The healing power of a hot rod

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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(Video link)

  • Gary F

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

    Almost a Johnny Cash song.

    • rallysocks

      I was going to say. It looks like Cy was a bit more discriminating in the parts he used.

    • Bob Sinclair

      Check our “Hot Rod Lincoln” by Commader Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen.

  • Jay Sieling

    This is a touching story of reunion, of family legacy. Whether you are a motor head or not, this is a story worth reading. Stories matter.

  • Rob

    Sweet story. Can’t wait for this year’s Back to the 50s MSRA show. Rat Finks rule!

  • Gary F

    “some folks come from work, and start dying little by little, piece by piece, some folks go home and wash up, and go racing in the streets” BS