Kat in her natural habitat: grinding away at the Studebaker’s retrofitted Mustang II subframe. (Image/Summit Racing)

Kasia “Kat” Jones loves hot rods. Always has. But she didn’t start building them herself until a mere three years ago.

“When I started my first project, I had no experience working on cars, nor did I have a fancy shop to work in,” Kat says. “But if I can build a cool car in my 1-½ car garage in the frozen tundra of Buffalo, New York, you can too.”

Kat’s first build was an LS-swapped 1950 Chevy Fleetline. (Image/Summit Racing)

That initial foray gave Kat the confidence and experience to tackle her next build, a 1954 Studebaker Commander she’s affectionately dubbed “Stew.”

Kat’s story is proof that anyone with the spirit and will to learn can build a nice hot rod on a budget.

We spoke with Kat about her experiences as a new builder. She answered some questions, gave us some insight and offered advice to folks looking to take that first step towards their own hot rod project. Check out the video below.

Kat also took some video to document her progress. As of now, she’s putting the finishing touches on her paint and body work, and hopes to have Stew on the road by Summer 2021.

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Author: Alan Rebescher

Editor, author, PR man—Alan Rebescher has done it all in a 25 year career in the high performance industry. He has written and photographed many feature stories and tech articles for Summit Racing and various magazines including Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding, and edited Summit Racing’s Street & Strip magazine in the 1990s. His garage is currently occupied by a a 1996 Mustang GT ragtop.