Kit cars are a great starting point, but they can evolve to be something utterly unique and functional as well. The owner was not satisfied with the overall package and opted to seek out the services of Chris Miranda at West Coast Auto Craft. According to the video, Miranda just happened to wander across a steampunk festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife.
Being a car guy, Miranda was fascinated by the mechanical aspects of the steampunk movement as well as the craftsmanship involved in the mechanized creations. As it turned out, this unplanned adventure to the festival inspired Miranda to apply his skills with the steampunk concepts to this ’33 Ford kit car.
This particular machine is an illustration of the difference between a builder and an assembler. Steampunk relies on the craftsmanship that is often lacking in the modern mass produced world, which just so happens to align with Miranda’s skill set.
In the video, the level of craftsmanship is documented the “hand beaten” panels and hand riveting used throughout the entire car. Machines are capable to producing high quality products, but they lack the creativity and inspiration required in project such as this. Even the copper accenting was part of Miranda’s steampunk inspired vision. The evolution of this project from kit car to moving art required creativity and skills that are not as common as one might hope.
Whether is it wood working, metal working, or another skilled trade, there are master craftsmen and then there are those just perform a task. Miranda happened into the automotive industry by circumstance, but as he grew, he began to appreciate the art behind the work. As it turned out, the car owner Greg, was also a fan of steampunk culture. As the two spoke, Miranda was able to incorporate some of Greg’s design elements into his vision for the project. At the conclusion of that conversation, Miranda had been given the freedom to build and create a steampunk hot rod.
Miranda started by dismissing all of the fiberglass body panels, and going to back to his beginnings in the automotive industry by fabricating aluminum body panels. Staying true to his beginnings, as well as the steampunk style, he opted to create a car composed of mixed metals. From aluminum to copper to brass, this modern kit car features vintage inspiration combined with modern elements for truly unique ’33 Ford.
Again, steampunk served as the inspiration for the center mounted gauge that monitors all of the vital signs of the engine. As clocks and exposed gears play a huge role in this genre, Miranda decided to create a clock based design for the gauge and form the dash around the focal point. Miranda’s wife Pamela, is an artist who brought her husband’s vision for the gauge concept from thought to illustration. In the interview portion of the Big Muscle video, Miranda states that she was able to create the gauge design drawing over breakfast.