The healing power of a hot rod

Courtesy of Twin Cities Rod and Custom

If you’ve never drooled over hot rods during a cruising night in a Minnesota summer, perhaps the story of TNT — a hot rod — in the Rochester Post-Bulletin won’t interest you. This post isn’t for you.

Cy Kubista, of Pine Island, Minn., built the hot rod back in the day when it’s what people did.

He scavenged for parts in Minnesota and Wisconsin. When it came time to put an engine in it, he rigged up the kids’ swing set as an engine hoist.

He used a 1925 Model-T body, a Lincoln automatic transmission, Edsel steering and transmission selection systems and front-end and rear-end assemblies he designed and built himself, the PB says.

All through the ’60s he built the car, which won various prizes at car shows, including a national championship.

Then he and his wife were both diagnosed with cancer. With bills piling up, he sold it to a collector in New Jersey.

Maybe that didn’t sit well with his son, who tracked down the collector recently, asking if he’d like to sell it. He didn’t. But then he changed his mind.

“Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Yes,” Bob Kubista tells the Post-Bulletin about his decision-making process. “That’s what I told my banker. He goes, ‘Well, money’s no problem. If you want it, I’m here to help you make a bad decision.’ He’s a really good friend of mine.”

“Don’t buy it for me,” his dad said.

He bought it.

It arrived back in Minnesota this week, where his dad finally got a look at an old pal.

“It’s just like raising another child. You start with just an idea and so many hours. Oh Lord. The hours I put in it,” he said.


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