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Thread: Hot Rod Snobs!
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    Hot Rod Snobs!

     



    EDIT: resurecting this from nearly 5 years ago since it still seems timely, 2/19/08


    This thing has been rattling around in my pea brain for a while, and it seems timely to let it out.


    Know any hot rod snobs??

    Or are you one yourself?

    Was the first image of a hot rod snob that popped into your mind a gold chain wearin', store bought rod drivin', loud braggin', insufferably borin', power parkin', boor?

    Or was it the "average" lookin' guy that parked over there?

    By the way, this isn't aimed at anyone in particular. These thoughts have been prompted by a variety of posts, on a few sites, across the www. But some recent posts here seem to have brought it into immediate focus.

    Part of the appeal of hot rodding is to participate in something different while dealing with a commodity (the automobile) that is so commonplace to our society. Whether your venue is sports cars, muscle cars, antiques, classics, ricers; excuse me, tuners, trucks, off roaders, race cars, whatever, an auto enthusiast is a minority (despite no particular social advantage accorded) when compared to the rest of our population in total. Hot rodding is a small niche within a compendium of small niches that form the entirety of automobile infatuation. As such, you would think we would be a kindred spirit. To some degree, it works quite well. This, and other forums, are an electronic community wherein folks of like mind can visit, and share, this crazy, mutual interest.

    From a personal perspective I have come to meet several people who I feel are fine folks through CHR and a couple other sites. Most of them I've never met face to face and probably never will. A few I've been fortunate to meet in person as well. Many of them have been very generous with their hard earned experience and willingly spend time at the keyboard to help others avoid costly mistakes. Most often it's appreciated, at times the recipiant doesn't even have the courtesy to say thanks. I've been the recipient of some unexpected and much appreciated generosity from several of these folks who really don't know me but from our interaction on these boards. I hope I can return the favor some day.

    But then up pops this snobbery stuff. And yeah, I'm not too fond of the guy who pops up at an event, or forum, and who spouts off like he's God's gift to hot roddingdom. But I think the "system", and their own boorish behavior, soon weeds them out as their ignorance of the passion associated with car love is exposed. No, the ones that I have more trouble understanding are the ones who think that their experience, and resultantly formed opinions, are the standard that allows them to run down the path of execution chosen by other, equally enthusiastic, participants. And while I wish that this would change, it's not likely as it seems to be human nature.

    So here goes: I'm going to use myself as an example from time to time, not because I hold myself up as the epidome of hot rodderness, but because I'm more familiar with my experiences than anyone elses.

    Those who rail against glass cars have probably never built one. Otherwise, they would understand that there is very little difference in the building process, in a global sense, between a "real" car and a "kit" car. I'll use my Cobra replica as an example. The front suspension geometry is based on MII specs. The control arms are tubular, the shocks coilover, the steering, rack, etc. How different is that from the guy who attaches essentially the same kind of hardware to his old Ford (or whatever) chassis? Oh, the frame is fabbed you say! Well, our "real" car owner figured out that his original frame had so many stress cracks from 60 years of use, and the rust had thinned it pretty well in a number of areas, that he got an aftermarket frame too. A smart move from a safety standpoint. Okay, we're back to even. Then there's the narrowed, Jag rearend. Oh............kinda like that narrowed 9" from a Ford huh? Let's see, the tires, wheels, brake parts, paint materials, guages, upholstery material, and a miriad of other items that are common to nearly all cars that are refurbished, or built from the ground up, are very, very similar. And procured through the same, or similar sources. So what we're brought down to is the body, and the material it's made from. That's really the only thing different given a parallel building plan for a specified end result. The fiberglass naysayer thinks that these "tupperware" cars are invalid because "everyone knows those kit cars are just glue tab A into slot B deals. They're the lazy way out!" Now go back and read the opening sentence of this paragraph. I've done both. Most glass bodies require a lot of work to end up very nice after refinish, just as steel bodies do. The process may be somewhat different, but the amount of work can be very comparable. Yeah, there are examples of cars, such as my steel '36 roadster, where parts from 5 different bodies were used to make one (I'm not counting the fenders, hood panels, and grille in that either, that's six more cars), a whole bunch of patch panels, and an entire floor as well. This is the hard way to go. Does that make the builder of this kind of car a man as compared to one of those fiberglass body wimps? Not on your life. I might even suggest there's a sanity issue here!!! Now there are glass bodies that are total junk, and perhaps these are what the naysayer focuses on when he brands all glass bodies negatively. But, today especially, there are very many high quality bodies out there, and they make a rational alternative for the guy who would like a certain body style for his dream (a very important determiner) car, and realizes that there aren't enough "originals" out there to fulfill his desire. Blury gave us the admonition that cars are lying around all over the place down in his neck of the woods. A couple years ago I did a thread on how many old cars and trucks I found outside, in and around our Las Vegas neighborhood. News Flash!!! That may happen to varying degrees in the desert Southwest, but it doesn't happen like that everywhere. Either due to climate (where the voracious tin worm ingests all that's steel), or legislation (nosey, do-gooders seeking to "clean up" the earth of "trash" they don't understand, even though the kind they revere is okay), or lack of a historical supply, most of this country doesn't have a ready supply of rod material laying around, especially if you are discriminating enough to want a specific brand and body style as opposed to settling for something that's just "old". While some of the "offbeat" cars can make interesting and creative statements in the hands of some talented people, they are available today because they were not that popular in the first place, and remain so today for many of the same reasons.

