Double The Turbos, Half The Sheetmetal<br/>A 1200hp Street-Driven Demon
Trendsetting by elimination

I may be the only one who’s connecting the dots, or it could just be a fluke, but I think we may be on the cusp of a trend here: cars without fronts.

We saw it at TAS with the military-themed hot rod Miata, then it was Jared Seganti’s ’37 Dodge I just wrote about a few days ago, and now this. They all have a similar feel – half stylized car, half robotic machine, and all badass. Of course the idea of running your hot rod without hood-sides or even the hood itself dates back to the infancy of hot rodding, but I’m starting to feel some modern influences creeping in now too. Could it be we’re now at the confluence of modern wire-tucked imports and traditional hoodless hot rods?


Obviously if you’re going to use the engine as part of your visual statement, it needs to be clean. It also doesn’t hurt if its a 1200hp, twin-turbo Big Block.


This is how Ed Umland, owner of Eddie’s Chop Shop, does things – and it’s why Rich Feicheer brought his ’34 Ford to Ed when he wanted a cutting edge, gnarly as hell build.


You can have it good, fast or cheap, pick two – remember that old saying? Well Ed subscribes to a similar theory, except his is that cars can’t be more than two things at once, and even that’s pushing it. Really, you should pick one thing and make your car the best you can in that certain arena, but there’s no arguing that hot rods and dragsters are close relatives. When Rich came to Eddie’s Chop Shop wanting a coupe to cruise on the street and run 7s in the quarter mile, Ed had to reel him in a bit.


Just a bit. The guys went from 7s to 8 second ETs, and Ed convinced Rich to run twin turbos instead of the supercharger he originally wanted. Sounds like a fair compromise to me.


When’s the last time you saw a car on the road with both a parachute and a license plate anyways?


So back to the fact that this car has no front end, and it never will. With the massive BBC, twin turbos and all the associated plumbing, Ed knew a grille would look ridiculous hanging off the front. Let’s not forget the ’34 had a long, swoopy grille to begin with, and it would have been placed so far forward that, well, it just wouldn’t have worked.


Instead, Ed just let the turbos do the talking. Hot rodders have been stretching wheelbases forever, but usually you consider the placement of the axle and wheels in relation to the grille. Without a grille for visual reference, the turbos, piping and ice-filled Moon tank became the car’s leading edge.

Something else is missing

The next logical question is this: where did the radiator go? Is this some kind of air-cooled, twin turbo V8 I’ve never heard about?


There must be a reason for all those louvers in the deck lid though.


Eddie’s Chop Shop hid the radiator in the trunk, and put the fuel cell underneath it. With a custom built shroud and two giant electric fans, it manages to stay cool enough to drive around on the street.


By using a computer-controlled electric water pump, the front of the engine was freed up for a belt-driven MSD distributor. The Moon tank feeds cold water to the intercooler instead of holding fuel.


Two throttle bodies are bolted to the hand-fabbed aluminum intake manifold, which has a nice, stylized shape to complement the cowl of a ’34 Ford and still flow tons of air.


Topping it all off are two 88mm Comp turbos pushing unimaginable volumes of air into the big block. Displacement and boost? This is the Eddie’s Chop Shop way.


Those hairdryers move so much air in fact, that sixteen 130lb/hr injectors are needed to keep up with fueling. With so much going on, it’s a wonder how simple the engine is to look at.


One thing that separates Eddie’s builds from the rest is this infusion of real race tech. It’s seriously high horsepower – like on a dedicated, competition race car level – but wrapped in a cool hot rod package that can get down the road without any drama. I know guys making half this much power whose cars are relegated to a trailer. Clearly this is a better way.

The hot rod part

It’s hard to pry yourself away from that pressurized motor, isn’t it? But you have to remember that the owner wanted a hot rod too.


