February '17

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26 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 PERFORMANCE Hot rod n: an automobile rebuilt or modi- fied for high speed and fast acceleration. At least that's the definition offered by my fraying desk copy of the Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary, vintage 1979. Your definition may and probably does vary, because hot rod means different things to different people. Hot rodders themselves have been rede- fining the term ever since they moved on from Model T Speedsters to Model A Roadsters, then to '55 Chevies, '69 Camaros, and, most recently, one might argue, fourth-generation Honda Civics. Wil de Groot, the owner/builder of a sleek, muscular, Maserati-powered roadster doesn't harbor any doubts. "It's a hot rod," he says. "I could have built a '32 Ford with a 350 Chevy, but that's been done. The Chevy V-8 is a great engine, but a Maserati V-8—that's different." NOT A REPLICA As partner and manager of Exoticars USA (, a restoration and ser- vice shop for vintage and high-end sports cars located in Milford, New Jersey, de Groot enjoys the resources and experience to build an exotic of his own imagining. The day we visited, we spotted a Mer- cedes-Benz 300SL roadster, a Lancia Fla- minia Zagato, and an Arnolt Bristol among the more recent Ferraris and Maseratis A Maserati V-8— that's different. Roadster By John F. Katz \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Redefined

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