Whoa. Hold up. Wait a second. Is that a motorcycle featured in the pages of ROD & CUSTOM magazine? What's next, a return to go-karts and model cars? Not exactly. You see, street rods and hogs share a common timeline that dates back to the very beginning of what is known as the American Century. Both started life as affordable modes of transportation in the first decade of the 1900s, as products of free-thinking inventor-industrialists who sought to replace the horse and buggy with more modern forms of motorized transportation. Both the motorcycle and the roadster soared in popularity through the end of the '30s, and each made a comeback in the hands of rebellious speed-seeking youth in the '50s. Unfortunately, the American-made chopper and open-air roadster each faded from the public eye throughout most of the '70s and '80s, only to make a huge comeback when graying baby boomers took control of the marketplace in the last ten years of the 20th Century.
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of both Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Ford Motor Company, which is ironic since neither of the two vehicles shown here features a single part from either of those two companies. Both were hand-built by professional craftsmen at the top of their game, and each serves its purpose admirably. When So-Cal Speed Shop's resident wordsmith Tony Thacker asked us to come out and take a look at the two outstanding vehicles owned by Southern California-native Dan Kruse, we agreed, knowing that pretty much anything that rolls through the So-Cal doors qualifies as cool in even the most critical circles. What we saw upon arrival,, however, was a matched set of open-air cruisers so perfectly detailed and incredibly well engineered that it took our breath away. So what if R&C doesn't usually feature photos of bikes; we reasoned that any fan of quality workmanship and vintage style would dig the two-wheeled wonder you see here. As for the Deuce, well... between the LT5 dual overhead cam engine and the hand-built suspension, the car speaks for itself. So on to the story.
Dan is in the meat processing business Monday through Friday, but on the weekends he's a diehard hot rodder, with a list of former rides that include some of the coolest vehicles to ever roll out of Motor City, including a '49 Buick Roadmaster convertible and a '55 Chevy. Having always wanted a '32 roadster, he approached legendary builder Boyd Coddington in 1994 about building a high-tech hot rod with a bevy of high-performance goodies under the hood. The Hawaiian-shirt-wearing metalman commissioned Chip Foose to pen the car's lines, and soon a road map was drawn up for the crew at Boyd's to follow. Three years later the roadster was finished, and not long after that Hot Rods by Boyd closed its doors. Six years and many cruising miles later, the car was brought to the talented craftsmen at So-Cal Speed Shop in Pomona, California, where it was debugged, detailed, and fixed up with a whole new look. While Kruse enjoys driving the roadster, he has never taken it to a car show, and we were the first shutterbugs to ever lay a lens on it. Luckily for us, its two-wheeled brother happened to be lurking around the shop the same day, and we invited both machines along for a few snapshots