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Diane Collins’ Ford really is one 'bad' ‘33

Oct 16, 2023Oct 16, 2023

The Collins’ family hot rod.

For all the old timers like me, ‘bad’ is really a good-bad not a bad-bad.

You may remember the story I did three weeks ago about a bright yellow custom hot rod coupe which I saw at Master Auto Repair in Collinsville, Ill. After a visit to the shop, I learned that the car belonged to Diane Collins, president of the Piston Pushers, a car club devoted to hot rods. The next day, I saw a lipstick red Ford replica, which also belongs to Diane. I’ve known Diane for several years. She has always welcomed me at a number of the Piston Pusher car shows in the Metro East area over the past 10 years.

Diane's custom hot rod mimics a 1933 Ford three-window coupe. The body is fiberglass and under the hood lies a GM 383 ‘stroker’ V-8 connected to a 700R automatic transmission. This is a far cry from a real 1933 Ford, which came with either an inline-four or a 200 cubic inch V-8 which produced a whopping 75 brake horsepower.

Diane shared some interesting facts about this very special Ford knock off. She found the car listed on Craigslist for a fair price and was seriously interested. However, before she could buy it, someone else beat her to the punch. To Diane's disappointment, that buyer listed the car on eBay. She diligently watched the bidding as the sale price went higher than the original Craigslist price. Diane waited until the last hour of bidding and then placed the winning bid. Needless to say, she was thrilled.

Diane, who also goes by Diana, has three children, Joe, Tom and his twin sister Lauren. Joe's daughter Hanna appeared in the photo of the 1933 Plymouth in the Old Car Column on May 14, 2023. The love of hot rods runs in the family and Diane says all three kids are already claiming the cars for the next generation of the Collins family.


Ford conducted a number of ‘economy runs’ during the 1933 production year ranging from the Mojave Desert to the Catskill Mountains. The Fords averaged between 18.29 and 22.5 mpg.

Diane's two-seater, hot rod Ford was originally built for drag racing and still has the original roll bars inside. The seats have since been rebuilt and reupholstered in black vinyl.

Tri-Power Trivia TM: 1. Who was president of Ford during the 1933 model year? 2. What famous rock star shares the same passion for hot rods as the Collins family? 3. The construction of this famous American bridge started on January 5, 1933. What bridge was it?

Tri-Power Trivia TM answers: 1. Edsel Ford. 2. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has a vast collection. His 1934 Ford "Eliminator" is featured on the album of the same name. 3. The Golden Gate Bridge.

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Bruce Kunz is a freelance automotive writer. He is a regular contributor for Brand Ave. Studios.

Please bear with me this week because the feature car in this week's Old Car Column is not even close to being old. Occasionally, I take the l…

FIN MAN FACTOIDS: Tri-Power Trivia TM: Tri-Power Trivia TM answers: