Dynamic Duo From Streetworks Hot Rods

Streetworks Hot Rods made a statement and then put an exclamation point on it at the Goodguys Heartland Nationals, in Des Moines Iowa this summer.  It’s not often that a shop makes such a professional proclamation by bringing out two of the hottest Hot Rods rolling, but that’s exactly what Matt Backhaus did with this cool combo of hardcore Hot Rods.  One, a wicked interpretation of a F1oo Ford Altered Dragster Hot Rod with mile high zoomies.  The other, an out of the box build of a ’31 Model A.  Together they make for the perfect pair of Hot Rods and a rolling statement that this Cat can build some radical rides.

These custom creations came out of the Waukesha Wisconsin based shop that Backhaus opened in 1999.  Almost 2 decades later, the shop has grown to the point where Matt is captain of a 20 person crew and the wrenching is done in a 20,000 square foot facility.  Streetworks will restore, rebuild, fabricate, customize and radicalize just about anything on four wheels.  One look at that dynamic duo of Hot Rods and you know Matt and crew have talent and then some.

The first rod of this radical pair is the “Gold Truck”  aka “The Devil’s Beast” and is Matt’s personal ride.  The bones of this ride started as a 1948 Ford F100 Cab.  Matt had the cab in storage for quite some time, knowing one day he would do something with it.  When that day came when Matt got the itch to build himself a hot rod, he brought the cab into the shop and went to work cutting into it.  It was after the initial 6” chop that the build “got pretty wild” from there.  He took out 4” right down the middle, then sectioned it 8”.  Cutting now complete, he had the profile he wanted and it was on to “making it as insane as he and his crew could possibly make it”.  One look at this Altered/Pickup/Dragster/Street Beast fusion and it’s hands down mission accomplished.  Insane is putting it mildly.  

Powered by a 500ci big block Chevy with a 671 Dyers blower and Hilborn 4 stack mechanical injection, you won’t miss this Golden Diablo when it hits the road.  With the blower, mufflers weren’t an option so Matt decided on zoomies.  The custom bead rolled zoomies were artfully crafted to look like wings, suggesting that at any moment this truck might take flight.  And with that power plant maybe it just could!

Weld Racing wheels and Hoosier slicks are pure NHRA and were pinched from one of Matt’s drag cars.  The custom spindle mount front wheels are straight up old school.  You might notice the radiator missing from the front end of this bad boy.  Matt didn’t want to muck up the front end with a big old radiator, so he decided he would work some engineering magic.  He remounted the radiator under the cab.  The coolant reservoir is between the rails and mounted underneath the Pabst beer keg gas tank.  Let’s just say, it was hotter than Hades at the Heartland Nationals.  Matt drove the fairgrounds the entire weekend without experiencing any overheating.  Matt sure knows how to build a cool ride ……  

Just about everything on this golden gem is custom crafted.  The dash, the tuck and roll interior, the cargo box with hundreds of hand rivets, the louvers and that’s just scratching the surface of what Matt and his crew hand fabricated for this trick truck.  There ain’t nothing middle of the road in this ride.

The second half of the Streetworks perfect pair is a ’31 Model A.  This awesome A is a clients car that the shop finished in 2016.  Interestingly, the customer inherited the “essence” of this Model A from his Father-In-Law.  As Matt explained, the quarter sides and cowl panel were about all that was left of the car.  The customer had an idea of what he wanted for the build, a Rat Fink tribute but left the details and design to the expert.  Smart man because the final product is one outstanding Hot Rod.    

Matt took the Rat Fink inspiration and did his thing.  He started with a 2 1/2” chop.  The Model A sits on a heavily modified ’32 Ford frame.  The Speedworks custom fabricated chassis gives this “Finkified” ride the radical rake.  

Matt moved the blown small block Chevy into the firewall to shorten the ride overall.  It too sports spindle mount front wheels.  The paint is Green Candy with 2 tone silver and custom stripping with insane throwback details. 

Matt and Company hand fabricated the trunk and roof out of aluminum, they were then accentuated to the stars with the “louvers, louvers, louvers!”  The Italian inspired tube frame seats are accented with vintage aircraft rivets with minimal upholstery.  And that green glass keeps takes Rat Fink theme to the next level.


Soon after that final bolt was tightened, the Model A joined the Gold Truck touring the show circuit.  They have been a formidable pair since.  There’s no doubt “Big Daddy” Ed Roth is looking down from hot rod heaven with a huge smile and a nod of approval for Streewtworks ode to Rat Fink.  Although Matt isn’t in it for the awards, it must have been pretty nice to drive back to Wisconsin with the “Best Bitchin'” and “Hottest Hot Rod” awards for his perfect pair of Hot Rods.

Now take a gander at a statement making duo!

Although Matt’s roots are pure American Hot Rod, his talents and tastes of late are leaning more internationally to foreign exotics. Can you blame the guy!  You know this shop can accommodate all your domestic and international needs. Full restorations to custom builds and everything in between.  Their FaceBook page has it all.    

Till the next time – Keep on Kruzin!