Classical cars, including the history of the great classical automobiles
March 5th, 2009

Palm Springs Concours Begins With a Blast

PT Boat-Powered Car

The lady next to me screamed and grabbed my arm. Men gasped, women fainted (well, almost). We were part of a crowd attending the Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance pre-show gala at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Beautiful people, beautifully dressed, being treated to specialty foods from renowned area chefs, accompanied by fine California wines. Suddenly there was a veritable explosion of sound as a show car parked nearby was fired up without warning. What the beautiful people (and one humble journalist) heard, saw, and felt, was a V-12 engine taken from a WW2 PT boat, the same Allison V-12 that powered Mustang and P-38 fighters. Assume at least 1850 hp in normal tune. This was not normal

To be honest, the car is one of those few custom jobs that make no sense whatsoever, except to the owner, Rodney Rucker of Winslow, Arizona. Rucker is one of the original members of the "Blastolene Brothers" (with Michael Leeds and Randy Grubb) who built Jay Leno's Tank Rod. For the Palm Springs concours Rodney deservedly won the 20 Liters Special award. I suspect the trophy was created especially for him as I saw no other vehicles that remotely resembled his chrome-plated monster. Absurd though the vehicle may be, the workmanship plus the visual/aural impression it creates is magnificent. And would you believe? The chassis began life as a Studebaker!

by Philip Powell | Posted in Concours, Oddball Autos | 3 Comments » |


Comment by Harley Ferguson
  • Definitely an “A” for audacity. I love it, but I sure would not like the fuel it. What is the wheelbase on that thing?

    March 5, 2009 @ 11:20 pm
  • Comment by Paul Chenard
  • I appreciate the boldness of it and the workmanship, not the mention the retro style, but I can’t help wondering what amazing car they could build, keeping it more usable and practical, instead of these too wild wheels. Orders would probably flood in …

    March 7, 2009 @ 7:07 am
  • Comment by Phil Lyon
  • How good is that?

    March 11, 2009 @ 5:27 pm
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