One Hot Rod, So Many Styles
Breaking the rules

Traditional hot rodders subscribe to a pretty rigid set of rules, and I want to challenge that notion right now.

I can understand the mantra of ‘doing it like they used to’, but personally I find it to be contradicting to hot rodding at its very core. ‘The way they used to do it’ hinged on creativity and making the most of what was right there in front of you, not ordering some obscure, high dollar part that hasn’t been made in sixty years.


I’ve never been the kind of guy who knows every turn signal by year or which cylinder heads are most desirable. I’m a hot rodder because I like it when things look right, and ordering parts from a catalog will never guarantee that your car will turn out looking good.


In short, I like hot rods that can do this – because to me a real hot rod is just an old car with an attitude, and that’s something that anyone – car enthusiast or not – will recognize.


Jared Seganti’s ’37 Dodge pickup did exactly that when I caught my first glimpse on Instagram. It was one of those double take, then squint and study moments. Fortunately it was easy to contact Jared from there, and since he’s a Speedhunters fan, he was thrilled to have Sean Klingelhoefer drive down to shoot a feature of his creation.


I suppose I should let you digest what you’re looking at, because this is just that kind of build. It all starts with a ’37 Dodge truck cab – that would be the hot rod part – wrapped in sheetmetal suited for a sandrail, a mechanical mix from various race cars, all sitting on a chassis built like a trophy truck. It’s a serious mashup of styles that are worlds apart, yet it all works.

This, my friends, is what I call hot rodding.


You see, Jared first cut his teeth at the age of seventeen sweeping floors in a fab shop. From that moment he was hooked, and he never looked back. Since then he’s worked for Predator Sand Cars, Alumicraft Racing, Racer Engineering and even had a short stint at West Coast Choppers. Obviously he’s bent plenty of metal into the silhouette of a sandrail or trophy truck, so when he set out to build a hot rod, well, this is what happened.


Things like the rear mounted radiator with dimple-died brackets come straight from the off-road world, where you want to place the cooling system out of harm’s way. For Jared’s pickup it was more of a packaging exercise though.


The benefit being a clean face for his hot rod, free of any bodywork at all. Instead the front is pure mechanism; tube structure, suspension and engine all combining to create a form that only function could design.


The old Chevy straight-six is really the only other traditional part on the truck apart from the cab, sitting in its home parallel to the twin chromoly tubes. Notice the cooling pipes that also follow suit.

Skinned for style

The first thing that drew me to Jared’s ’37 Dodge was the bodywork he added to supplement the original sheetmetal. The styling and quality was such that I could tell he had an off-road fabrication background right away.


If you’ve ever spent time around sandrails or pre-runners, you’ll recognize the influence immediately too. Tight-fitting aluminum panels, Dzus fasteners, dimple dies – it’s all there.


Like the half-shrouded front clip, a chromoly structure is only partially covered at the rear.


Beyond the fact the Jared built a running vehicle from scratch, which we’ll get to soon, the styling is really an amazing accomplishment – like something a car designer might doodle while daydreaming. The most brilliant part is the way the new aluminum panels pick up the factory Dodge lines in the cab, but then quickly transform into an aggressive, angular, multi-layer shape. In transportation design, they use the term ‘attack angle’ and this thing has tons of it.


The placement of the wheels helps here too, with each tire pushed outward into a stretched track and wheelbase.


As you move around the vehicle, you start to see those layers come into play. I’ve never seen a hot rod that had so much depth and dimension in the rear quarter panel, if you can call it that.


The tin work continues inside, where Jared hand-formed nearly every panel. Check out the gas pedal taken from some sort of sprint car or a late model. This was simply a case of using a cool part that he had laying around. The origins almost don’t matter, because it has a new home now.


It seems Jared knows all the tricks to take his sheetmetal to a pro level: soft radiused compound bends, small breaks at the edges of panels, hardware and switches perfectly spaced.


