Go to:   Rare Spares Legend   I   Rare Spares


Rod Hadfield

Rod Hadfield’s desire to build custom machines began when his grandfather handcrafted a model of a ’30’s open wheel sprint car and gave it to him as a child. Rod inherited his grandfather’s eye for proportion and design and has built cars all of his life. As a young man Rod Hadfield began building customized cars out of his garage, at age 16 Rod had already started building his first hot rod - a blown Y block powered 1934 Ford. In 1975 Rod moved to Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia with his wife Carol and opened “The Castlemaine Rod Shop”. Carol has had a major role in Rod’s success in the automotive industry and was even office manager at the shop while Rod looked after the workshop and 18 employees. They did any type of automotive customizing that was requested. Rod’s desire was to create customized cars of extraordinary power and design. The first conversion from the Castlemaine Rod Shop was a 1600 Datsun four speed gearbox to Rod's father's FB ute. Interest evolved from that swap and soon Rod was fitting them to other makes and models.


Rod has built many top cars over the years including;

- a 1934 Ford Coupe (winning every event that a car of that time could)

- a V8 powered FJ Holden
- a supercharged and fuel injected Chevrolet powered Zephyr

- a chopped top Ford Anglia

- a '55 Chevrolet Tudor

- a '68 Chevrolet Camaro

- a '67 Chevrolet step side pickup

- a chopped top EK 454 Chevrolet panel van

- a 1919 T Coupe powered by a twin supercharged 429 shotgun motor

- a ’55 Chevrolet powered by a Packhard Merlin 27 litre V12 painted like a P51 Mustang (the aircraft the motor was from)

- a ‘A model Ford pickup powered by a V12 Lincoln side valve motor

- and the list goes on......

 In 2004 Rod and Carol sold the business which during that period had manufactured well over 2000 products distributed Australia wide and overseas. They worked with Automotive Engineers in all states of Australia to have their products approved and built whole vehicles using their products.

Rod has worked tirelessly to put the Street Rodding scene in front of the general public; he was a founding member of the “Light Vehicle Working Party Committee” back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s to help get Street Rod Registration for Victoria, was a member of the “Aussie Assault” team that shipped cars to the USA for the 50th Anniversary of Bonneville, and is founding member #3 in the DLRA (Dry Lakes Racing Association, of Australia) as well as being it's long-time secretary and treasurer - although Carol admitted that she is the one who does the paperwork. The Hadfield’s are a team, and where Rod goes, Carol goes, while finding time to raise two children, run a business and take care of their extended family.  


Rod has always driven his cars at the local drag strips; Calder Park (Melbourne), Heathcote Park (rural Victoria) and Adelaide International Raceway (South Australia). The Hadfield’s later evolved toward Nostalgia drag racing and landspeed racing at Lake Gairdner. The first DLRA meet was held in 1990, and Rod is the only member to have never missed their March meet. 


Rod was the first man in Australia to go 200mph on the salt flats of Lake Gairdner in a vehicle powered by a motor fully built by their business. He has raced a Lakester, ’29 Roadster, ’53 Studebaker, GM Commodore Sedan, and a GM Holden panel van on Gairdner’s massive salt surface. It is a trip of 16 hours across southern Australia, with the last 100 miles through the bush. 


In 1998 Rod received an Australian Motoring Award through Street Machine Magazine on behalf of The Castlemaine Rod Shop, Carol and himself. Rod has won many other awards throughout the years including multiple awards throughout America in 2004 when they shipped three cars to the USA to help push the Australian Hot Rodding scene.

Rod Hadfield is a pioneer of Australian racing and custom car building and will never stop building cars.