A uniquely probing statement but in order to fully appreciate it I should give you the entire quote by Ingvar Kamprad: "Only when sleeping do we make no mistakes. Mistakes are the privilege of the active person who can start over and put things right."
For starters, what the hell does this have to do with bigs 'n' littles, quickies, I-beams, and all matters often found buried in garages, on the outskirts of swap meets, and stored in rafters long since forgotten? A lot, I say.
This being the September issue of STREET RODDER you may be reading it at home, but for the owners of 10,000-plus street rods and their family and friends you have the opportunity to absorb my monthly musings at the NSRA Nats.
Street rodding represents guys who build cars to the best of their ability to then enjoy the car as they see fit. It doesn't matter whether you spend six figures or use your six remaining fingers; it's your street rod, your imagination, your time, and your money-build it any damn way you want. I would suggest safety be of paramount importance and, for the sake of the rest of us, incorporate a little good taste. But it is your car. OK, that's all I have to say on building your hot rod.
There are others who have, for some profound reason, taken it upon themselves to tell the rest of us how we should work, live, pay taxes, and enjoy our personal time. They want to over-regulate, restrict, or in some cases legislate out of existence our hobby.
Only now is it becoming clear how important it is to have industry organizations, such as SEMA, state councils, local car clubs, and individuals, paying attention over the past several decades. If not for their early warnings we would be in worse shape than we now find ourselves.
Currently, 20 states have developed street rod registration/plate laws that protect more than just hot rodders. All of us are hot rodders, whether we drive a '32, a '62, a lowrider, a Jeep, a replica car, a truck (new or old), or something with two wheels. All of us are in the same proverbial boat. We are the minority individually, and we will surely sink if we don't band together into a cohesive unit to ward off the misguided do-gooders in the future.
I am often reminded of the following when someone tells me that the government is up to the task of watching out for us, taking care of us, telling us how and where to spend our money, and why they need so much of our money and personal freedoms.
The next time a government bureaucrat tells you that they need to regulate your hot rod because they know better ask them the following: In 1775 the U.S. Post Service was established; 235 years later it's broke, my mail is still lost, and delivery times are hit or miss. No wonder the Internet is the way to interact with others.
Here is one of my favorites: In 1935 the Social Security Administration was established and 75 years later I am now being told it is going broke and "we" aren't sure how to fix it. Well, "we" better learn because I wasn't late with my payments, and I don't wish "we" to be late either.
Since our hobby and industry are clearly in the "graying" phase, the following are of significant importance to us. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 and all I read is that it is broke and going broke. Fix it because there's nothing worse than a grumpy old hot rodder who needs his Depends, hearing aid, and denture cream!
The more I travel, the more poverty I see; the War on Poverty began in 1964. Having spent $1 trillion of our money and, yet, the number of poor are growing. I don't see their daily plight getting any better. I would say this is "another" war we are losing-if not already lost!
And the one that particularly frosts my condenser is The Department of Energy created in 1977. Its goal, policy, and mission statement was to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. What it has done is employ 16,000, can't live within a budget of $24 billion a year, and we still need to import our oil. And I am the one who had to stay after school!
Is it me or has the government screwed up virtually everything it has touched? I have full faith in our Armed Services, not because the government runs it but rather because it is made up of incredible people. Without them I can only imagine how bad things would be.
So "government" if you are listening, or in this case reading (if you can), be on the lookout for the Dec. '10 issue of STREET RODDER and every other automotive/truck/motorcycle magazine this company produces, because we know who "you" are and we are going to hold you accountable. I am going to make the assumption you are now awake and can fix the mistakes.
STREET RODDER readers, if you were ever to purchase and read a copy of SR, the Dec. '10 issue is the one. If you purchase other car magazines from our company (Hot Rod, Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, Rod & Custom, Classic Trucks, Custom Classic Trucks, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords, Hot Rod Deluxe, Corvette Fever, Camaro Performers, Super Chevy, Chevy High Performance, GM High-Tech Performance, High Performance Pontiac, Mopar Muscle, and the dozens of truck, lowrider, and motorcycle books I don't have the space to name) the December issue of these books will be the one to purchase! You haven't seen anything like what you will see shortly.