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Red-hot raffle prize
Rob Barton with the 1932 Ford hotrod he won in a raffle. Picture: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

To anyone with a hankering for hot rods, Rob Barton is one of the luckiest petrolheads in the country because this immaculate 1932 Highboy cost him just $5.

In 2008, Mr Barton invested that amount in the Australian Street Rod Federation raffle and on Easter Sunday 2009, Lady Luck smiled upon him.

"I was having coffee at a relative's house and the phone rang," Mr Barton said. "This guy said 'It's me, you've won the car.'

"I thought someone was giving me a bit of a rip."

Having had an interest in hot rods since his teens, Mr Barton said he had never been able to finish building his own hot rod projects. As it turned out, he never had to pick up a spanner to get the hot rod of his dreams.

"It was professionally built by a company called Rod Bods in New South Wales," Mr Barton said.

They built it in the style of a 1932 Ford, but with some classic hot-rod mods.

Rumbling beneath that gleaming red bodywork is a Holley 650 carburettor-fed Chevrolet 350 crate motor which drives through a three-speed Turbo 350 transmission. The grunt is delivered to the rear wheels via a Ford 9-inch differential.

The job of hauling it up is done by a set of power disc brakes from a VS Commodore and the steering box is from an XF Falcon.

The chassis is a 1932 reproduction, reinforced to take the V8 drivetrain. A thermofan on the radiator keeps that big lump of cast iron cool.

The interior is tan leather applied in the traditional tuck-and-roll style, and the roof is a rigid one-piece lift-off unit.

Mr Barton said the response the car draws from the pubic when he drives it is unbelievable.

"People shout out from the side of the road and if I park it, people flock to it with their camera phones out," he said.

"I barely get out of it and there's a crowd around it."

Mr Barton said that although the car has brought him a huge amount of enjoyment over the past three years he is now looking for a more family-oriented classic car.

"I'm looking for an early Falcon coupe, because I used to have an American 1963 Falcon convertible, which I did the left-to-right conversion on," he said.

"That was going to be my 'keeper', but I ended up selling it.

"So I want a car that I can drive all year that's a cool cruiser and one I can fit more people in. That's my reason for selling this."

Mr Barton said this car cost Rod Bods $80,000 to build. After three years, he's asking $65,000 for it.

"It cruises beautifully, but will go much faster if you put your foot down," he said.

"The crate motor is quoted at 300 horsepower (223kW)."

He said that one of his best memories of the car took place at a petrol station in Morley.

"I pulled up for fuel one day and this guy was filling up with his son, who was four or five," Mr Barton said.

"They were standing around the car and coming closer and I said to them, 'Do you want to come for a ride?'

"The little kid smiled to his ears. We went for a lap around the block and came back and took photos. The dad said his son loves cars and this had just made the kid's year. It was just brilliant.

"People can't believe that I park it at the carpark at the shops, but you can't keep them in the garage, they have to be driven."

Mr Barton can be reached on 0408 003 693.