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Hot Rods by Glen; there’s only One Chance to Pick Up One of these Gently Used Customs that are Fresh off the Rack

Hot Rods by Glen

Chandler, ARIZ. (April, 14, 2013) – Growing up in a small town outside of Tulsa, Glen Bolz was inspired by the Street Rod Nationals in Oklahoma City.  As a kid, Glen would go to the Nationals and later sit on the strip at night to watch the cars cruise Meridian Street.

Similar to many of our families, Glen’s family didn’t have a lot of money.  Glen got a job and started buying car parts.  He owned two cars before turning 16, but neither of them ran.  Glen started swapping and trading parts, and with the help of a family friend, he was able to get his ’76 Vega running.  Unfortunately the tell tail signs of a blown head gasket ended its life when it began steaming out of the tailpipe.  Glen resurrected the Vega with a small block Chevy.  He spent hours in the car on the main strip cruising.  A few years later, Glen found a 1969 Fiat 124 Sport.  He fell in love with the car and drove it until he decided to buy a brand new car.  Glen says ” it was a very cool car for a punk kid in Oklahoma.”

As many of the cars featured in magazines Glen was reading were out of California, Glen decided to head West to be closer to the scene.  He originally planned on moving to California, but after the Rodney King riots he chose Phoenix instead.

In 1993, Glen surprised his parents by quitting his corporate job of seven years.  He packed up a U-Haul and drove to Phoenix.

Glen picked up his first project car in 1995.  It was a ’92 Caprice wagon.  Glen shaved the ugly off of it, lowered it, put a full length sliding rag top in it and put a set of big billet Budnik wheels on it.  Glen’s next project came in the for of a 1927 Roadster and the Caprice found a new home in Las Vegas.  The Roadster was a big step for Glen.  With little tools and not knowing how to weld at the beginning of the project, Glen gained a lot of knowledge and skills by the time he finished the Roadster four years later.

buicklast01Although it’s obvious Glen has always been into cars, the completing the Roadster project really gave him the “bug.”  Glen put the word out on the streets that he was looking for a Buick or Cadillac Sedanette for his next project.  His friend and fellow street rodder Larry Young just happened to have one.  Larry is also one of Glen’s mentors.  Larry got Glen started on the ’27 Roadster and encouraged him to do things outside of his comfort zone.

When Glen picked up the Buick it was in rough shape.  It was a true field find, rats nests and all.  To top it off, no pun intended, a tree limb had fallen on the roof.  Five years later, the Buick was received many awards and was featured in magazines.  Glen rolled the car across the block at Barrett-Jackson in 2006.

By this time, Glen had built a shop to work on his creations in.  He now had a mill, a lathe, and was tig welding.  Feeling the need to step into new territory, Glen wanted to build something “rowdy.”  Something with a bit of attitude that he could fabricate some of the parts for.  A bike would be next.

Glen built two choppers.  One with a lot of billet, custom parts fabricated by Glen and metal flake paint.  The next bike was an old school chopper.  Kick start and magneto powered, the Jockey shifted, bare steel Shovelhead Springer rolled onto the scene, grabbing the attention of the media.  Glen later sold both of the bikes.  One went to New York, while the other went over seas, making the journey all the way to France.

If you haven’t figured it out already, you are more likely to be the second owner of a Hot Rods by Glen project than having a car built by Hot Rods by Glen.  By the time Glen is finishing a project, he’s already picking up parts for the next one.  Keeping one of his builds maintains his penitence with the current build.  However, by the time the second build is done, the previous one will more than likely be up for grabs.

Glen began working on a 1929 Model A Sedan.  He went crazy on the engine and took it to the track a few times to see what it would run and the hook was set.  Glen’s first time out at the track with the Model A was for Mark Yacavone’s Southwest Nostalgia Drags.  Prior to taking it to the track he had never had the car over 20 MPH.  Excited and nervous, Glen forgot to let go of the transbrake button on his first pass, but crossed the line at 90 MPH.  Riding leaf springs and stopping with drum brakes on all four corners, Glen used was hooked on drag racing and used the Model A to quench his need for speed.  By the time he was done with is, the Model A was running high 9’s.  He says that they “were definitely having more fun than the lawn chair national street rod events” with the car.

Now infected with the “bug” to go fast, Glen bought a junked 1966 Nova and dragged it back to the Valley from Tucson.  The Nova was originally purchased at Brown & Brown Chevrolet and came with the original owners manual and protecta-plate from its era.  Someone had put a badly engineered 2 x 3 chassis under the Nova.  Glen pulled the body off of the frame and sold everything he didn’t need to get the project going.

Glen set out to build an 8.0 second, 25.4 Chromalloy round tube chassis car out of the Nova.  He enlisted the help of his friend Don Yates, a local race car builder to supervise his progress his progress   With the end goal in mind, Glen built a frame table, bought a tubing bender, and began building the frame.  The PPG paint was done by Hot Rods by Dean while Glenn Kramer wrestled the headliner into position.  All that said, Glen’s 8.0 second car turned into a high 6.0 second car powered by a 2300 horsepower Pro Charged engine rolling on a 25.2/254 NHRA certified chassis.

Though Glen may not have experience in race car chassis tuning or seat time in driving the beast he built, he earned his NHRA license in November 2012 while making progress in dialing the car into the high 7.0’s.

Hot Rods by GlenHot Rods by Glen’s most current project is this 1966 Nova.  Complete, but not yet fully tuned, the Nova has received a lot of attention.  Arizona Auto Scene has seen Glen’s Nova at the track and can tell you it’s always a pleasure to watch.

Hot Rods by Glen recently purchased a one half acre lot in Scottsdale to serve as the home of a new shop.  His current shop is too small to bring projects other than his own in to.  The focus of the shop will be tig welding, fabrication and machine work.

To date, Glen’s motorcycle and Buick projects have brought his skills to a whole new level.  The Nova recently surprised Glen by receiving numerous awards at the Grand national Roadster Show in California.

When asked why one would choose another shop over Hot Rods by Glen, he says ” They may not want to…..I think I sometimes obsess on perfection too much and at the end of the day I would either have to charge too much or I would go broke.”  Although he can fabricate and machine pieces for others projects, Glen feels he’s not ready to build an entire car for a customer.

Don’t be surprised if a future Hot Rods by Glen was to include a 1936 Ford tail dragger as one of its future builds.

Whether you are at the show or track, feel free to stop by and say “Hi” to Glen.For more information on Hot Rods by Glen click here.

The shop may be small, but the craftsmanship rolling out of it is amazing.

Team Firebird's 2nd Race of the 2013 NHRA Summit ET Bracket Racing Season

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