rodster street rod body parts


What is the Rodster¨?
What's different about the Super Deluxe version?
What is the Sedan Delivery Street Rod?
The automotive press writes about the Rodster¨.
Rodster¨ Owners speak.

View the Rodster¨ buildup process.
About the Rodster¨ donor vehicle.
Cruise the Rodster¨ price list.

The Rodster¨ goes on the Hot Rod Power Tours.
Awards for the Rodster¨
What is a Hot Rod anyway?
Why a Rodster¨?
Who designed the Rodster¨?
Turn-key Rodsters¨  for sale!
Can you use a V8?
The Rodster¨ Pickup Truck
And there's a 4x4 Rodster¨.

Frequently Asked Questions: the Rodster¨ FAQ.
Tell us what you think: e-mail.

Caroselli Design logoContact Henry Caroselli
Caroselli Design
214 Main St. # 15-B
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 322-2767

© Copyright Caroselli. No images or text located anywhere on this site may be reused or republished without expressed written permission from Rodster, Inc., d.b.a.: Caroselli Design. The Rodster Street Rod design is protected by U.S. Patent # D450,284. "Rodster¨" is a registered trademark of Caroselli Design.
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What does it really cost to build a hot rod, custom, or specialty car?

In 1960, the average retail price for a gallon of gasoline was 31¢ cents, in 2007 inflation adjusted dollars, that 31¢ equates to $2.18. Using that same multiplier (X 7.03), the hot rod, street rod, custom car, or dune buggy that cost $3K–$5K to build in 1960 would take $21K–$35K* to build using today’s dollars.

Another yardstick is that building a nice custom car for less than what it costs to buy the average new car is considered to be a good deal. The price of your average new vehicle topped $30K** in 2005.

What this means is the Rodster Roadster Street Rod, with an average total build-up cost (including the donor vehicle) of only $10K–$15K, is an all-around sweet deal. And the Rodster Sedan Delivery Street Rod, at a total build-up cost (including the donor vehicle) of $9K–$11K, is a smokin' deal.
*As caculated at
**Per USAToday

“What do you mean, total build-up cost?”

Total budget is how you should look at any project. Whether it’s a house, storage shed out back, or street rod, it’s always a good idea to work up a rough budget to determine what the total build-up cost will be. Figure out how much time and effort you can afford to give to the project. Often, when you are building something custom, emotional considerations take over and logic goes out the window. Trying to re-create a childhood dream can get awfully expensive. The Rodster was developed so the homebuilder with average mechanical ability can do most of the work himself (your labor = soft cost) without contracting out a lot of the work (outside labor = hard cost). For example, there is no welding required to build a Rodster. At the most, our customers farm out the lowering kit installation and the final paint.

“Explain more about hard costs vs. soft costs?”

The giant do-it-yourself industry is built on hard dollars versus soft dollars. When you pay someone $60 an hour (shop rates vary from $45–$75 an hour) to do something for you, you have to earn as much as $85 before taxes to pay them. Plus, when you figure-in the taxes, parts mark-up, down-time, charge-card interest (if you put it on a card), and misc. supplies, you could easily pay over $100 for that hour of labor. It can get very expensive fast. If you can do-it-yourself (soft dollars), and even if you take twice as long to perform an operation, you still haven’t taken any money (hard dollars) out of your pocket. You save real money doing it yourself.

“Isn’t there a guy in Tennessee who builds ‘32 Ford Hi-boy replicas for only $25K?”

We hear this “legend” from time to time, and when you check into it you see that for $24,568 you get a bare-bones stripper replica called an “Almost-Ready-to-Cruise” package. When you read the “fine print” and add options like the upgraded chassis with IFS and GM disc brakes ($7K option - of course, a S10 Blazer comes with IFS and GM power disc brakes), paint ($7K+ option for just your basic paint job), GM 700R4 automatic transmission ($1,600 option - note: the Chevy S10 Blazer uses the desirable GM 700R4 trans.), A/C (over $1K parts/labor), miscellaneous parts ($2K), and other things that aren’t included like gauges, an emergency brake, and even rearview mirrors, you blow through the proverbial $40K barrier very quickly.

