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The Hot Rod Known As Barbecue Stove Bolt!

The Barbecue Stove Bolt

Admittedly, I’ve never been much for hot rods. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the work and energy that goes into a nice rod, but they just have never really been my style. Anything that’s been cut apart, resized, and welded back together tends to make me a bit nervous. But I like to encourage other car nuts to explore and learn more about the car genres outside their normal tastes though, so I decided I needed to do the same. And I have to say, I have seen some amazing cars, especially some of the period built hot rods. I had noticed this 1921 Dodge based hot rod when it came to market a while back, but didn’t give it much thought. Well it has surfaced again and can now be found here on eBay and in Portland, Oregon and I have to say, now that I have taken some time to look it over more closely, it is actually really cool!

Barbecue Stove Bolt Interior

Where hot rods aren’t my thing, I really don’t know that much about all the terms used by the rodding crowd, so please bear with me. But from my limited knowledge and simply what I can see, this car has been highly customized by the creator Jim Hill. All of the big three are represented in this one car. The chassis is from a 1927 Chevy, the body a ’21 Dodge touring car, and the grill is from a ’32 Ford. The engine is a Chevy block, but the crank is from a Ford and the rods are Pontiac. The list of modifications just continues on in this mix and match manner, which seems like quite an impressive feat to me.

Jim Hill's 1951 Hot Rod

When Jim first finished his car, it was a true show stopper and found its way into several hot rodding magazines and it even garnered a number of trophies. For a custom job, the fit and finish is surprisingly good and at first glance I could have almost believed this was a factory built open wheeler. Of course a closer look at the engine, interior, and body gaps reveal otherwise, but it is still impressive. I’m sure when it was still shiny and looking like new, it would have been even more convincing, but 50 years of storage and neglect tends to bring out the worst in any car.

Barbecue Stove Bolt

While fit and finish might be impressive, the engine is really what blows me away. The name Barbecue Stove Bolt seems like a peculiar name for a hot rod, but after you read the story of how the engine was built it will all make sense. This 1928 Chevy Stove Bolt had to be extensively modified to make all the various components work together without destroying the block, so the center main had to be filled and the rear main was rebuilt to accommodate a longer journal. In total the job took 26 pounds of welding rod, 6 bottles of acetylene welding gas, and a ton of heat. To keep the block from warping while it cooled, Jim put the block in the family barbecue and slowly cooled it down to room temperature over a 4 day period. Once it was cooled, it was machined and put back together.

1951 Barbecue Stove Bolt

While I might not be the biggest fan of hot rods, I can’t help but admit I would love to have this one. Maybe it’s the story behind it or just the look, but I truly appreciate this car. It is even more incredible to think that it has been parked for the past 50 years without being disturbed and is still the way it was the day that Jim finished it, albeit aged and dirty. This car hasn’t necessarily turned me into a hot rod fan, but it has certainly given me a new appreciation for them and a desire to learn more about the history behind the genre. So does anyone here remember when this car first showed up in HONK Magazine (later Car Craft)?


  1. RN

    Now that’s a cool car. I would love to have it in my garage!

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  2. jim s

    great find. i would love to see this car in person. if this brings the asking price a lot people are going to start looking for other hot rods from that timeframe to sell.

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  3. Don Sicura

    After reading the combination of parts in the driveline, I can only say that the guys that built it had to be some amazing mechanics.

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  4. Graham Line

    The constant-flow SU carbs are an interesting choice, but a good one once they are properly synchronized and otherwise set up. At one time, there was a Bucket T hot rod around town that used a 2-liter Nissan 4-cylinder engine. The owner said he could still smoke the back tires but had a lot less weight on the front end.

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  5. stanley stalvey

    Not my thing either but this one is really cool. I would buy it to enjoy for a long time. People who buy these things just to flip a dollar should be shamed.. This is American history and should be preserved and enjoyed by many regardless of monetary value..The work that went into it is a marvel and much to be admired..

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  6. Dj

    They didn’t start calling those engines Stove Bolts until the 6 cylinder was produced in 1929.

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  7. fatty

    Nice car,but needs media blasting and paint.
    Streetrods are all I have done in last 22 years.
    The cars from 60`s cost way to much for me now.
    My last one was a 68 chevy II nova .The transition year.
    I do not call them muscle cars,
    That was started by that stupid bunch at barret jackson.
    I grew up with them and they were just called by make and model.

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  8. Will

    I love this car. It shows ingenuity that is incredible. Having said that the seller is crazy. I hope he gets his asking price of $99,000 but I suspect he is not seriously thinking he will get that much. Probably just posted an ad with a ridiculous price just to silence a griping spouse. I still don’t understand why anyone would put that kind of time and energy into building a motor this way other than to get bragging rights for making dissimilar parts work together.

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  9. stanley stalvey

    That’s a fantastic story. I like the originality and sophistication of the build and the historic quality of the piece. It looks great considering the age, wear and tear..

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  10. John

    The perfect BF parts runner. I vote for you buying it immediately.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      I agree John! The price might keep that from happening though. Perhaps the rat rod project from the other day would be a better choice?

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  11. Julian

    HOW MUCH????
    Obviously a misprint, he’s got the decimal point in the wrong place. Rat Rods would probably build another one for 9.9k

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  12. BRH

    ….and fitted with a pair of good old British SU carbs I believe?

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  13. geomechs geomechs Member

    Years ago I used to hear the term: ‘Cycle Fenders,’ which were enormously popular from the 50s and into the 60s. They were usually salvaged from a Triumph or BSA. This car has CYCLE FENDERS. They look to me like they were taken directly off a couple of Harley Davidson FLs and put directly onto this car. To echo some of the other comments, I like the car even though I’m not all that enthused about hot rods. I hope the car finds a good home.

    Like 0

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