Monday, October 26, 2020

Fueling a Passion For Hot Rods


There is a saying with rodders, “If you want to sell it, paint it red, if you want to keep it, paint it black.”

So, what color should you paint your hot rod?  Ask any hot rodder and you won’t find an easy answer.  Historically, red, black and yellow have always been popular colors.

Pete Weidner, owner of the old firehouse on S. Barfield Drive on Marco Island, has his own preference. Pete converted the former firehouse into a garage, and filled with hot rods in all makes, models and colors. But Pete’s favorite color is Porsche Red, and he buys it in 55-gallon drums so he will never run out of it.  He’s got five of his hot rods painted in the same color red, with one more red car at home.

Pete has other colors, too.  Pete says yellow is good on a new car.  But a yellow used car would never sell, as people think it is a “lemon.” 

He also owns a 1951 Studebaker pick-up truck in its original blue color.

All the interiors of his hot rods are custom done.  Typical modifications are removal of hoods, bumpers, windshields, fenders, and modifying the engines by replacing it with something more powerful.  Wheels and tires get changed as well, for improved traction and handling.

I asked Pete why he collects cars, and he remarked that he’s been in the car business for over 55 years, and “it’s in the blood.”

Pete raced for nine years.  He raced a 1961 Pontiac Super stocker and held both ends of the NHRA record. He has a replica of his favorite car, the 1961 Pontiac, in his Marco Island garage.

No matter the make or model, one thing that all hot rod owners have in common is their deep attachment to their car.  For them it’s not just an automobile – it is a part of life.

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