Jamie O’Pelt’s Cowboy-themed ’33 Hot Rod

Growing up Jamie O’Pelt was the first one in his household to fix something when it broke. He has been in the Metal Fabrication Industry for nearly thirty years now. In pursuit of a fun and unique project, he researched some build projects. Although a Personal Helicopter or Hovercraft were in the running, Jamie decided to build his now iconic Cowboy-themed Factory Five ‘33 Hot Rod.

Jamie told us “The FFR kit just seemed to be a match for me. It was relatively affordable, and came with most everything needed to build. I had also already researched FFR’s Online Community as a resource & was extremely interested in the Build School that was offered as well – all in all, FFR was checking all the boxes for this first-time builder. From a style perspective, I was locked in on the ’33 the moment I saw it.” 

Jamie had several ideas for the aesthetic of his build, “but there was one that I kept coming back to…it has now become known affectionately as “The Floating Star” – & yes, I have been a huge Dallas Cowboys fan all of my life. I did design the paint for my kit & the interior, I might add, before I even ordered the kit! On January 26th, 2017, I officially ordered my kit from Factory Five Racing – the journey had begun!”

He installed a 302 Ford Small Block with a Holley Sniper EFI (Engine Factory), “what I felt the car was designed around, but also, unbeknownst to me at the time – the grand importance of putting a Ford in a “Ford” (replica)!” He went Automatic with a Ford AOD Transmission (Monster), upgraded to the Wilwood Brakes, went Rear Exit Exhaust and opted for the Hard-Top and AC which were “the only two requirements my wife had outlined to me.” He also ordered the Moser 8.8” Rear End and the Insulation Kit. The kit was slated to arrive at the end of March, so Jamie scheduled to go to the three day build school the first week of March. Jamie says he “would recommend it even for those seasoned builders embarking on a FFR project.”

Next up on the list was his shop setup for when the car arrived. Jamie had undergone back surgery in his twenties and his better half was looking out for him when she decided a “$2,000 investment in a lift made sense versus another $100,000 back surgery.” He did; however, want “to give props to ALL of those folks that are building their kits in a single garage, off of jack stands or hydraulic jacks – y’all are the real troopers & it just proves that ALL challenges can be overcome with these builds.” With the lift put in place, it was back to waiting – but not for long, as two weeks before his delivery, the Wilwood Disc Brakes were drop-shipped – making it the official Start, “or in this case STOP to my build!” A few days later the Moser 8.8 Rear End landed as well. On March 29th of 2017, in the form of approximately (30) cardboard boxes, (11) fiberglass body panels & (1) raw, steel welded chassis, Jamie’s kit arrived! 

He put nearly (1600) hours into his build over the next (23) months to get the car ready for Final Assembly, Paint Prep, Paint & Interior. His Hot Rod would then spend another (9) months at 121 Rod & Restoration in Trenton, Texas with Kory Ritter and his team finishing the build. “I had fully intended on painting the car myself…Once I finished go-karting the car, I thought it was turning out so much better than I had ever imagined…Kory & his team had recently finished out Bill Price’s FFR ’33 and after I had seen Bill’s car in person, the decision was made for them to take it the rest of the way!”

“The beauty of this kit was you could do anything you wanted to make it your own – & when it’s all said & done, each one is unique & unlike any other car on the road, “Built Not Bought”!“

Jamie started with opting for the extra clearance Hood to allow for a Hood Vent. The Hood Vent concept, he took by shrinking a 2016 Mustang grille down & rotating 180° then having it 3D Printed out of aluminum. He used Door Pops to keep the body clean & provide a blank canvas for the Star. He used Headwind (4-1/2”) Street Rod headlights to allow for the lights to be dropped down lower on the Engine Side Panels & still provide turning clearance. The oval rear taillight pockets were filled & replaced by the ’39 Ford Teardrop Taillights. The FFR stainless steel, rear exit exhaust was the foundation for the Star Shaped Tips that were welded on. 

Leo’s Trim in McKinney, Texas took Jamie’s interior design & brought it to life with the Blue Carbon Fiber, Marine Grade Vinyl & he accented the Door Armrest with a bit of Football leather. Jamie opted for off-the-shelf, modern Cragar SS wheels wrapped in Michelin rubber. He finished off the Trunk space with a custom battery cover & scrolling LED sign. The undercarriage also has LED under lighting “for those late-night tailgate parties!” It wasn’t until he go-karted the car ½ a mile down the road & back “then vacuumed ALL of the rocks out of my front seat” that he decided, “if this car is going to have an 8’ star painted on the side, it probably needs some fenders”.

On November 24th, 2019, Jamie’s Hot Rod, Star Mobile One came home to him. Two & half years later, the car has over 17k miles on it. It has been featured in a local CBS affiliate’s commercial for the Cowboys, graced the cover of several Hot Rod Magazines. Participated in over (85) Car Shows, Charitable Events, Parades, Golf Tournaments & Player Signings. It has won over (20) awards, was featured in the NFL on Fox’s Ultimate Fan’s segment & also contributed greatly to Jamie being nominated by Hall of Famer & former Dallas Cowboy, Randy White as a national semi-finalist for the 2021 Class of the Ford Hall of Fans. The dash has been signed by over (15) former Dallas Cowboy Players, such as Randy White, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly & Ed Jones, just to name a few. Aaron Shelby, Danny “the Count” Koker & Horny Mike have signed the air cleaner cover as well. Photos of the car have been snapped while driving, while Jamie is stopped for gas & even by drone! 

It has blessed me with the opportunity to meet some amazing people along the way & I only hope that I have been able to inspire a few people as well! It was built as a Hot Rod for a huge Cowboys fan to drive around in. I never imagined the car would have its own website, Facebook Page, Twitter or Instagram accounts or be requested to show up at specific events! Not as a car builder, because I am not that guy, but as the builder of this car, I still get goosebumps driving down the road when people honk or give me the thumbs up. I will also never get tired of the Cowboy Faithful asking if they can take a picture with the car!”

Recently, Jamie was able to raffle off a Factory Five Traxxas Hot Rod to fundraise for children living with Down Syndrome at Connor’s Car Show in Keller, Texas. Jamie was able to raise money and won ‘Best of Show’!

If you would like more information on the build you can visit www.starmobileone.com or you visit the Factory Five Racing 33 Hot Rod Build Forum https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showthread.php?23292-Star-Mobile-1-Build. You can follow Star Mobile One on Twitter @StarMobileOne33 or on Instagram @starmobileone or check out ALL of the videos of the Player Signings on the JOP33 YouTube Channel!