The term "Concept Car" brings to mind annual auto expos where manufacturers place on display their future products. Onlookers may or may not see these creations on the dealer floor down the road but hints at what we will see in body styles.
California is one location where custom automobiles express just about any wild concept designers can conjure up. George Barris comes to mind. My favorite would be the SoCal Speed Shop where some of the most fabulous hot rod roadsters are built.
To me there are only two dream cars, an original AC Cobra and a So Cal Roadster. One can expect to spend a lot of cash on a So Cal original.
Out here in The Great Midwest our creative automobile enthusiasts come up with their own custom hot rod designs cobbled together with whatever they find available.
I present to you a very unique and curiously interesting Concept Car: THE Hillbilly Hemi…
This vehicle is the type that may be found at the recently popular local summer evening town square "Classic Car" shows where boomers show off rebuilt relics of their childhood memories. These local events have become quite popular as a draw to businesses and happen weekly here in NWIndiana during the summer months.
I spoke breifly with the builder of the Hillbilly Hemi and he allowed me to photograph his creation.
The body of the HH is an old, well, who knows? I didn't ask. It appears to be the remnants of an old pickup truck but on closer inspection it looks more like it may have been welded from two vehicles, hard to tell.
It may look rusted but the body has been sandblasted leaving an aged look that some refer to as a "patina" when describing antiques.
What really appealed to me are the custom accessories. In the rear is a pony keg with a Budweiser tap handle that serves as a functional gas tank. A spiked mace ball hangs from the tailgate. The interior is spartan with no carpeting but an old mil-surp ammo can serves as a console. The welded ammunition belt adds a nice touch.
The gear shift is a long rod with an old revolver welded to the top serving as the knob.
Yep, that is an old Chrysler Hemi engine from the 70's. He told me the manifold pipes are fake and the exhaust pipes have baffles. This was explained to me when I asked if it was considered "street-legal".
His response was "nobody has bothered me so far".