Not only did he use quality stainless fasteners throughout, but he patterned them in a way that’s both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. This is experience working to Jared’s advantage; he knew that spacing those screws about four inches apart would be enough. Further apart and it would rattle in the wind, closer together and it would look too crowded.


Obviously you’re a talented builder if you can integrate an old truck cab with a completely hand-crafted chassis and not only make it flow visually, but end up with a mechanically-sound, running vehicle.

Built to drive

So many of these grand visions turn out to just be pipe dreams – projects trapped in someone’s garage never to be completed. That’s why it makes me grin to see Jared Seganti’s little truck kicking up dust under its own power.


Everyone has their reasons for not finishing that dream project: maybe it’s lack of discretionary funds or just not enough time or motivation. I suspect the one intangible skill Jared learned working in those off-road fab shops was the ability to see a project through, and now you’re looking at the payoff. We’d be grossly oversimplifying things to think we understand what it takes simply by viewing the following images, but at least we can look at the major pieces and how they work together.


Of course Jared picked up plenty of tangible skills working in those shops too, like TIG welding and bending tube which he used to build his chromoly chassis. The plate work here is another trait from the off-road fab world.


Jared built the A-arm and coilover front suspension from scratch, which is impressive, but the part that got me was that he built all the geometry at fixed lengths and angles – with zero adjustment. The only thing that can be changed is the toe angle. Instead of threaded heim joints, his suspension pivots on brass bushings, demonstrating that he has the experience and ability to design a suspension that’s dead nuts.


For the rear suspension, he used another set of coilovers and a triangulated four link to locate the axle. The key here is the way everything works in tandem, like the crossmember that ties the sides of the chassis together, but also holds the radiator, which leaves just enough room for the upper coilover mounts to pass by.


We see it again inside, where the roll cage integrates with the old truck’s sheetmetal, but also nicely borders the bottom of the dash panel.


I’ve barely mentioned the chopped top, which is usually such an important part of a hot rod, but with everything else going on, it’s easy to miss. Peeking through the shortened rear window opening, you an see another re-purposed race part that would normally never be found in a hot rod: a suede Momo steering wheel.


This is the mashup of styles I mentioned at the start of the story. It just works, doesn’t it?


Since he built everything else out of aluminum and TIG rod, Jared went ahead and made some seats to fit too.


With all the wild fab work, I could have skipped this and I bet nobody would have noticed. Sure, those are eight lug, three piece Humvee wheels with little street tires mounted to them. But did you know that Hummer wheels came in 16.5″ diameter, and you could never find a street tire to fit? That’s where Jared shrugged his shoulders and got to work, cutting apart each wheel half, removing a couple inches from the circumference, then welding them back together to turn them into 16s. Of course a session of wheel truing ensued, using a torch, hammer, and whatever else he could think of to make the eight wheel halves round again. While he was at it, he narrowed the nine inch wide wheels to seven inches in the front and added two inches to the rears too.


That’s the kind of confidence that started hot rodding in the first place. The fearlessness to look at a hunk of metal, envision something better, and let nothing stand in the way of making it so. From talking to Jared, I think he’s a bit humbled that we wanted to shoot his car at all. He sees all the things he could have done better in his own mind, but meanwhile I’m standing here slackjawed.

As I told Jared how cool it was to see the thing rolling, it suddenly occurred to me to ask if it was finished. It turns out this little hot rod pickup is only half done, because he plans to completely blow it apart to powdercoat and paint it.  For now he’s enjoying driving it and getting a kick out of letting everyone see his work in bare metal. I’m sure it will be a showstopper with paint, but I’m glad we got to immortalize it while it’s still in bare metal and patina too.

