A few weeks ago, I published a few pictures I’d found online of the wild, rainbow-colored Volvo Amazon gasser you see here. The car had been spotted at the Goodguys Nationals last summer, and no one seemed to know anything about it. No one, that is, but Kali Vickers. Turns out, it was her cousin, Anthony’s car– and Anthony is an interesting dude.
Anthony Santercangelo is the owner of Iron City Rods and Customs in Pittsburgh, PA. He built the car for his dad, Tony, which might make him the best son on Earth. That’s probably interesting enough to merit a write up on its own, but we wanted to know more about the car, Iron City, and more. I sent Anthony some questions via email, and I’m sharing his answers with you, below. Enjoy!
Q1 | The car is absolutely wild! You mentioned in your comment on the original post that it’s currently powered by an SBC — what are the specs on that, and what kind of transmission are you using? Give us some gearhead stuff!
Thank you, the motor is a 383 stroker Chevy that we built in-house from parts that were left over from other builds that were machined and gone over. The goal with the motor was to give the build that old-school, “junkyard motor” feel — and so we could keep it under a tight budget. We have a set of ported-out, 202 cast iron camel back heads. The cam is from Comp cams, 675 lift with a 111 lsa. Intake is a Wieand dual high rise manifold with dual 650 cfm carbs from Edelbrock. Transmission is a built 350 turbo with a 3200 RPM stall.
Q2 | When you first reached out, you mentioned that you’re thinking of putting a big block in the car. What are the ultimate performance goals of this build?
We’re not really seeking any crazy performance goals with this car. We really just want to keep the car streetable, but quick. The reason we want to put a big block in the car is, honestly, mainly for looks.
Q3 | You obviously took the car to Goodguys, so it looks like it’s a runner. Do you and your dad drive the car, regularly?
Yes, we do drive the car regularly. A lot, actually, and we try to take it to all our local shows. The car runs and handles great, and gets a lot of attention where ever it goes. It’s starting to become a real local legend here in Pittsburgh!
Q4 | Have you ever taken the Amazon out to a drag strip? And, if so, the obvious question is: what did it run?
No, we haven’t taken it out to the strip, yet. Even though we know we built it to be a wicked drag car, we are keeping it mainly for the street and show … but, from running it on the “personal drag strip” in front of the shop, I think it would defiantly be a strong 10 second car. Without a doubt.
Q5 | When you reached out, you mentioned that you’ve built several gassers. What were some of your favorite past builds, and can you share a few pictures with us?
Yeah, I’ve built a few gassers for some folks in the past few years, but my personal favorite is a 1964 Ford Fairlane that we did recently. It looks like it came straight from the ’60s, which was the whole idea of building this car. We wanted to keep that nostalgia of a ’60s drag car. The motor is a 460 big block stroked with a dual high rise, dual 900 cfm Holley Demon carbs and a 700 lift cam with a C6 transmission. I’m currently in a decision-making process of possibly adding turbos to this car, too. It’s a full tube chassis with a built in 12 point cage and an old-school Ford 9 inch axle with solid welded control arms. Another personal favorite Gasser I did was a 1956 Chevy 210. That was pretty wicked and was built to be a race car/show car. A lot of them are up on our website.
Q6 | How much would it cost one of your customers to buy a build like this, and how long would it take? The guys with old 122s in their yards ::cough cough:: may want to know!
LMAO!! To buy a build like this one, you’re gonna be around the 60-70k range. That’s turn-key, done, finished. The time frame is about a year on a bigger project like this one, but it’s like I tell people: if you’re willing to spend that kind of money, let me build you a one-off car that’s strictly for you, and built to your liking and comfort. In the end, the price is gonna be about the same as it would be to just copy something you’ve seen somewhere else, so have faith in me, and let me build you your ultimate dream car. That’s is my goal, and the motto at the shop. Let us build YOUR dream car.
Q7 | Alright, Anthony, you answered my questions. This is your platform, so tell me: is there anything about you and your shop that you want people to know? This is your time.
Iron City Rods and Customs is your a stop shop. We can build you your ultimate dream car, or restore your current hot rod or muscle car to all its former glory. We do a lot of custom coachwork on turn of the century, brass-era cars, too, building custom metal bodies by hand on the English wheel and other, old-school forming equipment. We’re currently building a one-off 1962 Corvette that we’ll take to SEMA and the Riddler very soon (Hint-hint!). We also do collision repair, and we’re listed as a professional direct repair facility by Hagerty and Grundy in the Pennsylvania area. When it comes to chassis work, we’ve got you covered there, too. We can fix and straighten your current chassis, or upgraded it to handle modern suspension components. When it comes to paint and bodywork we can deliver that perfect, deep, glassy, and laser-straight show car finish on your ride to set it apart. Basically, no job is too big– or too small!– for us to handle, and our goal is to make your dreams come true. We wont take short cuts, and we’ll make sure your ride always gets the best of the best.
Iron City Hot Rods | Volvo Gasser Build