    Then there's the guy who claims; "Well, all those parts are store bought, even though the body is genuine. I hate catalog rods, they're sickening...............". So where does he get his stuff? "Well, I get it from the junk yard, that's real hot rodding". Sorry buddy, that's just another store with a different display policy.

    (to be continued)
    Last edited by Bob Parmenter; 02-19-2008 at 11:10 PM.
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

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  2. #2
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    Part II:

    Let's look at Joe "store bought" for a moment. He's somewhere between 30 and 60 years of age, he's got a family, a kid or so at home, or maybe just left the nest. He's worked hard for a number of years, and progressed in his chosen field, might even own his own business and all the responsibilities that accompany that. He's knocking down pretty good coin now. When he was a young, less affluent stud, he used to scrounge used parts to keep his heap going, so he's not unfamiliar with the junk yard scene. But now he's in a position in life where he feels in control of things to a degree where he can indulge his fantasies. Being reasonably intelligent, he knows the lace stocking fantasies could cost him more than he's willing to risk, so he chooses the (as he believes) safer distraction of that hot rod he's dreamt about for oh so many years. He takes a rational look at how much time and effort he can dedicate to this re-emerging hot rod interest and realizes that he has far more on his plate than he did when he last "played with cars". What does he do? He looks at the value of his time, and the way he has to allocate that precious commodity (a funny thing happens as you mature, you realize you have less time left, and therefore value the remainder more highly). Does he spend time scrounging the yards, or ebay, or the local swap meets, only to buy used parts that have some unknown remaining life span, and will require more time to clean up, refurbish, and then modify to fit the unintended application? Or does he exchange his money, which he earned doing what he does best, for the products supplied by someone else who does that best (that's called an economy)? And, in doing so, he saves some of that valuable commodity called time. By extension, even if Joe has the willingness, skill and time to build his own, his buddy Sam, who has a similar interest, is so deeply involved in the rest of his life that a more rational choice for him is to have a pro build the car for him. He can do this because he is very skilled at his "day job" and can earn enough money that he can afford to pay someone else. Oh HORRORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get over it!! There are some people who have EARNED a lot of money by making sacrifices others are unwilling to make, but still have the passion, just not the time, to play with building rods. If you allow yourself to be manipulated by envy, give it up, you'll be better for it. As long as these guys are not just plain jerks in life, I don't care how they enter the hobby. Jump in the pool, the rodding's fine!

    At the other end of the spectrum we have the "low buck" guy who doesn't earn enough, or chooses not, to afford the pro builder, or the pre-engineered and prefabbed parts. What he does have is time that he can exchange that allows him to mess with recycled parts. He might even be the retired guy who once bought pro parts, but now has earned the recreational time to "revert" as it were. Maybe it's his way of maintaining a healthy psyche. He gains great pleasure, relaxation even, from the refurbishing process. Or maybe it's the challenge of "the hunt" that floats his boat. He can play too.

