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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2004, 05:54 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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"Taste" or just plain WRONG

Okay guys, don’t beat me up for this but I have to say it. Some things are just plain WRONG. Yes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but some things are just plain WRONG. What I am talking about is, when someone does something to a car or truck that “misses the point”. Some times the whole thing is a miss; other times there is a reasonable trend in the work, and then, out of no where is some “after birth”.

An example would be a traditional 1950 Mercury custom with a billit aluminum steering wheel. The builder was going along just fine…chopped top….frenched head lights……53 Buick side trim….and then, BLAM, out of no where an after birth. The billit wheel just doesn’t belong on the car, PERIOD. It is not “taste”, it is wrong. How about the 1950 Chevy fastback that was at the last show I went to. It was chopped, sectioned, but had the stock grille and bumpers. That was a little strange, but it still worked. It kind of looked like a Chevy designer had did the sectioning and chopping. Yeah, a Chevy designer was just day dreaming and showed us what it would look like if it were left up to him. It looked great…then the after births. The dang thing had 2000 VW Bug head lamps and 2000 Corvette tail lamps! He RUINED the car. All that work in the sectioning and chopping, right down the drain. Now, how would the ’50 Chevy head lamps look on the 2000 Bug, like crap, that’s how. How would Kesey Hayes wires look on that 2000 Z06 Vette, like CRAP, that’s how. There are thousands of “traditional rods out there with all the classic goodies; fenderless, black paint, tuck and roll, a white firewall, and then, a SBC with TPI and billit valve covers. I have even seen this with hoodless cars! Would one of Boyds cars look right with 20” billit wheels and a six duece set up?

We have all seen these cars, maybe one is in your garage. If it is I am sorry for being so hard on you.

You have the right to build a car anyway you want, this is true. But don’t put an after birth on you car and then cry because it didn’t win at the show. If you look at the big winners, the front pages of the rod magazines, they all follow a theme. EVERY NUT AND BOLT on the car, fits into the theme.

Is this “conforming”, yes, sort of. So what if it is, do you want a stand out car because it is pleasant to look at or because people want to laugh at it?

I’ll tell you what sets the cars apart, DETAIL, that’s what. If you want your car to be “special”, then make every nut and bolt follow a theme (ONE theme, any theme) and fill the car with detail.

Don’t make it WRONG, just to be different.

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Old 07-24-2004, 08:30 PM
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totally agree with you, new parts belong only on new cars, classic cars should have classy parts on them
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Old 07-24-2004, 09:31 PM
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Some people are cursed with bad taste.
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Old 07-24-2004, 09:37 PM
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I followed a theme.

I let it get the right amount of crap build up on it from the tree it's parked under. I take to the strip and tell all the mustang boys that my old rustbucket is faster than the juiced up, cookie cutter 'stangs that everybody has now. I then proceed to prove it after the smacktalking's done.

I got my arse handed to me by a Callaway 'vette once though.

I gotta get my bucket fixed soon.

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Old 07-24-2004, 09:52 PM
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sorry boys but i don't mind seeing somthing different every now and then if all the cars looked the same i think it would get very boring. i might not agree with some of the cars i see but there not my cars and the only person they have to satisfy is themself. i'm sure that if there building a car thats "different" they are not worying about winning a trophy. i don't have to like everything i see but who am i (or any of us) to tell someone the (right ) way to build a car.
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Old 07-25-2004, 01:11 AM
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I've seen some nice modern-old cars done up tastefully, they did follow a theme though. Troy Trepanier's Plymouth is cool, The Nomad station wagon that looks like part Corvette, a nomad that I thought couldn't be improved on, a Merc built liek Maren is talking of, sounds like sacrilege to me. Don't booger up a nice merc! At least it's fixable. Dan
"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not." - Mark Twain
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Old 07-25-2004, 05:25 AM
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The Wheels have to be just right!

I recall back in the late 70’s when I built my very first “street rod” there were just so many wheel choices available. I used the western wheels chrome wagon style for my showstopper pickup, a 76 Datsun 620 Longbed.

With thousands of styles out there today, one of my favorites is the Cragar style five spoke traditional “mag”. While I like this style, it looked a little too dated and the modern versions seemed to be too flashy for my most recent ride.

The wheel & tire combination undoubtedly makes the greatest impact on a rod's overall presentation. As fashion changes with the season so do wheels. Since the vintage truck look is being implemented into the newer generation we are seeing newer, late model wheel designs that simply don’t compliment old school trucks. You also have old school designs being implemented into new style forms such as classic five spokes, slots, and kidney beans… all being made in 17, 18 & 20 inch. It’s not the size diameter that makes the wheel, it’s the style. Mixing a large late model custom wheels with an early model classic truck is like mixing oil and water – they just don’t mix.

I knew I needed to emphasize the clean classic vintage look while minimizing the appearance of modern flash. The solution was the classic Draglite series from WELD. Their two piece forged polished alloy does the trick.

Otherwise, consistent theme is critical to making the overall design work on any customized vehicle. My next change is to add a banjo steering wheel rather that the off-the-shelf Grant wheel I have now.
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:05 AM
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Depends. If someone is building based on what they like then who cares. I build a vehicle based on what I like and want it to do. I build it only to please me, not someone else's idea of what it should be. That said, if someone is building to a theme then it should conform to that theme, otherwise it just isn't right.

My truck as an example is being built the way I want it to be, a Hemi in a Chevy, seats with head rests, etc. It's not being built to any theme. On the other hand, my deuce will be built to an "American Graffiti" theme. Even though it's a 3 window and it'll be hemi powered (with 3 deuces) it will basically conform to what someone would have built back in the early 60's. It' won't have 18" wide tires out back and it won't sit super low either. No four link front suspension (traditional hairpins) and a transverse spring rear suspension all topped off with a set of chrome steel wheels with baby moons. I could say that that is the plan, but since I've already spent several thousand dollars on parts, that's the way it's going to be.

So IMHO it all depends whether you're building to a theme or just what you like.

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