Usually a car packing this kind of power gets loaded on a trailer to go anywhere beyond a quarter of a mile. Of course hot rods have to be capable of going down the road to get to the next cruise or show, and so does this one, even if it is on drag slicks. Normal hot rodders accomplish this with a Flathead that makes a couple hundred horsepower, or maybe a small block that makes three or four hundred.


To this end, the ’34 does have some creature comforts, like two seats and a fully paneled interior. It still looks awfully racy inside though. Take the driver’s safety cell for instance.


One of the most defining modifications you can do to a hot rod is chopping the top. Ed tells me this one was chopped long before he got his hands on it, and in very poor fashion too. He couldn’t even tell me how much it’s chopped now, because he just worked with what was there and made it right. Check out how the a-pillars are leaned back – a cue from the competition coupes that first raced at the Salt Flats.


The fact that it has fully functioning windows pushes it a little more into the hot rod realm for me. The mechanical bits aren’t Ford, they’re Ed’s invention, with all sorts of moving levers and pivots that apparently open the doors and roll down the windows. Of course the dimple died brace that now trims out the door was custom made, and that louvered roof filler is pure hot rod too.


There’s a full set of gauges inside, plus a trick bead-rolled dash: things you wouldn’t usually find in a drag car. My favorite item is the cast aluminum tach pod mounted to the steering column.


Running 8s requires some well-sorted suspension, and lots of tire doesn’t hurt either. Impossibly deep modern Weld wheels hold 32 x 14.5 wide Goodyear racing slicks. Plenty to hook up on, but Ed says they still had to dial down the boost to get the car down the track.


A skinny matching set is up front, along with modern Wilwood disk brakes. This is all mounted to a vintage-style dropped axle and leaf spring though. See how we just keep ping-ponging between modern drag car and old school hot rod?


Yet it all works to make one badass machine.


Is it a menacing street rod or a dragster with no trailer in sight?


Or is it something even more than that? Could this be the start of a new trend – cars with half a body and an engine on full display? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I think we’re onto something here.

Keith Charvonia
Instagram: SpeedhuntersKeith

Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto



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Would have been sweet if there was a video attached so w can hear this thing.


I guess you don't drive this thing at night. LOL! Dang! This thing must be loud! Evil car!


meal stub  It's actually not loud at all due to the turbos.


Awesome build. I totally forgot you guys shot this a while back! It's super weird seeing photos of my neighborhood on Speedhunters however.


Guys. You should start doing videos. Two-three minutes at least. So there is some feel behind it. The pictures are nice, no doubt about it. But it feels a bit of waste as the potential of these visits you do is simply so much more beyond that.
Hope you have this plan already in your minds and you are thinking, how to make it happen asap.


A work of art! Not sure how long one can sit in those unpadded bucket seats. If needed, some integrated head lights on the top of the air filters would look crazy. :)


Wow. This is just wow. I love the open airfilters, giving it two cyborg eyes ;) 
I'm still struggling with the fact of this being street legal though, as this monster engine will probably suck in little children and spit them out through the waste gate. Not to mention little baby ducks and kittens!! Evil...


Now this is what Speedhunters is about, not riced base model Mercedes' with stock engines. Incredible build in every regard.


Thats amazing, everything. That interior is on another level.. I can't help but picture how good it would look with symmetrical turbos.


dang, this is one mean machine!
starting to like this front-less look


@Onyx  I've just seen Alok together with the guys form at Bilster Berg race track in Germany on fb... now THAT would be a combo!


maxproof  It drove really nice, We drove around town for quite a while looking for spots.


Ummm... I just can say one word:... Beast!!!, i´m not big fan of Hot rod´s style but this building is awesome,and tho "no hood" i think the same, is getting to be a style? maybe yes :D
Great story, Keith beautifull words! very good job and you Larry you are a master of the camera, great shots!

here you go guys. there are a few others


koko san  
unpadded race seats like those or Kirkeys are not uncomfortable at all. Ive spent 700 plus miles in one driving home for Bonneville...Like any car, You get in a comfortable position and drive.