Keith Charvonia
Instagram: SpeedhuntersKeith

Photos by Sean Klingelhoefer
Instagram: seanklingelhoefer

Jared Seganti’s 1937 Dodge Pickup

1968 Chevrolet inline six cylinder, 250ci, fabricated engine mounts, custom black braided fuel hoses, custom fabricated exhaust system, two Optima six volt batteries wired in series, two Spal 14″ radiator fans, remote mounted radiator, inline Meziere thermostat housing, scratch built wiring harness, small forklift alternator, marine grade battery kill switch

Chevrolet TH350 transmission, 14 bolt eight lug rear differential from a motorhome, 4:10 gearing, custom driveshaft from Driveline Service of San Diego, B&M Quarter Stick shifter

Full tube chassis built by Jared Seganti using 1 1/2″, 1 5/8″ and 1 3/4″ chromoly tubing

All front suspension links except toe are non-adjustable, front suspension bushings are brass, rear chromoly four link with 5/8″ heim joints, adjustable aluminum shocks, BRT sprint car steering box, four piston Wilwood front calipers with 13″ GT-48 slotted rotors, two piston rear calipers, CNC master cylinder, custom routed 3/16″ copper nickle brake lines, custom pedal box, scratch built black brake hoses

Hummer H1 wheels, changed from 16.5″ to 16″ diameter, front wheels narrowed from 9″ to 7″, rear wheels widened from 9″ to 11″, cheap 205/55/16 front tires, Mickey Thompson 315/45/16 rear tires

1937 Dodge truck cab, hand formed aluminum body panels by Jared Seganti, 4 1/2″ chop, shaved door handles, LED tail lights

Hand formed aluminum interior panels by Jared Seganti, aluminum seats, chromoly roll cage integrated into chassis, Momo steering wheel with Sweet Manufacturing quick release, sprint car gas pedal, Mil-spec Honeywell switches

Rolling Bones: The Poteet ’34 Coupe
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I love seeing fantastic metal work like this in its raw form. Thanks for capturing it.


Anyway the production, assembly and welds look perfect and impeccable. NICE WORK


beautiful car! Am i the only one that thinks of a vw Beetle when i see the front?


Top notch metal work, it requires a huge amount of craftsmanship! Not sure about metal seats though, good luck sitting there after a sunny day at the beach ha


KeithCharvonia Couldn't agree with you more for the hot rodding anology. It's about Built Not Bought. It's nog about the most expensive parts, it's about how you make things work. And it's definitely not about following a treaded path, but finding your own. A lot of big bucks hotrod's could learn something from that. I think that if the RatRod community would really make safety an issue it would be the creative way forward. I can't say I find it pretty to look at, but the builld in itself is as good as it gets. It's different in a lot of ways, almost evolving. The way a hotrodding should be....

To bad most things done here are illegal on this side of the pond though :( The one I'm building currently has racing seats in it, but I would love to have the old bomberseats. Then again, my ass probably would disagree....

As for Jared Saganti: Keep Pushing on!


REALLY diggin' this... Great build quality, and just enough of a stretch from the beaten path to not only capture attention, but spark some imagination. Everything a real hot rod should do. Awesome.


I guess this is titled as '37 Dodge using the VIN from the cab? If so emission controls and the lack of seat belts and such is OK with the California DMV.

However, it does not appear to have plates or a place to mount them. Maybe they are just off and I can't see the mounts.

So the big question, is this actually street legal at this point or intended to be at some point.

It is an interesting build, and I look forward to seeing the completed truck.


Whoa!  I don't comment much but I had to on this hot rod.  This thing inspires me!  Makes me want to get out a paper and pencil and draw again like I was a little kid again!  I know this rod won't appeal to all but for me it ticks almost all the right boxes!  I love the use of a not so desirable truck cab.  I see those types for sale on the local classifieds all the time.  Hmm... I love the corner carving suspension and tires and stance with hot rod lines and the old school inline 6.  Dang this thing is so cool!  Great job!  This is hot rodding!


Just... so f*cking cool.




Haha. I did the stop and squint on IG too.


I'd love to know if and how this is titled...


Scroll, scroll, scroll...what the?


I absolutely love this truck. It's a big defiant middle finger to a lot of people, backed up by creativity and fab work.
That said, the front end is an absolute horror show of chassis design. There's a big unsupported wishbone "Y" at the front, attached into a single "T" point on the frame at the bottom, sweeping at the top into unsupported long bars with coilover mounts welded to them (otherwise known as torsion springs). It's a beautiful example of what not to do, in a yell-at-the-screen type of way for me.  It hurts my brain after the excellent triangulation and tube junctions in the rear of the truck.

