In this editorial I'm going out on a limb and bringin' the saw with me, again. You'd think after repeated freefalls I would have learned some sort of lesson already.
But no, not this guy. Watch as I commence in wrenching open Pandora's box with this one simple statement: In the world of rodding there are driven rods, trailered rods, and some driven rods that shouldn't see asphalt...period!
For starters, it will not come as a surprise to those of you who have heard my ranting in the past that I personally, repeat personally, prefer cars that move under their own power. And I will also admit that there are valid reasons why in this day and age someone would own a street rod and choose to trailer, rather than drive, it to events. I understand. I get it. I just don't particularly want to fall into that category.
But there are those rods all of us have seen on the roads moving along with traffic when they shouldn't be moving at all...much less in traffic! There can be little doubt that our hobby has grown to the point that we no longer fly under the radar as we once did.
In case you haven't noticed, we are currently being absorbed into mainstream America. It doesn't take much effort to find street rods featured in television commercials, TV (cable and public) programs, and movies. For example, for more years than I care to count, I have been a high school football official. Now, rather than seeing the obligatory new car for the homecoming queen (and king) to ride atop, I see more and more street rods and nifty '50s custom rods.
Nowadays when I say "street rod" to a non-car type, at least I get something more than a blank stare. In some cases they even get excited to learn more about these modernized relics from the past. All is good, but...
And here it comes: a big "but." I should point out that just because a street rod looks great and has had enormous amounts of money "attached" to it doesn't mean it is any more capable of being driven down the interstate than a poorly constructed one. In fact, I am not sure what's worse--a street rod that looks unsafe and is driven, or a street rod that looks like an engineering marvel but can't (or shouldn't) be driven. Of course, the pragmatic among us argue that a car being driven, no matter how safe, is more dangerous than a car being trailered. Okay, maybe so. But it is my contention that one who builds a street rod that never experiences Interstate 40 (or any number of others) can't fully answer the question, "Is it really capable of being driven?" And along with that statement comes one argument after another.
I never wanted to get into the show car versus street car debate but the fact is, more often than not a show car makes a poor representation of a street car when finally "fired up" and allowed to mix with its less-shiny brethren.
So let's take stock of where we are. First there are the drivers: dependable rods that have been well kept and cared for. Then there are the trailer queens: cars that remarkably resemble drivers but in reality are not, no matter how good they look or how much money has been poured into them. And then there are the "drivers" that shouldn't be driven anywhere, at any time. You've seen them. All too often their "badge of courage" is shoddy workmanship along with the absence of socially acceptable safety standards. What is the point? Is it the attitude: "I can build whatever I wish." In response to that, well, yes you can, but that philosophy has little regard for the negative aspect it heaps upon the rest of us rodders. All of a sudden the "father is guilty of the sins of the son," or something along those lines, but you get the idea.
So, what does all this mean? Well, probably very little 'cause there is one other mantra I believe wholeheartedly in: "It's your car, for better or worse, and you can build it, drive it, show it, trailer it, or whatever it, anyway you damn so desire." Just get out there and experience street rodding. In time, you will understand the whys and wherefores and you will drive if you wish and show if you so desire. Just, please, don't bring upon the rest of us unwanted or unwarranted "harassment" because of your social ineptness. Have fun with cars and drive safely. Many of us have been to numerous events and wish to keep driving our street rods without any unnecessary attention from the "powers that be" to many, many, more events.