“I thought you could build a Cobra replica for $15K-$20K.”

We don’t know how anyone can do this, especially when the Basic kit for most popular Cobra replica starts at $13K and a Complete kit goes for $20K. By the time you add a few (and pretty much necessary) upgrades, have it shipped to you, put in the modern running gear, and then put a decent paint job on it, you’re knocking on $30K in a big hurry. We guess that, if you’re amazingly lucky, tremendously handy, and extremely resourceful, you can probably build a nice Cobra replica for under $30K. But then again, if you’re amazingly lucky, tremendously handy, and extremely resourceful, you can build a nice Rodster Roadster for less than $10K and a Sedan Delivery for something like $7K (including the price of the donor vehicle).

“Isn’t a Porsche Speedster replica only $10K?”

Old VW beetles are collector items now (those 2.8 million ‘83 - ‘94 Chevy S10 Blazers are most definitely not). By the time you find a VW donor vehicle (or a new frame kit and Brazilian motor), fit a body, add tires/wheels, interior, and paint it - you’re over $15K in a hurry. Plus, when you’re all done the best you have is the archaic engineering of a 25-50 year old Volkswagen with a swoopy body. Cute, but it sure wouldn’t be our first choice for a vehicle to drive cross-country.

“I heard about someone who built a real-steel ‘40 Ford convertible street rod for only $40K.”

We’d like to meet to this “someone.” When we occasionally hear stories like this, we just shake our heads with wonder. If your grandfather had one sitting around and gave it to you for a song, and your dad teaches auto shop and just so happens to have a small block w/tranny lying around, and your brother-in-law has a high-end body shop, and your wife has an upholstery business . . . maybe you can build a real-steel street rod for less than the cost of a new Lexus. There are a lot of “fish-stories” in the hot rod/custom/specialty car business. Do your own math. Do a total build-up cost budget. Don’t get into a project that your resources (both checkbook and time) can’t handle. Building and owning a street rod should be something fun.

“If I can buy a ‘32 Hi-boy reproduction body for around $9,900, then isn't $8,495 a lot for a Rodster Roadster Super Deluxe complete kit?”

OK, body for body it’s about the same . . . except that with the ‘32 Ford reproduction body all you get is a body (and only from the firewall back and w/o fenders). With the Rodster you get a complete conversion kit with a body that is engineered to fit a modern production vehicle - i.e.: the attachment flanges are all there. You also get all the stuff you need to convert a used S10 Blazer into a Rodster (like a lowering kit, radiator, fan, sport hoop, grille, lights, etc.), so when you add a $2K Chevy S-10 Blazer donor, $2K paint job, and a $1K set of wheels/tires you’re only in the $13K–$15K range for a completed Rodster Roadster Street Rod.

By the time you add things to the ‘32 Hi-boy replica body, like a frame, running gear, brakes, steering, seats, windshield, dash, etc., etc., etc., your finished rod is easily in the $35K–$40K range. Like we said earlier, it’s a good idea to think total build-up cost. Also, you gotta know that it’s a ton easier to convert a fully-operational modern vehicle into a street rod than it is to build a rod from pieces. (You know what that means, if you’ve ever hoisted an engine into a chassis.)

The high cost of something that doesn’t get used.

We have all bought an expensive shirt that just hung in the closet. We’ve also bought shirts that we wore ‘til they were threadbare. We all like to indulge ourselves with something nice –– but it’s even nicer if we are able to enjoy it and have some fun. There’s nothing worse than putting a ton of money into something that doesn’t get used and then becomes a burden. Our customers enjoy the bejeezes out of their Rodsters. After all, it’s the 100 smiles-an-hour street rod.

Simply put, the Rodster is the more doable, EZ cruisin’ Street Rod. It doesn’t break the bank to build one. It doesn’t take years and years to finish one. It’s easy to maintain and find parts to keep it running at its best. It’s a Street Rod engineered and designed to be a no-worries cruiser. The Rodster maximizes the fun of street rod construction and ownership. It offers the most bang-for-the-buck in the world of street rods.

Isn’t it time you got in on the fun?