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Old 12-30-2007, 10:57 AM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Originally Posted by ezinoregon
I logged on here to update my project journal and saw the discussion about what makes some a "Hotrodder". It's funny but it doesn't matter if it is cars, or motorcycles, or playing a musical instrument, or art even. All of which I have experience with. In art you can either be an "Illustrator" or an "Artist". Norman Rockwell dreamed of being categorized as an artist all of his life, but never lived down the title of illustrator. I know Harley guys that won't ride in the same group with sport bike riders, and vice versa. I know bikers that think that if you haven't ridden a couple of thousand miles in a day at least a couple of times in your biking career you aren't a "Biker". As far as I'm concerned it's all crap. Utter crap. What difference does it make if someone builds their own stuff or not? Or if they can pull out their tool bag and fix the damn thing on the side of the road rather then having someone else fix it? The only thing that really matters is how much enjoyment someone gets from participating in whatever it is they are doing. Sheese, have fun and let others have fun any way they like without someone snubbing their noses at them because it wasn't done in some way or other. Just my two cents worth.

This should be put on the inside front page of every rodding mag, posted in every garage and put on the home page of every auto web site. As far as I am concerned EZ is right on the money.

On the debate beween building and not building the car. There are few things that tick me off more than seeing some guy who changed a few things on his car standing there with unwashed hands knocking some old guy who pulls in to the show with a turn key car. I am sorry, not everyone has the time, skills, tools, health to build their car. That old guy may have been told he has a year to live and went out and bought a car he always wanted, who are we to say that he "doesn't belong". Hell, that guy may have built hot rods back when people REALLY built then instead of buying everything out of a catalog.

He may also have BUILT that "turn key" trailer queen, we don't even know the guy. I met a guy with a 56 Vette at a show I judged who you would have never bet he did anything on that car. If you saw him driving in, what wasn't bald was gray, about 55-60 years old. He looked like daddy warbucks in that Vette. It was one of the nicest restorations I have ever seen in my life and I fought and fought with the other judges to give him the top overall award. It was a stunningly detailed car, flawless as you can get in reality. He built it in his garage, out of a basket case, it was a piece of junk when he started. He had piles of photos, he did EVERYTHING on the car. If he were to take this car on a long trip to a show in another state he would likely trailer it. There would be some guy knocking him as he pulled it off the trialer saying something about trailer queen and he "had" it built.

How about my brother who builds from scratch everything he has ever owned. He has built from the ground up turning every single bolt, vintage Harleys, 57 T-Bird, 65 Buick Gran Sport Conv., 63 Riv, 22 Buick, 39 Ford Coupe, 31 Model A (chopped and channeled), 55 Ford F-100, 65 Mustange Fastback, and more, including an old fiberglass speed boat. And these are just his, he has done many more for customers. Yet I would honestly call him a "car builder" more than a "Hotrodder"! To him, building the car is the "journey". Owning it, driving it, is actually secondary. He is glowing, he is in a state of eurphoria when building a car! He is NOT in that same state while driving it. Don't get me wrong, he DRIVES them, most are daily drivers. But he drives them's his daily driver, it is his transportation. He isn't thrilled to drive it as you would think, at least that is not in his demeaner. It is TOTALLY different when he is building them. So is he NOT a hotrodder?

How about my buddy (God rest his soul) Danny who couldn't turn a wrench, I am not kidding, I am not joking one single bit, I do not believe he even owned a wrench! He was totally and utterly talentless or scared to death or something about wrenching. He just didn't do it, PERIOD. But he loved cars and kept them spotlessly clean and well maintained. ALL his cars right down to his company truck were like NEW after many years of service. He bought his brothers finished Model A Coupe and drove and drove and drove it! He and his wife where the first ones to show up at any event and the last to leave. He LOVED driving that car, he was on top of the world driving that car. When we put it in a big indoor show he rubbed a rag over it here and there and that was about it. I spent hours upon hours, days upon days getting it ready and he would come by and talk to me and do a little here and there and that was it. He just wasn't a wrencher or anything like it. When he won the first prize he was ECSTATIC calling all his friends. But he looked the same way driving that car! NO ONE can tell me he wasn't a "hotrodder". Dan died of lung cancer at 37 years old.

Nope, being a "Hotrodder" is more in the heart than anything you can see.


Danny and, his wife and their Model A "Vintage Rose".

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