Maybe I'm on the receiving end of that middle finger too....?


I absolutely love this truck. It's a big defiant middle finger to a lot of people, backed up by creativity and fab work.
That said, the front end is an absolute horror show of chassis design. There's a big unsupported wishbone "Y" at the front, attached into a single "T" point on the frame at the bottom, sweeping at the top into unsupported long bars with coilover mounts welded to them (otherwise known as torsion springs). It's a beautiful example of what not to do, in a yell-at-the-screen type of way for me.  It hurts my brain after the excellent triangulation and tube junctions in the rear of the truck.

Maybe I'm on the receiving end of that middle finger too....?


Gorgeous! Just gorgeous... I wouldn't mind leaving everything bare metal so people could see all that hard work.


When I saw the opening picture on the homepage, my jaw dropped. A car hasn't made me do that in a loooong time


This Fabrication is unbelievable!  Looke at all the lines of the interior and exterior, jaw dropping.  Noce work Keith & Sean, for gettting this up, most of us would have never know it exist.  @speedhuntersKeith & @seanklingelhoefer


Looks likea  monocoque of a super car... Awesome


I love this thing on every level. Does he have further plans for it?


meal stub  makes me think of the chassis of the drift hilux.


@Fabrik8  I think you are ;-) This thing wasn't built for performance first. If it was, it would be all aluminum and a lot more off the shelf, and he wouldn't have started with a 37 dodge. This thing was built to please him in his own way.

As for the shock mounts at the front, I bet you'd be surprised at how stiff they are. Look at this picture:

you can see another weld between the two welded points of the plate upper "A-arms"(they are rigid, so its really more of a mcpherson type layout). I betcha that thing is at least very nearly as stiff as the sheet metal towers most cars use. Plus, the tube has a nice big bend in it and its welded on both ends. With how light that thing must be, I betcha its way more than stiff enough.

It wouldn't survive the desert or a hard impact, but I don't think he really intends to enter this in the 1000 or anything. I mean look, the guy didn't even use adjustable joints, he was not trying to dial in every last ounce of performance potential.


FrodeOlsen  I wish you hadn't said that :-/


robzor  Yeah, Jared's going to paint and finish it. It's cool enough to leave as is, but I understand wanting to see the project through too.


Best thing I've seen in ages!


I am Jared's uncle and let me tell you guys something--I don't know sheattt about Hot Rods but I do know something about love, hard work, and perseverance.  This kid has been at this thing for years and you will rarely see such a labor of love--I mean he put his EVERYTHING into it, waiting for a few dollars to come in to move on to the next step, his utmost best into every single detail, not for praise but because that is what a man of quality does, and that is quality because it took years, and faith because he could never be sure exactly where it would lead but didn't compromise or rush things.  I saw the Hot Rod in progress a year or so ago and admired it the way an amateur does--it was very cool, but knowing nothing about this stuff had to take his word for it that he was onto something special.  So this is the man you want on your team. Hat's off nephew!


Now that thing is pretty Dam Rad ! nice new take on a HotRod in my books, good to see someone pushing boundary's!, not to everyone's taste but surely that's what it's all about..


robzor  "With how light that thing must be, I betcha its way more than stiff enough." My thoughts exactly.


meal stub  That's the beauty of featuring it now!


CSeganti  Very cool, thanks for taking the time to comment.


Great article. This thing is pretty bad ass. Also, great to see some of Sean's shots on the site again, he seems to have been a bit quiet of late??


