Theme cars are a risky business for sure. It’s easy to lose sight on just what a hot rod is in an effort to work in that last design idea or cue… and when those ideas are taken too far or too literally, you are often left with a car that looks more at home on the Discovery Channel than it does in the hot rod or custom world. A risky business for sure…
It’s with those risks in mind that the fellas over at Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle present you with Back Seat Betty - a WW2 aircraft themed model-a coupe. This is the type of car that is gonna split people into camps - people that absolutely love the creativity and thought that went into implementing the theme and purists that just can’t find the relevancy. Regardless of what camp you are in, I think it’s pretty tough to argue the details independently and the craftsmanship throughout
From the outside, this car is dominated by three features. The first and most obvious is the unusual choice for a grille shell. The 1937 Plymouth shell is big and matched nicely with the large torpedo headlights. Together, they kind of emulate a fighter plane’s front-heavy profile. This isn’t a package that would work on most small coupes, but this little car pulls it off gracefully.
The dash is complimented by various aircraft parts such as P47 throttle levers, a Douglas steering wheel, tags, jump lights, bomber seats, etc… The owner wanted the interior to feel like that of a B25 Mitchell and that’s exactly what he got - green glow and all. Which leads me right back to those roofs inserts we spoke about earlier. To pull these off in the interior, HRCC built some amazing roof supports using riveted aluminum beam construction as commonly found in aircraft. These beams along with the complimenting aluminum door panels and garnish moldings make up the most impressive fabrication work on the car - all of which are absolutely gorgeously done.
When it’s all said and done, you end up with a hot rod that’s just as much to drive as it is to look at… And isn’t that what it is all about?
Posted by: Ryan Cochran