Volume III, Issue 10, Page 36

Words and photos by John Carollo


In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, the traditional hot rod aspect of our sport has grown faster than Wall Street has been dive bombing. What makes this type of car, or in the case of Steve Crook of Eastlake, Ohio, a truck, so popular is that they are easy to build and that the rules of engagement for traditional hot rods are very clear. In this kool movement, parts newer than 1964 aren’t allowed on a car or truck.

They build ‘em like its 1963 and that means billet and other modern goodies are anathema. This keeps costs down and builder originality up but it’s actually more about having a ride that looks like it just drove out of the early ‘60s. And that fits the whole scene with music, hairstyles and clothes from the era. It also includes a renewed interest in pin striping, tattooing and other ‘hand’ arts such as sheet metal sculpting.

Steve is a ChevHead so when he wanted to build himself a work truck, he started with a 1939 Chevy that he found in Illinois. It was formerly owned by a preacher. That was the good news. The bad news was the car was in pieces. But since Steve is the ‘S’ in S&M Auto Body with the cool catch phrase of “Dominate the Streets,” he already has a sense of humor so the whole ‘in pieces’ thing was no problem as he didn’t have to spend much time taking it apart.