Before They Called Them Rat Rods: Hellhammer's Caddy-Powered Model TS

When we brought a car with a crazy engine/transmission swap and some wild junkyard suspension mods to the 24 Hours of LeMons race, some folks thought it wouldn't last a dozen laps... but we knew better. You see, we've got the mighty Hellhammer, aka Junkyard Dave Schaible, as crew chief, and this guy can build anything. Here's one of my favorite Hellhammer projects: one of the first- if not the first- of the current generation of Northern California rat rods, built back in the early 1980s. It's a Model T body (which was found, complete with bullet holes, sitting in a Castro Valley field) on a Model A frame, powered by a '49 Cadillac 331-cubic-inch engine spinning a seriously lumpy mid-50s-vintage Isky cam. It's built entirely from stuff Dave had sitting around, including a Geo Metro back seat, '40 Ford brakes, handmade headers, etc., and I'm having a tough time thinking of any vehicle that's more fun to drive. Those of you heading to the Billetproof show in September will get to see this machine in person.