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Haas in the garage

Haas in the garage

Added to MTDCNC by HAAS Automation on 17 February 2014

Have you ever wanted a car with loads of horsepower . . . that handles like a European sports car . . . but has the eye-popping good looks of a 1955 Thunderbird? Want to add some one-off stainless steel accessories and trim? What if you made it yourself, in your garage, with your own equipment? Darril Stroecker of Somis, California, does just that – and the results are stunning.

'So far, I‘ve built 25 hot rods,' says Darril. “This is my third T-bird. My last one took Best In Show at the 'Good Guys Car Show' in Del Mar.' Darril grew up around hot rods, and has been an active builder since the age of 12. His creations combine great style and engineering, and always turn heads at cars shows and on the street.

Standing over the 650 horsepower aluminum LS Corvette engine mounted to the frame and suspension of his latest project, Darril reveals, “I designed the frame myself. It’s very strong, and made to handle the special 3-link, fully adjustable Watson rear suspension. Most custom cars have four-point suspension,' he says. “The three-point is very rare. But I like the unusual, and it handles like a Ferrari or Lamborghini.'

Darril has a passion for excellence and an obsession for perfection in his work. And his workshop is well equipped to do things right. Standing among his sheet-metal brake, shear, welder, drill press, glass bead blaster, and manual lathe is a Haas CNC Mini Mill.

“I make the custom parts myself here in my garage, and the Haas Mini Mill is extremely important to my work,' Darril explains. “I use it for all the metal parts that need to be made, from custom steering wheels to latches, door handles, and hinges – anything on the car that I want to make ‘special,’ and that is a lot of parts. I make everything on the Mini Mill – from the instrument cluster to custom plug coil covers to the brake rotors. It is easy to program, easy to set up, and easy to use. I can’t get the results I want without it. And my goal is to replace the manual lathe with a Haas CNC Toolroom Lathe this year.'

Next to the T-Bird frame is the rolling frame for a 1968 Mustang fastback. The two projects will advance simultaneously, and both cars will receive the same extraordinary care, creativity, style, and attention to detail that defines Darril’s success.


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