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Victoria car company to compete in Great American Build-Off

By Bianca Montes
Feb. 25, 2014 at 7:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 25, 2014 at 8:26 p.m.

Darrell and Jennifer Heibel of South Texas Performance at their shop on southwest Moody Street with a 1925 Dodge Brothers Sedan Rat Rod with a flathead engine. (Courtesy: Elias Rodriquez, Monito Loco Creations)

South Texas Performance

Where: 1308 S.W. Moody St.

Contact: 361-570-7637


What is it?

A rat rod is a style of hot rod or custom car that, in most cases, imitates (or exaggerates) the early hot rods of the 1940s, 1950s, and early-1960s. The style is not to be confused with the somewhat closely related "traditional" hot rod, which is an accurate re-creation or period-correct restoration of a hot rod from the same era.

Most rat rods appear unfinished, regardless of their status, as only the vehicle's bare essentials are driven.


The owners of South Texas Perfomance are already thinking about their next rat rod project.

The husband and wife duo will represent Texas in the 2014 Great American Build-Off.

With 30 days and a budget of $3,000, Darrell and Jennifer Heibel are challenged - along with 11 other teams chosen at random - to build a drivable rat rod. The competition begins in August, and the vehicles must be able to travel at least 300 miles to the Redneck Rumble in Tennessee. This is the Heibels' first time to compete.

Building a rat rod in 30 days is definitely going to be a challenge, Jennifer Heibel said, but she is confident in friends and family pitching in to make it happen - even if they have to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, she said.

Typically, a build takes between six months and a year, but Heibel said she's up for the challenge.

"This contest is not about how much chrome you can buy and stick on a car for $3,000," she said. "It is about putting your own personality into the build and not spending a ton of money."

South Texas Performance has built cars for more than three years, and its team will consist of Darrell Heibel as the team leader, and members of the Victors Car Club will assist in the build.

"Our business has grown over these last few years and continues to grow more each year," she said.

"We couldn't have done it without the support we receive from family, friends and, of course, Victoria, Texas."



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