Hot rod genius

[caption id="attachment_70597" align="alignright" width="300"] NEW LIFE: Hannes Meyer with his 1951 Chevrolet Pick-Up fitted with a fuel injected Corvette LS1 engine -[/caption]

Driven by passion to revive American beauties of old

OVER the past two decades Uitenhage resident Hannes Meyer, 47, has produced some of the Bay’s most breathtaking automobiles through a mixture of old-school American muscle and modern-day electronics.

The combination resulted in more than 20 one-of-a-kind street rods rolling out of his Winterhoek residence. Street rods are defined as any old automobile that has been well maintained and typically provided with a powerful, modern engine and modern interior fittings.

Meyer’s fascination with unique street rod modifications began when he was still a teenager and led to automobiles becoming the foundation of his livelihood.

Meyer today owns Hannes Meyer Motors and Bouchers Body Works, both in Despatch, and Auto Trimmers in Uitenhage.

“My life is cars. I have always had a passion for them, particularly the older models.

“When I buy these cars they are either scrap or half done.

“I usually pay between R40 000 and R80 000, add about another R50 000 to R80 000 for modifications and sell them for a minimum of R300 000.

“I have always been a fan of American muscle: the look, feel and sheer power. Currently I am driving a 1951 Chevrolet Pick Up with a Corvette LS1 engine, which is fuel injected.

“And it’s not lazy either – 220km/h is easy in that car,” Meyer said.

The father of two has owned and modified an extensive list of cars including a 1962 Ford Galaxie, 1965 Chevy Impala, 1968 Ford Transit van, 1948 Anglia, 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, 1978 Chevrolet Caprice, 1955 Chevrolet 210, 1957 Ford Ranchero, and 1966 Ford Cortina to name a few.

Meyer is currently working on three projects – a 1956 Dodge Kingsway, which will receive a Lexus V8 engine, a 1936 Mullens trailer and a 1966 V6 powered Ford Cortina.

He said he did all his own modifications besides spray painting, with each project taking between three to four years to complete.

-Tremaine van Aardt