    A few of these people are extremely talented. They have the inate ability, or the acquired skill, to create art from others cast offs. While I deeply admire these folks, I also realize they are an extreme exception within the ranks of hot rod lovers. They are a rare cat!! They seem more prevalent because many share that admiration, so they garner a lion's share of the attention, but within the overall ranks of hot rodding, they are unique.

    Then we have the do-it-yourselfer who takes wholly incompatible components and assembles a "car". It would be easy to discredit them at this point, but I'd rather put it in context. As an example, they will use a donor frame, say from a small pickup. They'll adapt it in some way to an older body, and then drop in some cast off drive train. Creative they are, artistic they often are not. Are they hot rodders? Maybe. Just because you can bring together a mixed bag of parts and have it move down the road doesn't mean it's a hot rod. But likewise, just because it doesn't look like a '32 highboy, doesn't mean it's not a rod. What it might be is a training tool for a future product that will indeed be a rod. Or it might be some awful mistake that sends the builder a message to pursue some other hobby.

    My biggest rant is with the people who seem to imply that if a self professed rodder doesn't "do everything himself" he is an illegitimate rodder. Well, by that criteria, nobody is a rodder!! If you don't mine the iron ore for the drive train and body panels, don't process it through a steel and/or iron mill you built with your own hands, raise your own naugas and tanned their hides, made your own thread, welding wire, welder, compressor, etc., drilled your own oil well, refined the crude into lube oil and gasoline, then, buddy, you ain't no rodder. Or you can wake up to the reality that we ALL buy something from someone who is an expert at what they do in order to put together the car we desire, it's just a matter of degree as to how much we employ those experts in our project. So shed the attitude!!

    Hot rodding has evolved. Like it or not, it has taken on the trappings of an art form. Modern hot rodding pays homage to the best of the "good old days" while folding in the elements reflecting our progression in things automotive. Rat rods not withstanding, they're somewhat of a counter culture statement, most of rodding is about paying tribute to innovation and art in an automotive theme. The tuners probably feel the same way about their approach. So maybe they are a younger, yet kindred spirit. It's just that they don't like our kind of music, or our style of car, or let's say they might have to stretch some to have some level of appreciation for it. And the feeling is mutual.

    Now, where's that bag of dried prunes!
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

    It's much easier to promise someone a "free" ride on the wagon than to urge them to pull it.

    Luck occurs when preparation and opportunity converge.

  3. #3
    Mike P's Avatar
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    VERY VERY well said Bob. I started a reply in a similar vein a while back, but thought it would be too long to cover everything I wanted to say!!!! (really).

    I hope you will find that a lot of people share the same view and that were not the minority.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  4. #4
    hambiskit is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    wow Bob- I thought I was the only one that rides around with the radio off....I agree & thanks for putting that out there so well.
    I hope that we can get togather at a meet or show soon, maybe trade some secrets....ha ha haaa.
    Jim

  5. #5
    Dan J's Avatar
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    Bob,

    If there were a required indoctrination to CHR, your posts would serve as the perfect reading material. I honestly believe that most people are not judgmental of others in this hobby. Most are “learning” from others or are at least open to new ideas, and some enjoy sharing their knowledge with those who will accept it. But, I’ll be darned if some folks don’t think that “their” way of doing things is the “best” and “only” way, and they feel compelled to disparage you if you don’t agree!

    Your opinion on this matter is timely, and as usual, you have presented it in well-written prose. CHR has active participation from many diverse people, and it would be a real shame if the “attitude” of a few were to stifle the lively and open conversations that take place on this forum.

    And Bob, thanks again.

    Dan J

  6. #6
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I guessed that most would agree.

    Streets, "end of the subject matter?", might as well ask "is your car finished?"..................the answer is usually "never".

