It’s all in the details, “13 holes in the Hot Rod frame for 13 weeks of training to become a young Frankenstein, or in other words a soldier for our Country”. The description Alan used explaining to us about his new upcoming project titled the Wounded Warrior Hot Rod Project. Their hopes for the project are “that the roar of the powerful V-8 and the thrill of driving a truly spectacular hot rod will allow them to forget their troubles; to escape if only for a little while”.
“13 holes in the Hot Rod frame for 13 weeks of training to become a young Frankenstein, or in other words a soldier for our Country”
The idea first came to Allen as a student at the Hot Rod Institute. He knew it wasn’t an original idea but he, as a veteran himself, has found this “hobby as a way to feel the rush of adrenaline they felt (in combat) and at the same time –escape from images that haunt them.” Allen simply desires to donate a 1927 Model T Coupe to a wounded warrior in attempt to give him/her the same escape he has been experiencing through Hot Rods.
“Our concept is to build a 1927 Model T coupe. The theme is Frankenstein. Not so much Young Frankenstein or the Munsters, but the original story by Mary Shelley. There is more to this than just a spooky theme. You see, there is a parallel between Frankenstein’s monster and the combat veteran. We (the combat vet) are created. We aren’t born to kill. We are taught to close with and destroy the enemies of our nation. A young person goes from a citizen to a soldier in just 13 weeks. Their entire world changes. Killing is no longer wrong – it is expected. In the infantry, (as other combat occupations), you become hard. You see those around you as either ‘meat eaters’ or ‘leaf eaters’. You are thrust into combat for a year or more at a time…again and again. Then a time comes that you leave the ranks and you find yourself back in the ‘real world.’ There is no formal process to take the killer out of you. In the first part of Shelley’s book, she refers to Frankenstein’s monster as ‘the creature’. It was almost childlike in exploring its world. All that changes as the creature finds that it does not fit in. It is feared. In time it becomes resentful and lashes out. It becomes the monster. All too often, the combat veteran follows this path. It is misunderstood and if the term ‘PTSD’ comes up; it is judged to be crazy or a person of concern. This happens in society and even in the warriors own home. There is no safe place, so the veteran (just as the monster) seeks solitude – to be alone. He draws in within himself or finds unhealthy ways to escape. If he is cornered or feels threatened – he attacks – as he was taught.”
Allen restates his primary goal for this project is to “give this warrior his place to escape”. “Hot rodding has done just that for thousands of veterans in the past and is doing this currently for the veterans that are building this project for a brother they have never met. It is a healthy and fun outlet for everything that has built up over time.”
Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac has proudly became a sponsor for the Wounded Warrior Hot Rod Institute Project and is excited to see where this project goes.
If you have any questions and would like to help with the cause, please contact Doug LaRue or Alan Scarlett and they will be happy to help.
Alan M Scarlett
Student Hot Rod Institute
President, Hot Rod Institute