@chris chabre  Thanks for posting this. @Onyx this is why I don't post videos. We can't do this kind of stuff on the street. Also if I were to shoot a video, it would have to be top quality. I would want to put as much effort as I do into my photos. I love shooting video, but it's a different animal, that takes much more planning and execution.

If you noticed I do post videos when the cars are allowed to go full tilt:


JoseFickert  Thanks for the kind words. This is exactly what is awesome about this car. You and many other Speedhunters may not like hot rods in general, but as long as this brings a smile to your face then our effort was not wasted.


132000  haha, just watch that video in the other comment. Ed actually is about performance first, then aesthetics second.


@chris chabre koko san  bruised asses.


Thanks for the great coverage!  Larry sure does know how to capture the "feel" of a car in a pic.  Only a couple of corrections,  the most important is I didn't tell Rich we were only going to run 8's,  this car will be in the 7's very soon and well into the 7's at that.  Just need to get on a well prepped track and get some minor shifter issues worked out.  The headlights are in the works and there will be a nose built for the car eventually we are just still kicking it around at the moment.  The tach pod is something I made and is fabbed not cast.  

The seats are actually very comfortable.  People who have not ridden in a fitted race seat are always surprised at how comfortable they can be.  These aren't cheap store bought bomber seats that kill your back.  I made two sets of these seats one for this car and one for my personal car,  they rock!

Thanks for all the nice words and compliments.  Always nice when people appreciate all the hard work!

Ed Umland
Eddie's Chop Shop


Larry Chen koko san 
Never had one from driving in one of those seats(and trust me..In race mode the 32 I was driving had about an inch of suspension travel total)...snowboarding, skating and freestyle bike...another story haha


I get the feling it would be a joy to drive and a pain in the ass, as well. Amazing build!!!


its over the top

I mean, that firewall is gorgeous...

but I'd loved to have seen a photo of what the drivers seat gets to see 
through that 5" or so of glass, likely scary at times...


@Darian I have driven cars that were heavily chopped (couldnt fit a soda can through the side windows), and like anything once youre accustomed to it its like driving any car. You learn the blind spots etc.


Not knocking it at all and I mean it in a nice way but the front end reminds me of an elephant for some reason.


America: Drive a car on the streets that's faster than the speed of sound, less safe in a crash than a coke can being run over by a truck and loader than the Greek gods playing hacky-sack with the earth - "That's A-OK" .
Australia: "OH your corolla is 5mm lower than stock, please bend over".
Great looking car and the attention to detail is great to see.


@chris chabre Looks like I'm not the only freak-builder out there! I Absolutly love this thing! Are you on Instagram?


Wow, this thing is awesome! I love the look the turbos at the front give it but I just love how everything else seems to work so perfectly together too - the stance, the roof, that firewall, the dash (are those gauges from a Morgan?). Very cool!


The attention to detail is so high on this car, it is almost perfect! But this street legal? Should it not have headlights of some sort, to qualify for street legal? 
Why almost perfect, you ask? Well the thing that really buggs me is that this has worse eyes than the cross-eyed Morgan... They should have gone for left and right turbos, not two the same!


SuzyWallace  Cool huh?

The gauges are from coach builder Steve Moal. He has his own line now.


Ant86  HAHAHA! I never realized how lenient our laws are here in regards to modifying cars until I came here. You poor guys.


@chris chabre  Me too. You don't really think about it.


KeithCharvonia SuzyWallace  Ah cool - it was just the M and the wings that got me! :)


SuzyWallace KeithCharvonia  The gauges are designed by Steve Moal and made by Classic Instruments. They were probably chosen as they're one of the few gauge sets whose speedo goes to 200mph not 140. This is the reason I use them on my Bonneville racecar.


Kev Elliott SuzyWallace KeithCharvonia  

Kev Elliott from R&C? Glad to see you over here!

