows what I am talking about.