Fish Springs man builds hot rod from scratch
September 9, 2004
The license plate reads “Home Grown” and that’s exactly how this hot rod was made. One of our local residents has been holed up in his garage for a long, long time. Gerry Hutchinson, also known as “Hutch,” has spent the last 10 years building a classic old car, and he built the whole thing from scratch.
This long-term project has the body style of a 1927 “Model T,” but it’s powered by a 460 cubic-inch Lincoln engine. Lots of rumble there.
Although Gerry had to modify the frame, the front end and the axles, the air conditioning was free. He also built a beautiful wooden stake bed for his ’27 “T.” His very talented wife, Miriam, did the upholstery and together they constructed the “T” top using a wood frame covered with black naugahide. Then Hutch painted it a very bright yellow. The racing style fat tires are mounted on shiny chrome rims. Both visually and audibly, you know when that flashy hot rod is coming down the street.
And what was the hardest part of building this vintage car from scratch? Gerry said, “sticking with it. I had to build everything myself. I really concentrated on it this last year. Then it took a whole day to get a vin number on it and to register it and get insurance.”
After 10 years of planning and fabricating most of the body, this was certainly a labor of love. I asked Hutch what he plans to do now that his legendary Model T hot rod is finally finished. He thought for a moment and then said, “I think I’ll trade it for a Harley Chopper.”
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We hear people complain about the bumpy dirt roads here in Fish Springs, but they ought to take a little drive up Risue Canyon Road. My friend Carole and I went on an exciting 52-mile ride through the Sweetwater Mountains to Bodie last weekend. We carried the ice chests filled with food for 23 dirt bikes and quads. The off-roaders bounced right along on the very rough and narrow dirt roads through Desert Creek and the ghost town of Masonic before stopping for lunch at Bodie. When the riders removed their helmets and goggles, a thick layer of dust covered their faces. Our vehicle had windows and air conditioning.
Pat was our driver and she kept up with the off-roaders while Carole and I hung on tight. Her four-wheel-drive modified Bronco has heavy-duty suspension and very aggressive fat tires so we made it over big rocks and through washed-out roads easily.
It felt like Pat was competing in the grueling Baja 1,000 off-road race. She does have a lot of experience as she pits for her son-in-law, Larry Rosesler, who has won that race at least 10 times.
— Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.