Unfortunately, you do not meet all the requirements to view this site.

Please make sure you have installed the Flash Player. If you still experience problems after that, ensure your browser has Javascript enabled.

Click the Play button to watch
John Rinehart video.

Auto rigging covers the basics of car building, and the vehicles John Rinehart has created in his garage have ended up across the country. In 1953, when John was ten, the Rinehart family moved from West Virginia to Roanoke. By then he had already fallen in love with cars and the sound of powerful motors. In 1958 Rinehart made his first run down the Roanoke Drag Strip—winning the regional Soapbox Derby.

As Rinehart grew up, his next-door neighbor owned a hot rod, a street rod, a show car, and a dragster, and John helped work on those cars. In his late teens Rinehart took a job as a pattern maker, and he soon was raising a family. At a 1975 car show Rinehart decided to build a car, though by then most car buffs had switched from building their own vehicles to hiring someone else to do the job. Twelve years later Rinehart would become the first full-time hot rod builder in the Roanoke Valley. Today John Rinehart is always creating a car for himself, a customer, or a family member, and he is training his son-in-law in the craft.

Having built more than ten hot rods for himself and his family, John Rinehart prefers the traditional hot rod design. He loves the building process, and he makes many parts in his garage or hunts them down in junkyards. The rigger typically combines parts from various models to produce the car he wants. For example, the 1932 hot rod Rinehart built in the 1970s featured a customized Ford body and frame, a Corvair front end, a Chevrolet motor, and a Nova rear end. Not surprisingly rigging calls for innovative mechanical thinking.

Chapter 4 »

Acknowledgements | Ferrum College and the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum | Contact