For Starters

Street Rodder - - Contents -

Ev­ery now and then it’s a good idea to sit down, take a deep breath, and ask your­self “Where am I, and where am I go­ing?” As a mag­a­zine type I of­ten­times find my­self get­ting caught up with the where’s the hobby go­ing and what am I do­ing to drive it in said di­rec­tion. Yet, it’s those times ev­ery now and then that I re­al­ize it’s a very good idea to look for some per­spec­tive.

For starters, I re­cently found my­self leav­ing the judges' of­fice at the Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show hav­ing just com­pleted a lengthy con­ver­sa­tion with eight other judges on what was to be Amer­ica’s Most Beau­ti­ful Road­ster. There was plenty of spir­ited de­bate on which car was the “most beau­ti­ful.” There were sev­eral that were hotly rep­re­sented and great points were made from around the room. Dur­ing the ban­ter

I had a mo­ment (some would say “se­nior”), an epiphany: Had I lost per­spec­tive? Prob­a­bly … given how many oth­ers things I have lost in my ten­ure on this planet.

By to­day’s stan­dards hot rod cre­ativ­ity is off the charts, crafts­man­ship is off the charts, and the bud­gets used to cap­ture this com­bi­na­tion of cre­ativ­ity and crafts­man­ship are also off the charts. That’s not a bad thing but it does limit the num­bers ca­pa­ble of “play­ing” and it of­fers up a warped per­spec­tive to oth­ers who wish to “jump in.” It’s im­per­a­tive that we bring in fu­ture rod­ders who can en­joy the same love and fun with cars that we do. But let’s not scare them off the street be­fore they even pull out of the garage.

It was late Satur­day and the AMBR tro­phy was de­cided. I found my­self stand­ing qui­etly in Build­ing 4 be­tween the 10-foot tro­phy and the Ed­die Dye road­ster (cur­rently owned by Tom Bobowski and his son, Jim … ku­dos for stew­ard­ing this time­less piece of his­tory). There were few rod­ders around and I was be­gin­ning to un­wind when it hit me. (The first thump was Ron Ceri­dono in a golf cart … he still hasn’t fig­ured out how to drive one!) Per­spec­tive … and I was stand­ing right next to it. Here’s this beau­ti­ful hot rod that rep­re­sents the very essence of what I so thor­oughly en­joy about our hobby … a chance to have one’s

in­di­vid­u­al­ity on dis­play. One must re­mem­ber in 1950 when this Model A road­ster found it­self at Gil’s Auto Body, art­fully han­dled by the Ayala broth­ers (Gil and Al) on east Olympic Boule­vard in East L.A., it was an ex­er­cise of ef­fort to build the coolest hot rod around. First it had to look cool, be drive­able, and be raced as it would. It even made an ap­pear­ance in a movie. In its time there was a goodly chunk of money spent to bring this “cool” to life and in the end it was Ed­die Dye’s car … no mis­tak­ing it for any other Model A.

How cool would it be to see more cars like this shown at the GNRS? Early hot rods with lots of early pics, plenty of his­tory to read, all neatly dis­played in a group­ing of six or more cars so that cur­rent and fu­ture rod­ders could ab­sorb all of the cool these cars rep­re­sent.

Hats off to Cir­cle City Hot Rods and all the oth­ers who com­mit­ted to bring­ing this car to fruition by ev­ery means pos­si­ble. I re­mem­ber sit­ting

there past the judg­ing hour and yet no Ed­die Dye road­ster. They had called the show of­fice telling all they would be there but they would be late.

All they wanted to know was, “Would the judges wait?”

“Hell yes!”

There was no prob­lem with those of us sit­ting and wait­ing. The wait was well worth the time. And what a car. If you have seen the lat­est edi­tion of the Rod­der’s Jour­nal there’s an out­stand­ing story that por­trays the car’s his­tory from the be­gin­ning and through­out its life. It deals with all things per­ti­nent; the his­tor­i­cal pho­tog­ra­phy is ex­actly what all of us wants to see, and the cur­rent pho­tog­ra­phy shows off the road­ster in bare metal. I am a fan of bare metal pho­tog­ra­phy as it of­ten­times shows what can’t be seen when the paint is ap­plied. In­ter­est­ingly it’s re­ported there was only one color photo from back in the day. It’s be­fit­ting that the car was pho­tographed in bare metal for its de­but.

Here’s hop­ing we can get the road­ster and gather up some great color pho­tos and bring them to you so that pos­ter­ity won’t have to look for one lone color photo. Per­spec­tive lev­els the play­ing field. Brian Brennan

Net­work Di­rec­tor/Ed­i­tor


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