People Who Have Made A Difference:
Nobody is more enthusiastic about street rods than Fred Warren. His collection includes AMBR and Ridler winners, plus other groundbreaking cars like the "Smoothster" and "Shockwave".
I've been into street rods since I was about 14. I used to drive a '29 Ford roadster back and forth to high school; I'm 74 now, so it's been a long time. I can't even tell you how many cars I've had, but there have been a lot of them. When I first met Brian Brennan at a car show, we were both a lot younger. He was working for Rod Action and he photographed a feature on a '34 full-fendered coupe I had.
The caliber of the stories and photographs in STREET RODDER give you a lot to feed off of when you're building a new car. In Ohio, we're kind of on the wrong side of the country for hot and heavy hot rod stuff so we rely on whatever is coming out of California; without a magazine like STREET RODDER, we might never know. And if you didn't the advertisers in there promoting their latest products, you'd never know what was available.
When you see a really cool-looking car in a magazine like STREET RODDER, you try to use some of the thoughts and ideas. Or you might go to a designer and have him incorporate those into the car that you're thinking about building. Although when I see people using ideas that I came up, it can irk me, but that happens sometimes. I guess that's flattery.
The biggest change I've seen over the years is the quality of the cars. Disregarding some of the rat rods that are going on now, the quality has really picked up. And I think they're a lot safer now, a lot more roadworthy, and definitely a lot better looking. The quality of the builders has picked up too. There are a lot of shops out there building quality cars.