    Your's is a story that goes to the root of my thoughts. I'm sad for your loss, but in your sharing that with us it emphasizes the importance of our relationships with one another. While nothing we can do here will ever come close to the meaning of your marriage to Barb, it can still have some level of importance.

    While we as a group, and as individuals, are never going to agree on all things all the time, what's the sense in fabricating differences over something foolish?

    I see you figured out the avatar thing.

    BTW, the answer to your other question is, all of them.
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

    It's much easier to promise someone a "free" ride on the wagon than to urge them to pull it.

    Luck occurs when preparation and opportunity converge.

  7. #7
    Rick Yeager is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    While you have the soap box out...

    Bob, like the others, I have enjoyed your posts. It seems about anyone who has sought help on this forum has received a thoughtful answer from your experience. Thank you for that.

    Now for my shot at moaning and groaning: Along the same line is what people say as they walk by guys' and gals' rods at local street car shows. Some of the owners do not have big ticket machines or the cleverest base car but have put more thought, effort, and time and percentage of their spendable income on their machines than the owners of some the nicer units. I believe that there are several rodders whose feelings have been needlessly hurt by thoughtless passer-bys who did not understand what they were looking. Included in this population are the ones who walk by with sneering cuts and have never built or worked on anything. I guess it just human nature that people do things like this. But we do not have to like it and can think about what we are saying too.

    Despite all my grumbling, I think that most of the hands-on-wrencher car enthusiast are some of the most helpful, talented and enjoyable folks to be around any where. This forum illustrates that.

    Now someone else can have the pulpit. Ha!!

    Ricky Bob (Right now aka: "Bondo Bob")

  8. #8
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Rick, I can relate to what you are saying, as I think almost anyone who has put a car in a show can (no matter what the quality of their ride was). Besides thinking about what we say, I think we can take a bit more active approach too. From personal experience, I know that just a good comment or 2 from people is worth more than any trophy I might have sitting on the shelf. It also goes a long way in overcoming the negative things that some clown may have said.

    (Gee, I think Bob mentioned something similar in an earlier post)
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  9. #9
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    Bob, What a post, I love it. I might add to this post. I love steel over glass. BUT, Sometimes you can't find all steel. Like my 34 chevy cabriolet. It's glass. You just can't find a 34 chevy cabriolet. and if your lucky enough to find one. You pay out the bazoo. But being glass i'm enjoying it.
    Some say you have to put some wrenches to it to be a rodder. Sometime the guy/gal dosn't have the time of the knowledge to do so. To me if he loves the sport and enjoys his car (that's driving, showing or what ever) then he a rodder. Just like the guys that buy turn key cars. If it wasn't for those guys i wouldn't have the money to build the next one. and i can say that affects most builders.
    Now talking about kit cars, To me there nothing wrong with kits cars. The guy that put it together has just the same amount of sweat into it as the guy with the steel one.( if not more).
    Here's one way to look at glass. Let say you go to a show and there's 200 cars there. Pre-49 You take away the glass cars, the cars that have glass fenders, running boards. or anything with glass in it. How many cars would be left there for the show?
    Or lets say there a show pre-49 steel cars only. How many would show up?
    Street rodding is great hobby, and it's a diying breed. The younger kids are into imports. The older rodders are not getting any younger. We have t pass the wrench to the youger set. so if you see a younger guys ( say in there 20's) stop and talk to them. ask question. tell them thanks of keeping the hobby going. There the ones that will have to. JUST MAYBE, the other kids oops sorry.. younger guys with get there friends or pass it onto there age group. Next time your at a show just look and see how many young guys are there looking at street rods. Sorry Bob and cobra's
    I know my son is into street rods, now he wants a cobra. It's his choice, To me as long as he enjoy the sport.

    Time get off the soap box....
    Next
    The only dumb question is the one you don't ask..

  10. #10
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    Bravo!!!

     



    Bob, once again you have shown us all the light... Here are a couple of additional thoughts...

