By Jon Kuhn:
I've been an underdog in the car world. Either it was my daily driver at the drags or home built stockcar at the oval track.
Sometime around 2003, my brother Bob (aka hotrod)
and I got interested in vintage hot rods. At the time "Rat Rods" was the term used, but plain "Hot Rods" is now preferred.
We began the hunt for builders and in the process ran
across a lot of cool folks with the same interests. Most of these people became good friends. Bob and I decided it would be cool to have our own club so we decided to come up
with a name. I was thinking about the 50's era post war... younger men coming back from fighting for us, defending our nation, and soon after they started building hot rods.
Taking the fenders off they're hot rod and defending our nation just clicked and hence the name Defenders!
My first build was a '31 Ford 5 window coupe with a '53 331 hemi. It took years to build cuz I was financially challenged at the time, wife and kids to support etc...
I live in a small town and the public accepted my car with lots of enthusiasm and even a newspaper article! The club is all about friends... no yearly dues, no roster, no scheduled meetings... just a bunch of great friends hanging out and
having a good time!
Robert Kuhn…aka…Hot Rod Bob…
I have been around cars, motorcycles and Hotrods since an early age. My father was always working on something in the Garage and raced at Lions Drag strip and Ascot. I remember going to San Fernando Drag strip, Lions and Ascot quite frequently with him. He had bought me a ¼ midget Curtis Craft and a couple of Mini Bikes to get me started.
My first car was a 1930 or so Buick I had got from my uncle. Someone had made it into a dune buggy back then and it was in pieces. The first cars I had that I really worked on was a 1958 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, and a 56 Chevy. Was not old enough to drive back then. I had about 8 or 10 cars before I even had a drivers license. I had quite a few Chevy’s and Fords….muscle type cars after that.
My Brother Jon and I Started the Defenders when we realized after talking one day that we were into the same thing and same type of car.
My first Hot rod build in recent years (12 years ago) was my 1930 ford sedan, which I still have and drive the shit out of today.
I built a 1925 Chrysler roadster, 1934 Ford P/U, 1963 Thunderbird, and a 1931 Roadster and have a 1928 Ford coupe as well.
I am building a 1952 Studebaker now…60’s Gasser style.
The Defenders are all about friends and their cars…No drama, dues or dissention…Just damn good times!
We share parts and help each other with the projects and more. A great bunch of people and am proud to call each of them my friends and club members.