Hot rodding in America seems to have reached an odd crossroads. On one hand you have the money-is-no-object builds where the shiniest hot rod is often crowned king. And on the other side are the rat rodders, who wear their car’s rust and patina with pride. Both are viable builds and produce some truly cool cars…and have been for the past 70 years or so. Some days we feel like hot rodding could use an injection of creativity and outside-the-box thinking. Where’d all the creativity go?
To Germany, apparently. German auto enthusiast website Chromjuwelen has been following the project of one Carsten Plötner for several years now. His vehicle, a tire-axle Diamond T 980 N20-turned-hot-rod, is truly one for the ages.
Called “Deichkraft,” the 980 chassis has its origins in World War II, where its was equipped with either a Hercules 895 cubic-inch inline-six cylinder diesel engine, or a 1,090 cubic-inch gas engine. The T 980 could tow up to 120,000 .lbs and had a top speed of all of 23 mph. But what they lacked in speed they made up for in size and reliability.
And reliability is exactly what Carsten had in mind. Under the hood is a two-stroke Detroit Diesel engine, while the various electric and support systems have been kept as simple as possible for longevity’s sake. The result is a unique, long-lasting hot rod that will still be on the road long after the world has ended. Somebody should get Deichkraft a cameo in the next Mad Max movie.