What are you running at Bonneville? We'll find you and say hi this year. Good call on the gauges too.


KeithCharvonia Kev Elliott SuzyWallace  

Yep, that's me. I'll be back out with my roadster pickup, 'cept now it has a turbo Zetec instead of the SBC. Oh, and it'll be orange by August too!


Kev Elliott KeithCharvonia SuzyWallace  Cool! We'll definitely track you down on the salt.


I kinda disagree with Ed. I believe a car can have as many characteristics as you want, but that's my opinion. He did create a badass car, no denying it. I hope to see this at some big drag events this year


KeithCharvonia : Very lenient to say the least: how in the world is this street legal? I could make a checklist the size of roll of toilet paper for all the rules it doesn't comply to over here....


Kevski Style KeithCharvonia  Having a license plate isn't the same as "street legal." I'm sure a cop could make the same list if he was so inclined. The point is that in the US, sometimes it's just a matter of walking into the Department of Motor Vehicles with a title and walking out with a plate. A vehicle inspection isn't always required.

I titled and plated my Kaiser for insurance purposes when it was a body shell with the roof cut off and no chassis at all.


Segantimetalworks Im not, I didnt get into it. Only Facebook and related forums. I use to build hot rods for a living, Now its just fun for me again. Im hoping to get my personal shop finished this year and build my personal projects...

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

I will add to the stupid Australian laws bit. You know it's bad when quote "Mum taking kids to school had blood alcohol reading of .22!" She was fined $1500 and given a 6 months ban from driving, was her second offence in one year. It was in the paper a few weeks ago. Then a couple of days ago it had a story on a guy doing a small burnout leaving his own driveway and got $2500 fine, 1 year loss of licence and had his Silvia S15 impounded for 30 days and get this, first run in with the police he's had. Yep were screwed in this country. And yes 5mm lower and bend over son!


What a beast!    I love all detailing... I'd love to build a hot rod... one day!


This thing is awesome, as soon as I saw it I was reminded of the Engineer/Space jockey/pilot from Alien.

Those forward facing exhausts and the shape of the roof line. Similar to the Space jockeys arms and head?


KeithCharvonia Kevski Style  : Thats the thing: That can't be done over here. Our Plates are car specific to begin with. I you lose a plate for instance, you need to send the pinks slips to the DMV (RDW over here), they send you a modified one back and then you can order new plates with an extra number attached to it (the same number thats been modified to the pink slips). The same goes for an MOT (or APK in my country, or TüV, ITV, etc). Without it, you can't even insure a car over here. And the thing is, that its an annual one. 

That being said: All the rules and regulation's tend to bring out creative thinking. Furthermore vehicle safety has a much higher standard over here then in the US. But I can also say that I envy you on the other side of the pond as far as rules go....


Someone needs to make a turbo that's symmetrical to the right hand side, just to make it perfect, but I doubt many places do that...


That's an awesome machine. Good article.


All I can say is that I would be terrified if I had that thing breathing down my neck on the highway! Awesome car with lots of presence


I really like this, and i am down with the no-grille, but i have to say, it needs headlights! 

1) because it would look better in my opinion but that's just my opinion
2) but mainly because of how much of a pain in the arse it would be to have to hurry home before dark like a wee 8 year old kid… how is that a cruiser? How is that bad-arse? Yes and how is that street legal?


MatthewDear Nelson Racing Engines has symmetrical turbo housings...


Please offer any of these as a print, absolutely fantastic!


schoolboy_theew dude. Imagine seeing and hearing that take off


JohnJohnwalters schoolboy_theew OMG


JohnJohnwalters you would feel this thing take off. I feel like if you were in the wrong spot while it was spooling upyou'd porbably get


onicacru JohnJohnwalters WUUTT


schoolboy_theew JohnJohnwalters honestly


onicacru JohnJohnwalters HONESTLY WHAT


onicacru schoolboy_theew honestly get put