The question came from young and old alike. They stood. They gawked. They applauded . . . and they inevitably asked: "What is it?"
"It" is the creative masterpiece of CJ. Its VIN says "1937 Hudson Terraplane," but the only pieces from that ride are the back window, front doors, and headlights. The rest was brought to life on the English wheel from 14 sheets of steel, lovingly "hammered out" over five years.
CJ's skills in metal work can be traced through his father and grandfather on the Fiji Islands. The creativity, ingenuity, and tenacity for such a project can also be attributed, in part, to an island mindset that says "fix it" rather than "replace it."
As to the particulars, the Hudson rides on a bagged 2006 Dodge truck chassis that has been lengthened four feet. Power comes courtesy of a Cummins 5.9 Diesel. Stops are handled effortlessly with the jake brake. The Hudson has creature comforts galore including air conditioning, sun roof, custom interior, and massage transport seats up front.
If you are thinking, "That beast must suck fuel!" Think again. The Cummins delivered a respectable 16.5 miles a gallon on the trip from his home in Toronto, Canada. Impressive, especially in light of the Hudson's twenty-two foot length, eight-foot width and 8,900 pounds.
CJ fabricated the entire project himself. His dream was to combine a limousine, car-hauler, and hot rod in one ride -- and he pulled it off. No wonder he is smiling.
The Hot Rod Power Tour is a creativity showcase. Here are a few things we saw on Day 1. It's the kind of stuff you just don't see every day.