Car Spotlight>> The Golden Submarine @ Sema

Ok last SEMA post for me… I’m on yet another plane and will be landing in a few hours to meet our British photographic sensei John Brooks at the Los Angeles airport. We’ll then saunter over to Shelby LA to pick up the NFS edition Shelby Terlingua. This will be followed by a blast up the I5 to Button Willow Raceway, to see the USA’s top Time Attack cars in action. Should be good!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand…. Last week I was marching from one side of the SEMA convention hall to the other, heading over to yet another business meeting, when the sight of the this bare metal car hit me…. I stopped dead in my tracks.

Here was a vision of automotive art that stood out from the other cars in the show. A complete ground up exercise in metal craftsmanship (or is that craftpersonship?) unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

It would be hard to call this bare metal machine a hot rod. It perhaps fits into that category by default, but there is so much more to this project. To me, it is an exercise of pure fantasy; a time travel device that brings us back one hundred years, to the early days of purpose built race cars.

Entitled “Golden Submarine”, the car was constructed by a shop called Webb’s Automotive Art. It’s a modern reinterpretation of the famous, breakthrough race car from 1917 of the same name.


Looking inside the Golden Submarine, you start to get a picture of the type of bespoke metal-craft on offer.
You can also see this car is very narrow….

Have a look at the craftmanship…. The door frames, driveshaft tube, chassis structure all appear to be one-off pieces… amazing no?

I was quite taken with sense of line and form this car exudes, even with the door hinges and the steering column mount. No stone has been left unturned.

I love the woven leather strips on the seat. The warmth of this material contrasts the hardness of the surrounding metal works.

Will this car ever really be driven to any great effect? Probably not….

….Does that matter? No, not really. Its purpose is to inspire you to dream.

I find this concept of this car quite stimulating. I love the fact there are people in the world who have the time and space to create flights of automotive fancy like this. Webb's Automotive Art’s Golden Submarine is diving into the roots of the racing car; taking us back to the core fundamentals of the machines that we all love.

It’s quite the achievement. I’ll need to look more into Webb’s Automotive Art to see what other projects they’ve developed. I think it would be quite interesting to visit the shop to find out more about where they are coming from!

In the meantime, I’m going to watch a movie or two to pass some time before my flight touches down in LA!

As ever….




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I think it's beautiful. Is it actually driveable? What kind if engine does it have?


The engine is a Ford Racing Zetez ZX3 Spec Alcohol Crate Engine from the Ford Focus Midget Car series.... generates over 175bhp at 7000 rpm.


The most amazing work of automotive art I've ever seen!! Wish I could see it in person! I wouldn't really classify this as a hotrod, it's more of a retro inspired sculpture.


Awesome.. i love it.


what a wonderful shape! i agree completely on the craftspersonship (lols) of the vehicle, it just ooooozes attention to detail. the brakes! oh the brakes! i love the brakes. w00t.


Thats such a long name for an engine that produces 175bhp haha.


The fact that there are no doors suggests it was either designed for Plasticman to slip thru the windows, or not to driven at all.


the brake are off a buell motorcycle


Harry A Miller was a Los Angeles fixture in the 1920's. The Golden Submarine was one of the first complete Miller cars (1917). Barney Oldfield raced it at Fairgrounds around the US (hippidrome shows - fakeroos as they used to be called - think pro wrestling ; -). The coupe caught fire towards the end of the '17 season and Barney narrowly escaped with his life. It picked up a roadster body for the 1918 season and ended it's professional life with Barney at the helm at a fairground track in Independence, MO in October of 1918.

Miller is about THE grand daddy head mother of the Los Angeles racing scene. Read Joe Scalzo's book, 'City of Speed' to get a feel for Harry Miller and what he means to racing.

Most of y'all probably have heard of Offenhauser, well Offy was Harry's shop foreman and carried the Miller racing engines forward under his name.

IIRC, the original eventually burned in a barn fire sometime before WW II. There have been a couple of recreations of the original - dam I wish I'da been at SEMA this year to see that one.

Thanks for the pix - did an old fahrt good to see them. ; -)


Do you have any detail pictures of the front and rear brake setup? I would like to do that to my 32 but I am unsure how to make it all work together...


Barney Oldfield, Master Driver of the World & Harry Miller would be proud. Keep American history alive!

Barney Oldfield great great nephew


Late last week, I noticed via Pat Daly's Facebook status stated he was going to be heading out to


You know, I just love visiting Los Angeles. It's not so much the city itself as I find the place