Live the American dream. Victor Wild builds classic American cars, hot rods and rat rods for West London residents.
On a quiet Hammersmith street, residents are accustomed to eyeing with envy some of America’s most distinctive cars parked alongside their staid 4x4s and family saloons.
There was the 1987 Chevy Camaro Iroc Z convertible, the 1953 Plymouth rat rod, the ominous looking 1969 Chevy Nova SS that featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film Death Proof, the 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix 6.4 litre V8, a 1980 Pontiac Trans Am and the world’s last 1966 Bedford narrow bodied fire engine.
These classics have all belonged to Victor Wild an American hot rod and rat rod [menacing version of a hot rod] enthusiast who’s made a living out of his passion for all things on wheels. The petrolhead owns Wild & Sons, building and servicing some of America’s collectible performance cars, many owned by British rock and film stars, making him one of the most publicised American car specialists in Europe.
He has worked on the iconic Batmobile used in the 1966 movie, been under the bonnet of the 1972 Dodge Charger and Toyota Supra that appeared in Fast And Furious, and even the 1968 Dodge Charger from the 2005 Dukes of Hazard movie.
He’s also worked as a vehicle consultant on the upcoming Liam Neeson film The Commuter and has successfully gained sponsorship from some of the biggest automotive parts manufacturers.
So, where did his passion for American wheels come from?
‘I was six and sitting in the back of my mother’s Jaguar Mark 2 when I realised I loved cars. Mum would drive round roundabouts just so I could slide across the leather backseat – while wearing a seatbelt!
‘I loved the Mark 2, but for me English cars were too polite and quiet. I felt I should have been born in the States.’
Victor and his partner Clara have three-year-old twins. ‘My son Max helps me sometimes. I have taught him how to do an oil change but he gets so messy. He likes unscrewing oil filters and that sort of stuff and screwing them back on. Clara likes cars too, but she doesn’t like getting dirty or anything. She just likes to sit in the cars.’
As for the ‘rat rods’ we mentioned earlier – it is essentially a more menacing version of a hot rod.
1964 Pontiac Grand Prix 6.4 litre V8
Death Proof Duck and 1969 Chevy Nova SS that featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film Death Proof
Wild & Sons
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