Here’s How One Man’s Love For Fuel Altereds Put One In His Garage Against All Odds

Here’s How One Man’s Love For Fuel Altereds Put One In His Garage Against All Odds

When Evan Hardie sent me an email a week or so ago talking about his cool altered, I thought it was the normal submission that we get all the time. That didn’t make the car any less cool though and I sent him an email back to see if he could send photos and more information with the thought that it might be something cool we could run here on the site. The truth is I didn’t think the story would be anything like the truth and so here it is straight from Evan’s mouth. This one is pretty damn good.

Words and Photos by Evan Hardie

It’s a pretty strange story actually. I bought the car when I was 14 years old. Before that I remember going to a local dragstrip at about 10 years old and saw a fuel altered called “The zombie” going sideways up in smoke and the crowed went nuts. I remember turning to my dad and asked him what it was and he said “that’s a fuel altered…   That’s a man’s car ”

Skip forward a few years and my family got some bad news that some of our family has a genetic connective tissue disorder and there was a chance it could be fatal if not properly monitored. My dad decided that life is too short to not do something cool so he joined the Paton Racing top fuel team. Shortly after my dad started working on race cars my brother was surfing and said that there was an old fuel altered chassis for $600 and I needed to buy it. I scraped up every penny I had and brought the car home where it sat in my barn through highschool.

Highschool was pretty depressing for me, I got made fun of because of my heart condition alot and because they originally didn’t want me to do gym class or sports I gained alot of weight which made it worse. I actually met Don Garlits and he said I was “too fat to go racing”. The car sat in my barn till I was 21 and I decided to change my Outlook on life. I was a 325 pound TIG welder and bought my first house and a small shop. Over the last couple years I got down to 235 pounds and started putting the Public Enemy back together…

The car was built in 1958 In Lancaster New York and unfortunately not alot is known about it. The old owner bought it from behind someone’s barn and they didn’t know much more than that, all they knew it was ran till the early 70’s and then parted out.  The car is now sporting a blown alcohol sbc and a th400 trans till I can figure out how to put a hemi back in the car. It’s mostly original speed parts with a Detroit 6-71 blower, magnesium Enderle injector hat, vertex magneto, a vintage set of ex fuel prepped heads and 11.1 to 1 compression. it has a 9 inch Ford with 4.30 gears and the original front suspension and steering. The body is a 1919 Dodge brothers touring car with the doors stick welded shut. Knowing lots of people in racing has let me piece the car together a lot cheaper than most people think possible but being 24 it’s still a slow process. I hope to take the car to many nostalgia races and just came back from Detroit Autorama which was amazing!!!

I’m sure I gave you waaaaaay too much information but to boil it down it was my first car, it was my motivation to loose 85 pounds, it’s an all around terrible idea and I couldn’t be more excited to own it! Thank you for your time and consideration!

Instagram @evanhardie65

Evan Hardie

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26 thoughts on “Here’s How One Man’s Love For Fuel Altereds Put One In His Garage Against All Odds

  1. Evan Hardie

    Honestly I couldn\’t be more flattered, thank you Chad this means the world to me and hopefully soon you will be seeing it at hotrod reunions and events!

    1. Evan Hardie

      Not a bad first car eh! It’s been a struggle getting the thing back together but I apsolutely love it

  2. Barry_R

    My favorite picture is the one with the blower sitting on the barrel. Who among us has not done that sort of thing?

    1. Evan Hardie

      Ugh it is snowing outside here and it’s friggin April and waiting on a driveshaft and a barrel valve but hopefully soon!!

      1. Caveman Tony

        Just think of snowy wet pavement as one big water box that never ends. Haha.

        You and your car are just plain inspirational. Keep it up.

  3. Chaun Benfield

    AWESOME! Great story and cannot wait to hear and see more, I think we all have our struggles and as ‘gear heads’ probably more so than others. Fine example of the human spirit. This sould give many people encouragement to do something they love or help someone along the way, when you can. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Evan Hardie

      I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I had someone say that I’d never finish the car, or someone my age doesn’t deserve to build it because I’d ruin the look and not do it right, I don’t consider myself talented in anyway but I come home after a 10 hour afternoon shift and keep working till 5 or 6 in the morning, I’m far from being wealthy at 24 years old and most of the stuff on the car was scratch made or traded for welding work. At the end of the day if you refuse to quit and you solve one problem at a time you can do amazing things. Thanks for the support!!

    1. Evan Hardie

      Lol, there was a pin up girl contest a few minutes earlier and some of them asked if they could get pictures taken with the Enemy….. Being the gentleman I am I had to say of course hahahaha

  4. Tucker

    I can\’t believe there were so many naysayers, you rescued the car from behind a barn!! You can build it however you want! But yeah looks sick dude keep it up!

    1. Evan Hardie

      You’d be surprised lol I had a guy complain that I put a sbc in a hemi car and I’m like “dude I’m 23 and broke!” But now that it’s further along all the haters have pretty much shut up, thanks for checking it out!!

  5. RK - no relation

    When you save a car from the woods, or the field, or anywhere it’s in rust up to it’s elbows, you can do what you like. If purists don’t like it, show them a picture of what it looked like before and tell them to shut up

    1. Evan Hardie

      I always remind people that it was technically my first car and ask them what kind of car they had in highschool lol I can’t prove it but I have to be the only person to have a fuel altered as a first car!

  6. Mike Streatch

    Looks great Evan! I saw it last summer at the ELTA Bash and was wondering if you were the same Evan I worked with at Timberland. Keep up the good work my friend! Cant wait to see it tear up the strip!

    1. Evan Hardie

      Apsolutely! Costing me an arm and a leg but I’m hoping to have it out this year! It will be at the warplane museum in Hamilton for dragstrip memories this weekend!

  7. Jason Hardie

    Very proud Dad here, I\’m very fortunate that Evan and his brother Jordan both embraced the sport that I love and that we get to do it together as a family. It has taken us on some cool adventures and we have met some great people and experienced some once in a lifetime opportunities in the drag racing world. We all have our own cars we are working on but we are helping build each others dreams . You always hear \” The family that races together stays together\” and that is definitely a true statement. Round that up with an extremely supportive wife and I am a very lucky man.

    1. Evan Hardie

      It’s been a long journey but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Hopefully soon I’ll get it running. And will do sounds great to me!

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