When dry lakes racing was still in its infancy during the '30s and '40s, most lakes racers didn't concern themselves with chrome parts (though some cars had some) or nice paintjobs (there were only a few with great paint schemes). Call them purpose-built, or an example of form following function, but race cars generally don't have to be pretty, they just have to go fast.

You can find examples of those incredible race cars built 60 and 70 years ago in several fine books written by Don Montgomery, as well as Robert Genat's The Birth of Hot Rodding, and you can literally spend hours absorbing the design and feel of those cars, which is exactly what happened with Kirk Jones.

Kirk, known to most as the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette (the monthly publication for members of the Goodguys Association), has been around hot rodding all his life. At 41, he's not only built 30 or so cars in his time (with one, a blue panel 'n' lace '60 Starliner, that was featured on the cover of Rodder's Journal), but in 1997 he, with Jay Ward, started Billetproof, the car show devoted to pre-'65 traditional rods and customs (the popular events are now held in four states).

It would be safe to say Kirk lives and breathes hot rods and, because his day job allows him to be immersed in what he loves, certain opportunities (such as locating a special car) crop up from time to time, akin to how a telephone company lineman knows where all the cool cars are located because he can see into everyone's backyard. STREET RODDER asked Kirk how his current ride came about, and the following is what he told us: "My modified yearnings started with another project. And, like many hot rod projects, it stalled as I became somewhat disinterested and distracted. It's not that I didn't like the direction it was going or what I'd accomplished so far, I just had so many other things taking priority that it lost its 'spark'. I'd see it sitting there in my garage and think about how much I had left to do. Most of the big stuff was pretty much done, but when I would stand there in front of it, ready to make some progress, I would convince myself that the amount of little stuff was just too large a hill to start climbing on that particular day and then get distracted by something else.

"Enter Matt Seret from Seret Speed & Custom in Vallejo, California. We are both avid fans of hot rodding's history, especially early dry lakes and Bonneville racing (i.e. 'real' hot rods). We often talk about the garage-grown craftsmanship in the old photos we crowd around in books like The Birth of Hot Rodding-endlessly pointing to various details on each car and appreciating the grassroots ingenuity oozing from all of them.

"Some were works of art with obvious thought given to proportion and flow of design, while others were just down-right ugly train wrecks that were only rough skins over the roaring guts barely hidden beneath. Either way, they were primarily an example of the form-following-function concept, fueled by raw creativity and educated guesswork. You could say these guys were pushing the envelope, but there was no envelope at the time. If anything, they were creating the envelope, then bursting through it every step of the way.

"Seret, like many rodders, has far more ideas than he can ever execute. One of those ideas-a '27 Nash two-door sedan-caught my eye sometime ago collecting dust in the corner of his shop. David Perry (hot rod photographer extraordinaire) was going to use Seret's character-filled shop as a backdrop for shooting some girls and hot rods, and Seret got a wild hair a few days before and decided to cut the hulking two-door sedan down to a single-seater, offering it up as a possible prop. The funky little body didn't make it in any of the photos and was subsequently relegated to the dusty corner I mentioned earlier.