JJ Rods: Staying Ahead of the Curve

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Presented by JJ Rods

If you have seen our magazine for over a dozen years, you have seen the amazing rides for sale by JJRods. Jerry Jurden and his team are about to mark 13 years of selling American classics.

And in that time, his inventory has evolved to stay ahead of the market. When the Greatest Generation returned from WWII, they built the first hot rods out of cars from their youth. You can’t deny the appeal of a Model T or a 32 Roadster, but technology has come a long way. Growing up in the 80s, a hot rod to me is a Fox Body Mustang or an Iroc-Z with modern power and amenities.

Jerry says its not about being lucky. It is watching the auctions to keep a pulse on the industry. A decade ago it would be sacrilege to modify a well-preserved classic. But like we mentioned above, the buyers in today’s market want the cars they grew up with. I can respect the time and effort that goes into a 40 Ford Coupe or a chopped Mercury sled. But I also want big disc brakes, adjustable independent suspension, and Satellite Radio.

That is why JJRods keeps one or two classic hot rods in stock, and they scour the country for cars that are undervalued in the current market. As a native Floridian, I can tell you it is nearly impossible to sell a car without Air Conditioning. Two decades ago the notion of adding AC to a classic was seen as heresy. Maybe my generation has gone soft, but the notion of riding in a big block with headers melting my shoes is not my idea of fun.

But once that bridge is crossed, there is often no going back. You won’t find a modern rod without power steering, disc brakes, and massive electric fans. Blame it on global warming, but staying comfortable is better than showing up with sweat stains. Everyone knows that Chevelles have become untouchable. That’s why we asked Jerry about his take on undervalued models. He reminded us that the Chevrolet Chevelle had corporate cousins in the Oldsmobile 442, Buick GS, and the Pontiac LeMans. The Buick 455 even made more torque than the Chevy 454 LS6, and they are affordable!

It has also crossed over into trucks. My own 1968 Chevrolet C10 was numbers-matching, which meant a lot in prior years. But I needed room for another project. The buyer did remove the original 327 for posterity, but his plans for an LS-powered street machine on air bags is what the market wants.

The goal of JJRods is to offer tastefully upgraded classics at a fair market price. As you tune in to your favorite auction, know that JJRods is there on the prowl. Jerry also has a dedicated group of builders, private collectors, and individuals with a unique skill: Chasing!

Speaking from personal experience, chasing cars is won or lost by protecting your sources and treating the seller with the same respect as your own customers. The best sellers never divulge their secrets, so we can’t elaborate. From starting with a handful of $40,000 cars, he and his team sold and traded their way to having a mouth-watering selection.

It was not our intention to offend any purists out there. But if you have always wanted an original ChevyII, go drive one. Then click the link below to see the inventory at JJRods. Each car at their Newark, Ohio headquarters represents countless hours of build time. You couldn’t replicate them for a fraction of the price, so call or email for more info and tell them we sent you.