If it is good enough for politicians, it must be good enough for me. Every year about this time I listen to State of the Union, State, County, City, and Home Owners Association addresses-all individuals or committees telling me they are diligently working on my behalf, but that I still need to fork over more money and in return I will get less.

For starters, I'm sorry, but when I spend my hard-earned dollars, I would like to see something in return. So, on a happy note, it appears that our little hobby is doing just fine. I am always curious how companies in our industry are doing, as it impacts our hobby and, let's face it, my job!

SEMA has published information saying "passionate street rod and custom enthusiasts spend on average 32 percent more on parts and accessories than enthusiasts of other stripes." Although I am not sure street rodders having stripes is a good analogy, I would agree we are passionate about out hobby, and over time we (as a segment of the automotive aftermarket) have done well enough in life where we can spend some extra dollars to have fun

It is reported that on average a car enthusiast spends $4,792 in a 12-month period to personalize his ride. However, it is also reported by SEMA that those who say they are street rodders spend an additional $1,500 or almost $6,300 per year on their cars. Well, something must be right with street rodders, and our hobby in general, to spend this much money in a given year. It also makes sense, since we are getting older and have more money to spend!

It was also reported by SEMA that sales within the street rod and custom market reached $344 million in 2006, and that represents a growth of 4.7 percent per year since 2000. It would seem our hobby is a healthy industry for those making their living "playing with cars."

This is also good news for those who find themselves employed elsewhere but thoroughly enjoy driving their street rods. A healthy industry means there will be a continuous flow of new products. That means we can keep building new projects or tinkering with the ones we have.

This brings up the question of how many projects an average street rodder has resting in his garage (or out back). Based on the conversations I have had over the years, the number has risen. It was always common to have a couple of projects, but nowadays it seems three and four ongoing projects is the norm. I am not sure how any of us do it, but I believe this to be the case. I know the number three is pretty common around the STREET RODDER offices, but the number is closer to 10 cars for the likes of senior editors Ron Ceridono and Eric Geisert! Of course, I doubt they will be around long enough to finish all of them, but you have to admire the enthusiasm.

And then there is me, with my latest tractor and wish-I-could-have-a-Divco projects. In time, maybe I can get started on them as well as finish my Model A roadster pickup. Oh yes, I still have my other Model A on Deuce 'rails-it's just that I never seem to have the time to drive it anymore.

Well, I may have some shortcomings but it is apparent the industry doesn't, and it's a great time to be a street rodder. Having fun with cars was, is, and always will be a good thing.