Not to be too nerdy about it but I did some math and even if he had half a ton on just one of those shocks in cornering it would not even come close to yielding. It would only twist like 1 degree. I bet the shock point displaces less than a quieter inch.


robzor  In for FEA results. :)


Robo_No1  Sean is a busy guy! He's been doing things like commercial photoshoots for OEMs that wind up on billboards. :)


I've always been one to appreciate all styles and motorsports.  I can see the beauty in an unfinished s13 drift car and the attention to detail of deleting the rear bumper moldings on a stanced VW.  I enjoy watching/competing (washed up) in drifting, drag racing, HPDE, or now cruise events.

That said, I can't get into this car, at all.  I have a tremendous respect and appreciation for the work performed on this build.  What he has done and created is absolutely KILLER.  Why is there no mention of how friggin' awesome his gaps are of joining the faux hood/cowl to the original cab, and same with the rear thing?!  Seriously, it's amazing.  This is Brizio/Boyd shop caliber stuff.  I hope someone reads this and goes back and looks at the pictures.  It's absolutely "hot rodding" at its core, but by no means is this actually a hot rod.  It's a buggy (and I don't mean that negatively).

I do metal work/fabrication on the side and I wish I could shake a stick at half the talent the guy that built this car has.  His eye, workmanship, craft, and attention to detail is spot on; but the style of it is very haphazard and missed.  I don't think sandracers would look at this and think of how cool a concept, just like hot rod guys wouldn't look at it and think the same.  I wish I could meet who built this, shake his hand, and learn a thing or two from him.  I hope he enjoys the hell out of what he has built out of what he had to work with.

I understand this website is working under confines of tags, social cues, etc, but when you're trying to educate people on a car/build/culture with inaccurate definitions, it's just misrepresentation.  I enjoyed the article and writing style (and I think whoever took the pictures could even capture Joan Rivers in a way to make her look good) but when writing about hot rods to a site that largely denotes itself to drifting/stance, I would hope there would be more focus on informing people with correct pretenses.  I remember an article a year + ago that I commented on because it was a "mildly" modified custom pickup that spelled out the writer's gooey feelings for their chrome, but forgot to mention the roof chop.  Again, maybe I'm just growing old and trying to preserve and protect something I enjoy one web post at a time, but I love see the photos you guys do of pre-60's stuff, but some of the writing is nails on a chalkboard.


CSeganti since you took the time to comment I will as well. I saw this build when it was nothing but a cab sitting on the side of Jared's house, a pile of tubing and nothing else. He started this build in his garage, one bit at a time. I can remember thinking, "I wonder if he understands exactly how hard this will be." Not because he didn't have the talent, but because of the resources needed to finish something with this much quality. Jared bleeds oil, he is a lover of cars of all kinds. He is a tremendous talent and is gifted in his ability to see the finished project when everyone else stands by and scratches their heads. I am proud of Jared for his persistence and for the vision he has shared with all of us now that he has finished his truck! For those wondering, YES this is street legal! I had my first ride in this truck around Fiesta Island in San Diego and I have to tell you, it is loud and proud, I could NOT wipe the smile off my face! Talk about turning heads. Simply awesome! Team Seganti Metal Works!


It's being titled as a SPCNV (special construction vehicle) the seat belts were off for the shoot.


@notaduc it's titled as a SPCNV vehicle. Kinda like a kit car, they create a vin for it.


@robzor @fabrik8 ok guys, first off, we're not dealing with much weight here, which allowed me to be a lot more stylish up front. Also, most people don't notice a vertical support tube under the shock mount. Did this on purpose. Minimalist is the name of the game! I think people forget just how strong chromoly steel is. It ain't movin.


@Michael Atwell Awesome! That's the idea!


AlexBailey I totally agree, it wouldn't be possible without these guys.


@robzor Yep! Raw for a year, then blow apart and paint.


@atomman Absolutly!! That's my favorite part about car culture. So much variety.


KeithCharvonia robzor  I just did the angle of twist math by hand and made a lot of assumptions :-) I actually used numbers for mild steel though, so its probably even less than what i said due to it being chromoly.


