Our Hot Rod Heritage

OUR HOT ROD HERITAGE
Hi, my name is Ron Smith and I own and run Kustom Bitz with my family. I have been involved in hot rodding since I was a kid (roughly 4 decades) largely influenced by my dad who through the 1970s ran a tank Fairlane with a mildly worked 351 Cleveland and top loader. There were always hot rod magazines on our kitchen table, I never liked reading books much but you could not get me to put these magazines down.
 
When I was roughly 9 years old dad brought the 46 Ford Deluxe pictured here. While dad worked in the shed I would sit in the driver’s seat pretending to drive and change the gears, not just for a few minutes it was quite often all afternoon.
 
At 14 years old I had a sketch I did of a 36 Coupe printed in Custom Rodder, I was stoked, I used to sit there for hours on end drawing hot rods, always hot rods and as you may be able to tell from the photo I was largely influenced by the American magazines hot rod cartoonists of those times.
 
I frequented the swap meets with dad from an early age, and brought my first car at 17 years, a ’58 Mainline ute running a 302 Windsor, C4 auto and Borg Warner diff. Pictured here from the Bendigo Swap meet in 1987 is my Mainline and dad’s ’37 Ford Sedan that runs a 350, 350 Chevy combo.
 
At 21 I needed a sedan and fell for a ’66 Galaxie of which I still own. Shown here is a photo at the ’91 Melbourne Vic Hot Rod Show after it’s first budget rebuild, from after driving it around for a few years as it was. Then it got another more thorough rebuild later on and now sports different graphics.
 
At 26 I built up a ’67 Mustang for the missus which we still get around in, I also messed about a lot with various XA/XB and XW/XY falcons as daily drivers, modified of course.
 
At 30 a hot rod was in order but money was tight so it had to be cheap, boy I sometimes wish I had just saved up. Shown here is the A model bucket I dragged home one weekend a long time ago and have spent countless years resurrecting it. Keep an eye out in the “Fun Free Stuff” section, it is now nearly finished and I am thinking of writing an E-book titled “How not build an A model Hot Rod” detailing all my stuff ups and then how I corrected them. It’s character building I’m told. 
 
We still run an XC Falcon as a daily driver [a beta], this one has been tailored up for regular swap meet road trips and towing duty. Keep an eye out in the “Fun Free Stuff” section for an article on the 302 Cleveland engine soon to go in. Rebuilt for power and economy on a budget.
 
Here is my baby don’t she look great? 
 
The ‘A’ model at one of her various stages, another baby in the making.
 

Kustom Bitz started in 2007 but the idea has been in my head for the last decade or so now, and some of the bits have been on my cars for a while. So although the name is new, the background of Kustom Bitz goes back a long way.

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