    I belive that it is Human Nature to have the "us against them" attitude at times, it is just our competitive nature... We often need for someone to be "them" whether it be the car show judges, guys who trailer their rides, or guys that build different styles of cars... As the issues get bigger/broader we will often include "them" into "us"... I think this is true of any hobby/interest... It seems it is very easy to include folks we don't know into the "them" crowd, and more difficult to include friends no matter how much they tastes differ from our own... Overall I have found that more times that not, car guys are just good people once you get to know them... This group is much the same, once you start to hang out here for a while you start to build relationships... It seems like even when we don't agree on things there is usually a civil tone and a scence of respect here on CHR... When there is a bit of a flair up it is usually with someone who is new to the group, and as Bob said earler they will usually weed themselves out or will quickly realize that confrontation is not common place here...

    Another thought also crossed my mind as I read "Bondo Bob's" post... As an artist and a profectionist I find myself often looking at other's rides and finding flaws here and there... I am not the kind of guy who will say or do anything to make the owner feel bad, nor would I enen mention it unless it is a good friend... Maybe I am wrong, but I think we all pick up on these things to some extent... Because I know how I think, I look at those folks a bit differently... In a way it is a compliment when someone is nit-picking your car... I must mean that the majority of the car is nice enough that they have to find something to pick at... or... In some cases it might mean that the car is so nice that there has to be a flaw somewhere... or... It just might be plain and simple jelousy... Either way it definately means that your car was nice enough to attract a looker close enough to take in the details... It makes sence that the more critical the looker the more they must have liked the car in the first place to take so long looking at it... If they have to ask if it is "glass or steel" that must mean that they can't tell the difference... I guess that would also be a compliment!!!

    Thanks for all your insight, BOB...

    Dave Brisco

  11. #11
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    Bob, you couldnt of said it any better. I've been going to car shows for some 30+ yrs now & have seen everything you have talked about. Even traveled in the group w/some of them and it makes you wander sometimes "WTF are they smoking", and the outside folks who come see the cars, well you name I've seen them do it.
    As our story goes, yrs ago I put together what some folks call a "beater" or at least it looked like one. It was in white epoxy primer, w/a 350 crate motor & 350turbo trans, nova subframe w/2inch dropped spindles disc brakes & lowwered springs, the rear end was riding on Chassic Engineering rear springs w/4inch drop blocks. The tilt steering column and power front seat came from an early 80's Buick & Cooling the inside was Vintage Air. The QQQ's I got asked the most was, whats the dash out of (early 70's Volvo wagon), what kind of shifter set up was I using ( cable shift on the column before any vendors sold them) and where did you buy that double jointed steering joint ( had to make it , cause NO ONE had them at the time). Now mind you I was parking with friends who had several cars in magazines in the past & here I was in a beater getting asked more QQQ's about my car, then all of my friends together.
    One of those guys use to ride me hard about never finishing it (like they ever are "FINISHED") & one day I looked at him & said " Ok Mike, I know your cars have been in the mags & I know its worths lots of $$$$$$$$$$ along with having that fasttttt BB chevy motor & all that shiney stuff it SUREEEEEE LOOKS GREAT, BUT , lets park both in a shopping center parking lots & guess what???? both cars get keyed. All I will do is go home, clean the spot & shoot flat white spray paint on my car and I''l be done. While you'll be Bitchin all the way to the paint shop to have it repaired, So you see Mike I know I'm having more fun then you because I'm not worried about the car." AND just so you know, yes Mike is a " UP AT DAWN POWER PARKING, ATTENTION GRABBING, NOSE UP EVERYONE REAREND TYPE OF GUY" mind you he has worked hard to get where he's at BUT he's also that friend you'd like to just be able to see him step in crap & not come out smelling a rose just ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE.
    It use to burn me up sometimes to see the SNOBS at car shows untill one day an old rodder told me something, & thats the way I go to shows now & he said, OOOOOOOO you're going for trophies & the prizes arent you. Well if you are you're going for all the wrong reasons. You should be here to enjoy yourselves, eat some food, look at the cars, see some old friends & make some new ones and if by some chance you win something, Well thats just a bonus you get for enjoying your day at the car show.
    As for what kind of car someone drives or wether its steel or glass, I could care less about that cause it takes the skill of someone to put it together and if you can afford to have someone do it for you, for what ever reason well thats your own call.
    As long as we're all having fun isnt that all that matters??????????????...joe
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  12. #12
    eddybo69 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    WOW, what a post. I can classify the rodders I know into two catagories literate and illiterate. You guys definately fall into the last catagory. All of the responses were well thought out and very articulate. I know I fall into one of those catagories that Bob defined, just cant decide which one. I appreciate all of the posts here but this entire thread is something you want to print out and take to the reading room with you so you can really ponder the meaning of hot rod life. Thanks

