First let me say I am not talking about anything or anyone in this thread, we have officially highjacked it for our own pleasure.
I remember being one of those bone heads who snubbed their noses at the cars that were built by a shop. First off, often those cars aren't built by a dozen guys, but by ONE guy or two at some small shop and they deserve credit. In other words SOMEONE built it, so it can get my appreciation. That being said, like the American Idol auditions I love to see the undiscovered, I love to see the car that was done by the non professional or the small shop where the car displays that one guys heart, that is car that I am drawn to.
Though like I said, a nice car is a nice car, SOMEONE built it, so I can dig it and don't ask questions.
But I remember doing this work and thinking how odd it was that I was doing a job that I couldn't afford to have done on my salary. I remember at 20 years old working in a full on resto shop thinking this. I couldn't afford to buy one of these cars, I couldn't afford (oh dear God, not even close) to have a car painted here, I remember how odd that was to me. I damn near hated those people! I didn't, as I had met them and they seemed nice enough, but I was so jealous of them I could have choked them.
I was doing it damn it, me and Chuck and Jim and Nick, WE were building that car, but he gets the trophy? That just didn't seem fair to me at all. I was going to about every rod run within a couple hundred miles at that time and I remember being at a run and there was a STUNNING 34 Ford sedan (the shop I worked at specialized in the Model 40, I knew them well) and the other guys I was with just about jumped me when I said I was voting for it for Peoples Choice, "That guy HAD that car built, you can't give it to him" and I didn't. I felt the same way but didn't ask, but when I was told about it this heck no I'm not going to give him that trophy, the guy who built it deserves it. (Insert smug smily face here). But at the NSRA Nats I was in a hotel and out parked next to my truck was this 34. And another T speedster that the guy "Had built" and both of these guys were such damn nice guys, I spent the weekend seeing them often and they were such nice guys. They had built cars over the years, now they had big bucks and no time and they had their cars built, they were still "car guys" and knowledgable ones at that. It totally changed how I looked at the guy who has his car built. Funny thing is I ran into that T later here locally and though the guy didn't claim building it, he certainly never said he didn't.
I have a photo that I couldn't find right now of a friend of mine who passed away at 37 years old of cancer. This photo is of him getting his trophy up on the stage at the Grand Nationals. He literally didn't turn one single bolt, my brother and I built the car. I don't believe he even washed it for the show, I prepped it. I remember him hanging around in my shop watching what I was doing the day before the show! He was a wrench illiterate but that didn't make him less of a car nut, I think of him whenever I see someone make a big deal out of the guy who "Had his car built". He deserved to have that trophy as much as the guys who built it.