Alloway's Hot Rod Shop
The last few years have seen big changes afoot at Alloway's Hot Rod Shop. The rods are still rolling out with the massive rear wheels, slammed stance, and recognizable rake-all spring, no air, thank you-but the cars themselves have been evolving. Bobby Alloway will tell you straight out; he is first and foremost a street rod builder, and his place is a street rod shop where some of the most detailed and award-wining prewar rides are born. That's a reasonable claim since his cars have taken pretty much every top honor, including America's Most Beautiful Roadster, the Ridler Award, Street Rod of the Year, and Street Machine of the Year. Bobby himself has even been inducted into the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame. Lately, however, more often than ever before he's been applying all of those quintessential Alloway touches to late-model metal, meaning '60s muscle cars.

That hasn't exactly been a stumbling block for Bobby though. Some of his most talked about cars in the past few years have been muscle cars: Ken Nestor's '70 Challenger, known as She-Devil, and George Lange's implausibly clean '67 Mustang fastback that practically defines the muscle rod movement, for example. More recently, he's recently wrapped up three autocross-ready first-gen Camaros and has moved on to a '67 Fairlane and a '70 Mustang, as well C1, C2, and C3 Corvettes.

Has interest shifted permanently? Not in Bobby's opinion: "I think it'll come back around; it did this once before in the '80s, then picked back up." The down economy may have a little bit to do with the current shift as well; Bobby reports that business is still doing well on the high-end builds with plenty of work coming in to keep the crew busy. Most of the current drop-off has been in the day-to-day restos and repairs.

Along with the top-shelf muscle, Bobby tells us that there's a much stronger demand for exotic engines underhood; standard fair small- and big-blocks are definitely off the list. The Fairlane and the Mustang will both be packing Boss 429s, and Bobby currently has three 427 Cammers and three ZL1s sitting in the shop waiting for future projects still on the drawing boards. We can really get into that trend: more eye-catching ways to make big horsepower. To house those big engines, Bobby's also been getting more inquiries about big cars and wagons to drop them in. One of the Cammers is slated for a '61 Galaxie convertible, and a '57 Ranch Wagon is waiting its turn in the shop, along with a '62 Impala. While none of those are all that unusual, Bobby feels that many rodders are looking for cars that a family fits in for cruising and car shows.

None of those are that out of line with Bobby's hot rod mantra; something a little out of the norm is the Alloway style. And just what is the Alloway style? Essentially it's a perfectly restored-looking classic sitting atop a custom chassis with Alloway wheels and rake. Although in many ways it requires more work to get the look right, and more restoration than he's accustomed to, Bobby's not against the movement. "I think the '63 split-window Vette we just finished might be the prettiest car we've ever done." That might sound surprising for a hot rod builder, but whatever he ends up building, one thing's for sure: Before they leave Bobby's shop, they'll be as shiny on the bottom as they are on top.

Alloway's Hot Rod Shop