I could begin this editorial by saying, "What is your favorite hot rod?" Oftentimes what is the most popular year, make, or model of hot rod isn't actually what we build. Each of us will build what we want, what we can afford, and what's available.
For starters, what I find so interesting is how often a car owner has a favorite but it isn't the car he is driving. I see this time and time again. But it doesn't change the fact that each of us would like to have a car we don't have. Here's an example: I have a '29 roadster on '32 'rails. I've always considered this the "real" hot rod, born of the idea of taking the lighter body and matching it to the more powerful engine. The very precept hot rodding was built upon.
Of course, I am also of the opinion that anything with a roof and fenders isn't a hot rod, it's more akin to a rental car. Let's face it, if you haven't experienced a good smack in the forehead by the occasional green and yellow bug or the errant flying rocks then you haven't truly driven a hot rod.
But I digress. I have a Model A highboy, I also have a Model A roadster pickup in the works (four years), next up is a Model A closed cab pickup that is in its first year of life, a '47 Chevy pickup (three years and counting), a '72 Chevy Suburban (10 years and who knows when), and a '72 Bronco (have no idea how long or when or if it will ever get finished). But are any of these my favorite? Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy every one of them. Each has characteristics that I find totally fascinating. But are they my all-time favorite?
I would really like to have a traditional '32 highboy roadster, a full-fendered '32 coupe (one each of the three- and five-window variety), and I have always had a soft spot for a phaeton, and since we're at it, why not a pickup? Why don't I have one? I have been exposed to plenty that could have been mine. It has never been in the cards and that's why I don't have one. Well there's one more reason, and truth be told this may be the reason.
As good looking as any model '32 Ford is, I have seen enough to last a lifetime. Don't get me wrong there are still plenty of good-looking and innovative Deuces being built. It's the "cookie-cutter" models that I see religiously that have me steering clear of Henry's iconic car. Right now the last thing I want to see is another '32 when I enter my garage. The question then arises, can you be too good looking (I wouldn't know) and can you be too young (that ship has sailed) and still have the Adonis-like build (never got there)? So what am I saying?
It's my fault if I can't imagine how to build a '32 that is "fresh." While there isn't much I can do about being short and balding, there's plenty I can do to make a better-looking '32. The problem is I need help. I am open to ideas.
Send me your ideas for any type of hot rod, not just a Deuce but something fresh and ground breaking. You see in today's hot rod world that there are a lot more than '32 Fords that will make the next-best, great-looking hot rod. In fact, it isn't restricted to something from the '30s but rather it can be any car from the '70s back.
My favorite list of cars would include the Model A, the Deuce, and the '40 Ford, but it would also include the '47-54 Chevy pickup, the '58 Chevy, the '60 Ford Starliner, bubbletops, '71 Monte Carlos, and, of course, the obligatory Rivis. Somewhere in there would be a '62 Pontiac Grand Prix, a Hemi-powered Plymouth Belvedere, and the list goes on. You see building a hot rod today has never been more wide open and it is up to us to take the chance and build something ground breaking. There's nothing wrong with a good-looking '32 but I think the hot rodding community could use some fresh ideas.
Let's say you have an idea, why don't you send me an email? Should we believe in your idea, we'll go to one of the hot rod world's accomplished artists and see if we can bring your idea to the first step. Hey, it would be fun for all of us.