Helluva Hot rod - Manny Sim

With its ‘old school’ looks the 1934 Ford coupe is one of the most desirable hot rods around. It is surely the car that defines cool.

Manny Sim is the very proud owner of one spectacular ’34 Ford. He loves to cruise in it – and why wouldn’t he? It feels great to drive and wherever he goes he gets the big ‘thumbs-up’ especially from young guys.

Originally built by Kevin Smith in Timaru, the car came to an untimely end on its way to the 2008 Hot Rod Nationals in Methven, and didn’t make it to the event. A stone got caught in the brakes and it failed to stop on a bridge, sustaining considerable damage. Fully rebuilt, he then sold it to Manny, who says it is one of his favourite cars.

This beautiful beast has been lowered and channelled to give it attitude. The fibreglass body is painted in the deepest, glossiest black. There is steel plating in the doors, roof and bonnet and the front and rear suspension are fully chromed, making everything under the car as beautifully detailed as the bodywork.

It is powered by a 350cc fuel injected Chev motor, running through a 750 auto, so it has plenty of horsepower, with the suspension to handle it. It has repeatedly proven to be one of the best hot rods in its class, being placed in the top 10 at the NZ Hot Rod Nationals every time it was entered. It also gained 2nd at the National Show two years ago in Dunedin. “The car that beat it is worth close to half a million dollars, so I can’t complain too much,” Manny grins.

The Easter weekend NZ Hot Rod National Show at the A&P Showgrounds in Christchurch will be this Ford’s next opportunity to shine. “I really enjoy the shows. People love to stop and talk about it.”

The interior is mostly original, with the exception of the plush bucket seats and steering wheel. Modern gauges made to look old style are set into gorgeous woodgrain dash and glovebox.

While Manny says it’s a show car, it’s also regularly driven and there’s no doubt it’s capable of kicking out insane speed. So how fast does it go? “The speed limit,” he grins. “I don’t need to go fast. It will do 0 – 100 in just a few seconds.” Whatever, it looks fast just standing still!

“I like all cars but I prefer to drive something that’s a bit different – not stock standard.” You can’t argue with that. On the road, or parked up – it’s a head-turner!

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.