SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A STREET ROD!

By the Western Australian Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

PLANNING

Firstly you need to decide what type of car you want. Go to shows and runs, look at all the different types of Rods and talk to the owners about the good and bad points of their vehicles. Most owners are more than happy to have a chat about their pride and joy. For example: Single no kids = pickup, coupe etc. as they don’t have as many seats. Family = sedans and tourers, i.e. more seats. This sport/hobby is great for families. Most events cater to the family lifestyle and it is much easier to be able to make time for a drive if you take the family with you. Each person builds or buys a certain type of Street Rod to suit their needs. Make sure you spend time to research exactly what your needs are. It’s a shame to spend time and money on something that is going to sit in the shed and not see the light of day.

Once you have determined your requirements, it’s time to weigh up the build or buy scenario. For this topic we will concentrate on the build scenario. We will also briefly discuss buying vehicles from WA and other States of Australia, and the requirements for registration.

At this point it is wise to obtain a copy of the National Guidelines for the Construction and Modification of Street Rods in Australia, often referred to as the National Street Rod Guidelines (NSRG), so that you are fully aware of the Street Rod requirements. The NSRG can be purchased from the Australian Street Rod Federation or downloaded from https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/vehicle_regulation/

It is also beneficial to become a member of the Australian Street Rod Federation, as the ASRF can then assist you with the application and inspection processes. You can join the ASRF over the phone by calling the ASRF National Head Office (QLD) o 07 5576 2100 during business hours, or via www.asrf.org.au/membership/application/

The next step is to obtain the Street Rod Build Application. This is done by phone or SMS; give your request to the TAC Coordinator.

The Build Application, a form for the Build Application Fee, and an information flyer will be then mailed back. When you have filled in all of the relevant information, email them back to the TAC or post to the addresses shown on the forms. Include your fee payment. We will send you a copy of the National Street Rod Guidelines to read while you prepare your plans.

A chassis plan is required for all fabricated chassis, and this includes the use of reproduction chassis rails. The chassis plan does not need to be a fully dimensioned drawing, but needs to be a neat drawing showing a plan view and side view, and must detail all major dimensions, and material sizes. It needs to be either a pdf file, or drawn in black pen on an A4 sheet so it can be scanned.

When the Street Rod Build Application is returned to the ASRF, it is assessed for compliance with the NSRG, and any queries are resolved with the applicant. Once the ASRF is satisfied that the proposed Street Rod complies with the NSRG, the application information is transferred to a formal Department of Transport application document, and forwarded electronically to the DOT for approval in principle. When the DOT has approved the application, they will mail it back to the ASRF, who will then mail a copy to you, the applicant.

THE BUILD PROCESS

The approval has come back from the Department of Transport and they have given you the go ahead to construct your dream car.

On the approval there will be a Build Number issued. This will be of the format RF00xxxx. This is your build approval number. If you have a fabricated chassis, this is also your chassis number, which is to be clearly stamped onto your chassis, in a place which is easily visible when all body panels are fitted, as it needs to be seen by both the Department of Transport and any inspections carried out by the TAC.

WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?

It’s now time to start fabricating your chassis. We will not be going into this in detail as there are many variables in the construction of Street Rod chassis, depending on the vehicle you plan on building.
An important suggestion though is that you check that the components you are purchasing meet the requirements of the NSRG. There are parts available on the internet, at cheap prices. However BEWARE those cheap parts may not meet the requirements of the NSRG and may not have the engineering approval to be used in WA. If this is the case you may find yourself requiring engineers to certify these parts. Your cheap parts are suddenly not looking nearly as attractive as they were. There are plenty of reputable places to purchase the required parts within Australia, but remember to ask if they comply with the NSRG requirements.

As you progress with the building of your Street Rod, three inspections are required along the way. These are discussed below. Having paid the Build Application Fee there is no further charge for the inspections.

FIRST INSPECTION:

Having obtained a copy of the National Guidelines, obtained DOT approval, and have fabricated a replica chassis, or modified the original; you are now ready for the First Inspection.

The first inspection is carried out when your chassis is at a rolling stage, including all suspension, engine and gearbox mounts. The chassis MUST be bare steel with all welding visible. Welding must not be ground down for the first inspection. (After the first inspection be cautious in grinding any welding, especially on boxing plates as this weakens the area.) On arrival at the Malaga Inspection Station it is not necessary to remove the chassis from the trailer or truck. The chassis will be inspected on the trailer. During the inspection two DOT authorised TAC examiners will check numerous items as per the attached First Inspection Checklist.

SECOND INSPECTION:

Having taken your chassis home after passing the first inspection, you may keep moving along with the build process. The next Inspection will be required when the whole car is completely together.

The car does not have to have trim, glass, paint or run. However it needs to have all components in place, including seats, gauges in the dash, seat belt mounts visible, guards on, all lights etc. fitted. This is a basically a completed car ready to pull down for paint and trim.

To put it simply, after the second inspection you will spend a significant amount of time and money finishing off the car, painting and trimming etc. There is no point coming back for the final inspection only to find that something done after the second inspection isn’t right and that you have to start cutting and changing things because they were not there in the previous inspections and now don’t comply. So ensure that for second inspection the car is essentially complete. The TAC examiners can’t sign off if it is not complete.

So, to avoid costly heartache we recommend you get as much as you can fitted on the car before for the second inspection.         

THIRD and FINAL INSPECTION:

The car is presented as complete and driveable.


For further information, contact your ASRF WA State Director or TAC Coordinator.