  13. #13
    ShaynDaPain is offline Registered User Visit my Photo Gallery
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    I love it! Grumpy old men! I'm grumpy too. Being only 24 makes me a minority around here I'll bet. My oppinion goes as such; I have a car. It's a 1939 chevy coupe. I'm rebuilding it and I've cought myself bragging about it from time to time even tho it's still crap. I keep thinking to myself how great it's going to be when i'm done. How I will build this red classic beauty that others will droooooool over.

    I'm not sure what it takes to be a Hot Rodder. I'm not planning on making my car a super hot rod. It's going to be more of a classic rebuilt hot rod. I've already got three carbs for it but Im not going to do much more suping it up. I WON"T ADD THE SOUNDS SYSTEM MY 1994 Nissan has.

    Even though I'm part of the BOOM era (I got 2 pioneer impp 12" that will break your ears) I will never add a "system" to my classic car. I know this has nothing to do with hot rodding but I thought I'd let you know what annoys me in the hot rod world. I just get so pissed at these guys who spend thousands and thousands of dollars and then add a 400 to 500 stareo system to it just to rattle the bolts loose.

    I could care less about a stareo in a Hot Rod. I mean it's all about the car not the noise. There is deffinatly a place for a car system and it's not in Hot Rods.
    Confusious say "He who stands on toilet is high on pot."

  14. #14
    The Al Show's Avatar
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    Originally posted by eddybo69
    WOW, what a post. I can classify the rodders I know into two catagories literate and illiterate. You guys definately fall into the last catagory. All of the responses were well thought out and very articulate. I know I fall into one of those catagories that Bob defined, just cant decide which one. I appreciate all of the posts here but this entire thread is something you want to print out and take to the reading room with you so you can really ponder the meaning of hot rod life. Thanks
    Gee eddybo69 maybe you should take a dictionary to the reading room and ponder the meaning of illiterate. Your response was neither well thought out or articulate. But thats okay. There is no intelligence test required to join CHR. I don't think an illiterate person would join CHR anyway. If you can't read the posts or respond there's no point in joining except maybe to look at pictrures.

    Getting back to what this post is about. I'm guilty of poking fun at Blury's Rambler but I was typing with a smile on my face. I don't use smiley faces or lol when I'm trying to be funny. I figure if it goes over your head or you take it the wrong way so be it. If someone is offended by my wise cracks I blame it on their insecurities not my weird sense of humor.

    I'm in this hobby for fun even if I do make money at it. I haven't won a trophy since 98 but that's okay with me. I have a stack of them in the back room. I don't even have a hot rod that's roadworthy since I sold the 40 Ford Panel truck. I've been taking my 56 Packard to shows since then but I miss parking with the rods.The only time I was upset about not winning a trophy was when I restoted a 59 Austin Healy sprite race car. There were three other cars in the two seat sports car class. A 59 Vette and a 57 t-bird took second and third. A Chevy dealer entered a brand new Corvette with 55 miles on it and dealer plates. He took first place. I wouldn't mind as much if there were more cars in the class. The guys who took second and third place were more pissed off than I was.
    I still would like to see Blury and Streets do a remake of American Graffiti even if they have to take it to a dragstrip.
    AL

  15. #15
    dangeroustoy's Avatar
    dangeroustoy is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Feb 2002
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 32 Ford Hi Boy Roadster
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    Well...

     



    Originally posted by ShaynDaPain
    There is deffinatly a place for a car system and it's not in Hot Rods.
    Hummm... Guess I will have to find a new home for all of this stuff?...

    Dave Brisco

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