Behind Brute Force
It takes a village. The above photo shows a portion of the Brute Force build team, from left to right: Bill Brakman, Ryan Rivers, Paul Hattrup. Chris Brown, and owner Bob Matranga.
What does it take to build an elite-level custom vehicle in today’s hot-rodding environment? Countless hours of fabrication and labor. Creative design elements and thoughtful modifications. Experienced craftsmanship and fanatical attention to detail.
The 2020 BASF America’s Most Beautiful award winner, Bob Matranga’s “Brute Force” ’55 Chevy, was crafted using all of those qualities. Like so many projects, it started with a plan to build a “really nice” ’55 Chevy and snowballed from there. It ultimately took more than a decade to complete and resulted in the formation of Matranga Hot Rods so Bob could bring the right craftsmen on board to complete the project.
The Brute Force project was well chronicled in photographs as it was being finished, resulting in a beautiful hard-bound build book created by veteran automotive journalist Eric Geisert. The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at many of the intricate details of the car, from the custom-designed suspension and masterfully crafted interior, to the modified, lathe-tapered bolts used throughout the car for assembly.
We thought it would be interesting to pull back the curtain on the car’s build process and share a few details of the car’s construction. We hope they’ll offer ideas and inspiration for projects you might have, as well as insight into what it takes to craft a top-tier custom car.
Photos by Eric Geisert and Matranga Hot Rods | Video by Scott Council