Rodster® owners saying about the Rodster® Street
A Few Words With JEFF
What do you do for
Budget Analyst for the Department
of the Navy. I’ve been working at Point Mugu for 22 years and currently,
I’m a Lead Financial Analyst for a small group of junior Budget Analysts
supporting a group of engineering and program managers.
Tell me about your
car history – would you describe yourself as a car nut? What kinds of
cars have you had?
I love cars. I’m a car nut
all right. My first car was a 1966 Ford and after that, I got a 1976
Ford Van. Sold that in 1983 and got a 1983 S10 Blazer with the 2.8 V6.
When the new 4.3 V6 came along in 1989, I bought another S10 Blazer
as I didn’t care for the poor power on that 2.8 V6. Then, as my folks
started getting a little older, I bought a 1994 4-door S10 Blazer, for
myself and my parents. The reason for buying the 4-door was to make
it easier for either of my parents to sit in the back seat as it was
a little hard for them to get into the back seat with the 2-door.
Are you involved in
racing or car shows or other extracurricular car activities?
As for racing, I used to
do a lot of slot car racing back in the late 60’s when I was a young
teenager. Also did some R/C racing during the early 90’s. I’m not involved
with any car shows, however, I might enter my Rodster in some car shows
here in Ventura County.
How did you find out
about the Rodster and what attracted you to it?
I saw an ad in AutoWeek
about two years ago. At first, I didn’t care for the styling of the
hood. But after looking at the ads in the Rodster web page, I thought
I’d drive down south to meet Henry and see first hand just what the
Rodster looks like in person. At first, I had mixed thoughts about it,
as that hood didn’t look right. Well, after about two or three weeks
of thinking about it, I made another trip down to see Henry, and he
was working on his new hood style called the Super Deluxe, and boy,
I knew right away that Henry had a winner that was going to sell really
What do you think of
the manual? Was it clear? Did you buy the manual before you got the
kit? Did the manual play into your decision to buy the kit?
I bought the manual first
and spent a great deal of time looking it over and thinking of better
ways to build this Rodster. I also took this manual to a couple of ‘rod
shops to see if they could build it for me, as I’m unable to build it
due to my handicap.
What is your handicap?
I have had Post-Polio since
I was a baby and I have little use of my hands.
I’ve done a little
research on post-polio -- how polio can flare up in survivors 30 years
I got Polio when I was three
weeks old, back in 1953. I lost about 80% - 90% use of my arms and hands.
As of today, I'm a little slower than I was when I was younger (which
is true with most able bodies.)
What kinds of alterations
have been made to your car so that you can drive?
I drive with my feet, as
I have a custom foot operated steering wheel on the floor.
How does the steering
wheel on the floor work?
I'm not a good technical
writer, so you'll have to ask Henry if he can explain to you how the
mechanics work. It's really easy, anybody can drive the way I do.
How did you manage
to drive the slot cars and R/C cars when you were a kid?
As for driving slot cars
and R/C, I had just enough use of my hands to get things done and for
extra support I used my mouth and teeth (please don’t tell my dentist).
Is your Rodster finished
Yes, I need to take it
back to the painter as it has a little overspray and he needs to redo
Were there any other
custom touches you had done?
Yes, too many to list --
shaved door handles, custom bodywork, custom bumper, custom rollbar,
How did you participate
in the building process? Was it satisfying? Even fun?
I hired a hotrod shop to
build the Rodster for me. At first, it was fun going to the shop each
weekend to see what progress had been made, but then, it took much longer
then I thought to build this car and I wasn’t sure it was ever going
to get completed. I feel that it took a month or two too long to get
Did it take so long
because of the alterations that had to be made to accommodate your handicap,
or because of the custom touches that you later said were too numerous
to list? Or did it take more time because they had a lot of other cars
in the shop and couldn’t devote as much time to yours—anyone who’s had
their car worked on in a shop can relate to that.
No driving alterations were
required as this had already been done back in 1989, when I first bought
the car. It took more time for a number of reasons: a) a number of custom
touches; b) other cars in the shop to work on; c) once we were ready
for painting, we had to get an appointment with the painter which took
another 3-5 weeks before he could start on it and he took a little more
time than he said it would take; and d) because the painter took a little
more time, we had to change to original appointment date with the upholster
What year was your
donor Chevy S10 Blazer? How many miles on it?
I bought my 2-wheel drive
S10 Blazer new back in 1989 and I was thinking of selling it when it
got to 100,000 miles. Well, it has 102,500 miles on it now, and when
I saw that ad for the Rodster, I thought I’d just keep that old car
and turn it into a Rodster.
What do you think about
the overall quality of the kit itself? Did you receive your kit on time?
Was the shipping okay?
Henry took the time to bring
it himself to Ventura and to meet the guys at Scott’s who would be building
the Rodster for me. I think the kit was great. I ended up returning
some items as we ended up doing some customizing here and there.
How was dealing with
Caroselli Design? Was Henry responsive to your questions?
Henry is one of the nicest
guys you can meet anywhere. I enjoyed talking to him and he really knows
the car business. I’m looking forward to giving him a ride in my Rodster
within the next couple of weeks.
Have you built other
Would you recommend
the Rodster, even if the builder weren’t a mechanical whiz?
Yes, I think some day I’ll
order just the front parts (hood and quarter panels) and have that put
into my 4-door S10 Blazer that I have and make it look like some type
of old panel truck.
Do you think that the
Rodster offers a good overall value?
Do you think you got
good bang for the buck?
Well, that’s kind of hard
to answer as I’ve spent too much on it.
How much money do you
have invested in your Rodster?
The price of the kit was
about right, but the cost of building this Rodster the way I did it
was way too much!
Is the inflated cost
because of the extended labor needed for the custom touches? Or just
sticker shock over what you had to pay the mechanics in general? That
$40 an hour or so multiplies very quickly…
It was both the number of
custom touches and the number of hours at $50 per hour to complete this
How much do you drive
it? What kind of reactions have you gotten on the street?
Well, I've had it for three
days now and I must have put a little over 100 miles on it just driving
it around town. I'm planning on just driving it on nice sunny weekends
and maybe one day every other month to work if the weather is nice.
The reaction has been just great. Just today, one driver followed me
to the parking lot and asked me too many questions. (I need training
on being a good salesman.) Everybody seems to love the hood and that
flame paint job on the hood.
What’s the best thing
about a Rodster?
It’s a one of a kind type
of car. Nobody on my street has one and I bet nobody in Camarillo has
one either. The Rodster’s got that American style with West Coast attitude
and a universal appeal.
you having fun with your Rodster?
Yes, and I'm
tired of talking and answering questions about what it is. But it's
fun and I knew it was going to be like that once I started driving the
have anything else to say about the Rodster that I have neglected to
don't know how many Rodster kits have been sold to date, but I think
it's time that somebody started a Rodster car club or Rodster newsletter.