From The Staff
There are a couple of myths that I've noticed over the years, actually many, but these stand out. The first is the idea that "Rat Rods" (excuse the term) are all pieces of crap. It's something I've heard when I've suggested that the person I'm talking to would enjoy, say, Billetproof. The response is often "Man, I can't get behind that rat rod stuff". What I have observed is that the build quality of the "traditional" rods (a preferred term) has been steadily improving, a process that mirrors the development of hot rodding from the '40s forward. What started as a group of harum-scarum road terrors progressively changed as the owners/builders made changes for improved performance, safety, appearance and comfort. I see the current owners and builders of, excuse again, "Rat Rods" going in the same direction.
Second, we've got the myth that "none of the kids nowadays are interested in cars". Every year, we see the "High School Challenge" at the Portland Roadster Show crammed with cars belonging to and either modified or built by high school students. Same thing at the "Next Generation" show at the Corvette Swap Meet. The Portland display numbered 30 cars and trucks this year and the director of the Challenge, Larry Maynard, told me he could have brought in double that amount if he'd had the space. At the "Next Gen" show, the participants were primarily from the Puyallup (High School) Vikings Motorsports Club. The cars in both events included new-ish "tuners", pickups resurrected from "field art", as well as some fifties and sixties vehicles, so the interest and drive is obviously there, I can't see it any other way. The common thread in my two examples is that all the schools still have Auto Shop. If more school districts chose to re-establish such training, I think the enthusiasm among students for cars, and hot rods especially, would be surprisingly high. I don't think our gearhead future is a dire as some people think.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ENJOY BEING A GEARHEAD
Yes, the gearheads and their classic rides are on the road and tops are down and while we're having a good old time we want to pause and give credit to the folks that encourage us to be a part of their adventure. For our part, we give kudoes to our own Advertising Coordinator Patti Stein, whose persistent efforts makes our Calendar of Events "information central". We're especially appreciative of the clubs that recruit from within their membership, individuals willing to give of their time to generate coverage of their events. This is a no brainer. We encourage anyone interested in helping with event coverage, it's as easy as going to our website, www.cruzinmag. com/forms and you'll be tuned in to what we do.
Incidentally, we've read with interest Bob Roseberry's editorial on this page and his observations regarding rat rods not only hits home, it brings to mind another happy phenomenom we've witnessed over the past several years — the increasing number of vintage trailers on the road and discovering fun and interesting places to explore and share the vintage trailer experience, especially at rod runs. Might just see you out there.
Stay Low in the turns and Keep CruZin'
P.S. Special congratulations to our top "Industry Advisor" USCG LT Jessica. She sold CruZin' subscriptions for years, saved her money until she was able to purchase a 1968 Mustang FB project, suffered through the busted knuckle syndrome, restored the 'Stang and won "Best Muscle Car" honors at the car's debut at Cape May, New Jersey just last month!
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