Ever since he saw ZZ Top’s Top Eliminator ’33 coupe, Chris Van Eekelen has wanted to own a hot rod. Having grown up in Ballarat, Chris spent much of his youth at the local drag strip, racing a motorbike. This stunning ’36 Ford coupe is the Marsh Rodders club member’s first hot rod.
Trevor Breese at Vintage Rod & Custom in WA originally built this “Evil ’36” coupe for Jeff Meakins. The first time we laid eyes on it was at the 2016 Hot Rod and Street Machine Spectacular in Perth, where the coupe scored very well with the judges, taking out Top Undercarriage, Top Interior, Top Engine, Top Coupe and Top Hot Rod Overall! Jeff ended up selling the car to fellow West Australian, Richard Kais of Custom Chrome, who then pulled the motor out to rectify an oil leak issue and ended up going through the whole car, checking and fixing any problems it had.
Chris’ love for the ZZ Top Eliminator coupe enticed him to test drive a similar car, but it didn’t quite suit his stature, so the hunt for his first hot rod continued.
“I grew up watching Con Soldatos race his coupe, that’s what really pushed me towards buying a ’36. He was my hero when I was a kid drag racing. I was originally interested in getting a ’32- ’34 Ford, but then I drove one and as I’m quite tall, over six feet, I found it a bit tight. I’d been watching this ’36 for a while and I was really keen on it because if I was gonna buy a Ford hot rod, it had to have a Ford motor in it, I didn’t want a Chev. The asking price had dropped from $120,000.00 down to $100,000.00 and was starting to get towards what I could afford, then it came down to $90,000.00. I had the latest model Harrop-blown Monaro that I used to show and my wife told me that if I sold the Monaro, I could buy this hot rod. I advertised the Monaro and virtually sold it the next day!”
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