Meet Hollywood Hot Rods, builder of the 2012 Street Rodder Road Tour vehicle
Burbank, Calif.-based Hollywood Hot Rods is a full-service hot rod builder and a classic car modification and restoration shop. Troy Ladd opened the business after quitting the corporate desk job to follow his “do-it-yourself garage passion” for creating one-of-a-kind cars with artistic flair.
His shop works with a team approach; each and every member has specialized talents and abilities which enables the group as a whole to be a step above their competition. By using this team effort, Hollywood Hot Rods is able to accomplish nearly any task in the automotive process:
- Complete hot rod and custom car build-ups
- Custom metal fabrication, sheet metal forming, TIG, MIG, O/A welding
- Body customization (chops, shaving, channeling, etc.)
- Custom frame construction, modification, sub-frames
- Air bag suspension
- Supercharging, nitrous, multiple carbs, unusual induction systems
- EFI conversions and fuel mapping
- Power and disk brake conversions
- Engine swaps
Among their long list of achievements, including Kustom of the Year 2011, Builder of the Year 2010 and Trendsetter of the Year 2007, the shop was selected to build the 2012 AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour vehicle. Using Miller welding and cutting equipment exclusively, Ladd and his team of fabricators will complete the '40 Ford coupe that utilizes a Bob Drake body on a Fatman chassis. The car will show like a high-end show car but will also race at Autocross and Road Course, which is a bit unusual for a fat-fender car.“Everything involves welding or cutting in one way or another,” said Ladd. “From the framework to the sheet metal work, Miller welders play a huge role in what we do because we couldn’t even exist without welding and cutting equipment. These products are key to everything we do here at Hollywood Hot Rods.”
Miller products used at the shop include:
- Millermatic® 211 Auto-Set™ with MVP™ MIG welder
- Millermatic® 252 MIG welder
- Diversion™ 180 TIG welder
- Dynasty® 350 TIG welder
- Spectrum® 375 X-TREME™ Plasma cutter
- Spectrum® 875 Plasma cutter
- S-Series ArcStation™ w/ accessories
- Arc Armor® welding protection
“One of the key features that we’ve found — which we had never experienced before we bought Miller — is the MVP™ feature (Multi-Voltage Plug),” said Ladd. “The fact that we can go from 110V to 220V and bob and weave throughout the shop is important because we have a limited amount of 220 receptacles — so it sounds trivial, but for us, its hugely important to have that bit of diversity.
While many of his fabricators received professional training and/or schooling, Troy’s personal experience with welding and building cars has been all DIY. He purchased a small hobbyist welder in YEAR and learned at home, saying “practice, practice, practice,” was key in improving the skill set necessary to turn his artistic concepts into reality.
“For me I have this passion for creating art, and my art happens to be cars. It’s just a dream come true that I can do this and succeed at it, and be recognized for it,” said Ladd. “My advice to anybody is that if you can live out your dream and your life — that’s what you should do.”
Miller will be tracking the welding portion of the 2012 AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour build over the next several months. The official vehicle unveiling is scheduled for June 2012. Stay tuned to future issues of the DIY e-newsletter for videos and updates tracking the progress. And pick up a copy of Street Rodder for feature editorial detailing the build.