Segantimetalworks  Yeah, above I mentioned just barely being able to see a weld between the points of the vertical shock mount, I figured it was another tube coming up. Did you have access to a mandrel bender? In college we tried to build our baja SAE car out of chromoly and it was a pain to do it with a regular bender, anything more than 45 degrees would just wrinkle to death. We ended up making all those parts out of 1020. Before anyone tells me thats terrible and unsafe, the rules only called for 1018 or better, we were 100% compliant and nobody died. ;-)

picture of that car in action at the above link :-)


An old McCulloch supercharger would go down well on this wouldn't it? :)


@modguy Im planning on a turbo in the future! And maybe a built motor. As far as the future... Look out... this is only my first build!!!


@CSeganti thanks unc!


@CSeganti Thank you Unc!


@Kevin Angeloni Thank you.


@PrincetonWong So do I!


@StudioPCK Imagination! What a concept!


Robo_No1  So little time, so much to shoot!


Michael Atwell  That's what we strive for.


Segantimetalworks Yee Hah, bring it on!


sean klingelhoefer Robo_No1  Nice one, congratulations on the commercial stuff Sean! But SH misses you, get to shooting some tuner cars and posting them online hahaha.


Segantimetalworks LOL Yeah, funny how that whole "imagination" thing that brings us all into being car guys to start with can can get lost so quickly. Thanks for not only hanging on to that, but for reminding everyone who sees this just what it's all about...


Michael Atwell  Mission accomplished then. :)


@Royzgirl1 Thank you! Started from the bottom, now it's here.


Segantimetalworks  awesome!


Super cool car! Its mind blowing to think about the amount of fab work that has gone in to this machine. Great photos and a great article. Also love the sticker on the diff BFM KCCO!


@scottcpynn Thanks man! KCCO!



"Traditional hot rodders subscribe to a pretty rigid set of rules, and I want to challenge that notion right now"

The author warns you...

A 1937 Dodge Truck and a Trophy Truck had a May-December fling and Jared Seganti’s Hot Rod is the gorgeous, exotic love child that serves as proof of that taboo union.

I tip my hat to you Guest for giving the guy his due on the craftsmanship, and I also respect your opinion on what you consider a true Hot Rod, but I opine that this is a true, dyed-in-the-wool Hot Rod in every sense.

If back in the late 40's, a GI took his check after the war and just happened to have the skills and the mathematics of chassis geometry floating around in his head, this Hotty could well have been born 60+ years ago. It may look like a buggy to you, but it's built to go quick in a straight line if you ask me.

He may have well started a new trend, or at the very least, a new classification of Hot Rod. So yeah, she's as Hot Rod as it gets in my mind.

Ingenious, irreverent, and functional. Jared. Well done sir! Well done. I love the straight six. Keep on truckin'.

I also agree....well written, great photos, and an article I won't soon forget.
I want one, but I would never do that to Jared. I'll be happy just looking.


Is there a build thread of this thing anywhere over the entrire internet? Please Jared, please.


@Guest  Thaks for the props! This comment pretty much sums up why I built this thing... to somehow get people to realize the car hobby is art, not just image. Im not rockabilly. Im not a racer. Im not an offroader. 
But I am weird, I am an artist and innovator. This build reflects that. Its truly from the heart.


@FerbAguilar I do have a few videos on YouTube. "1937 hot rod build" or "hotrod hustle"


Definitely need a build thread! This truck is amazing! I love the raw look, but can't wait to see paint and powder coat. Color ideas? What about future builds? Too bad your on the west coast and I'm in Indy, I'd love to see this truck in person! Wish more people had a creative mindset to build their rod chassis' like these instead of the same old 2x3 rect. tubing. Awesome!


I almost became giddy when I saw the BFM sticker on the diff. All in all killer build! KCCO!


@Thughes97 Thanks man! Glad you dig it, never take yourself too seriously.


Segantimetalworks Have you done any new mods/work to this since the feature?


Nothing major man, couple small things..


Solo I'm like 2 years late but this truck is astonishing. An absolute inspiration to all hotrodders and car enthusiasts alike. I hope to see more of Segantimetalworks metal artwork in the future