Rod’s uncle worked for the Holden and Chevrolet agent in Stratford and he bought a brand new colonial cream and black 1957 Chevrolet to show Rod’s father. It made a huge impression on the 8-year-old boy who told his sceptical father that one day he would own one.

The Chevrolet drag racer in action (Allen Family Collection).

Fast-forward to 1973 and Rod acquired his first 1957 Chevrolet for $600 with the intention of drag-racing it. Four years later the car was finished and ready for the drag strip and it was also street-legal. Rod had already built a few engines by that time, but the 327ci (5358cc) V8 was his first competition engine.

Kaye tips water on to the drag strip to help with traction before a run (Allen Family Collection).

The car was complete with a roll cage, Ford Toploader four-speed gearbox, Ford nine-inch differential, a four-link rear suspension assembly and a vivid white coat of paint that quickly earned it the nickname ‘Flying Fridge’.


To read this and other articles on the Classic Driver website please click here to sign up for a membership. Once a member and logged in, you'll be able to read all the articles on the site. If you are already a paid up member, please log in, using the Log In link in the menu at the top of the page.