For Starters

Street Rodder - - Contents - Brian Bren­nan

I find my­self in a quandary. I like hot rods, I thor­oughly en­joy my road­ster, and I would like to build an­other. The quandary comes when I look at my bud­get … or lack thereof. I have come to that life-al­ter­ing de­ci­sion, “Should I sell my road­ster?”

For starters, that’s ex­actly where I am. I will need to sell my '29 Ford high­boy road­ster (full dis­clo­sure: it’s a Brookville body) in or­der to move onto a new ride. I haven’t fin­ished the thought process but I know that some­where there is ei­ther a '40 Ford or a '34 two-door sedan that would like to live in SoCal. Don’t get me wrong, I in no way want to part ways with my road­ster, as it is every­thing a hot rod should be … great look­ing, fun to drive, re­li­able, com­fort­able (as road­sters with solid front and rear sus­pen­sions can be), and it’s paid for! But, real­ity is nice cars cost money to build, own, and drive so my time has come to make a re­ally hard de­ci­sion.

It’s been a long time but I once had a con­ver­sa­tion with an East Coast rod­der by the name of Glenn

Roy from Mas­sachusetts. To be spe­cific, he had some won­der­ful “road­ster wis­dom;” a sin­gle-sen­tence bits of wis­dom that ex­plain why road­ster own­ers truly are dif­fer­ent from the rest of the group. One of his first quotes about the wis­dom be­hind own­ing a road­ster goes some­thing like this: “Street rods move the body. Road­sters move the soul.”

That’s pro­found, and with­out get­ting all sappy that pretty much sums up why I have al­ways owned a road­ster, and more specif­i­cally a high­boy road­ster. It’s true, “Road­sters move the soul.” There’s some­thing about get­ting into an open-air car and tool­ing down the high­way, whether they be high-speed interstates or some twist­ing and turn­ing “blue lanes” that wan­der through the back­coun­try from coast to coast. I should point out that I have had the lux­ury of driv­ing from coast to coast in my road­ster and I can truly say with­out any hes­i­ta­tion there’s no re­place­ment for the sheer joy this ef­fort brings. In a mo­ment of re­flec­tion my fa­vorite drive time comes late at night when the air is cool, maybe a bit nippy, the traf­fic has passed, and your des­ti­na­tion lies ahead of you … two to three hours. The joy of com­fort­ably cruis­ing down the high­way while keep­ing an eye on the road ahead, “steal­ing” a look into the heav­ens filled with the bright­est of stars and imag­in­ing if the moon re­ally is made from cheese—I hope thinly sliced Swiss—is the rea­son I drive a road­ster.

Of course: “You never want to drive so late into the night that you sleep through the sun­rise.” Sun­rise be­hind the wheel of a road­ster is truly an ex­pe­ri­ence to be­hold.

“A long ride can clear your mind, re­store your faith, and use up a lot of gas.” And that my friends is why you own a road­ster. My first early hot rod was a '29 high­boy, and my cur­rent ride is an­other Model A on Deuce ’rails.

An­other such pearl of wis­dom goes some­thing like this: “Road­sters can never hold every­thing you want, but they can hold every­thing you need.”

OK, there have been times when my road­ster, which is very ca­pa­ble of hold­ing a myr­iad of re­place­ment parts, didn’t have what I needed. I still got to my des­ti­na­tion and found that I had one more great story to tell. So, I guess it did hold every­thing that I “needed.”

Ev­ery­one who knows me knows I have a true love of an­i­mals. I’m one of those who can never have enough dogs and cats run­ning around the house and sleep­ing in the garage un­der the car cover on the bench seat of the road­ster. There’s noth­ing quite like try­ing to vac­uum cat hair from your road­sters car­pet, or bet­ter yet have it fly up in the mouth while chug­ging out of the garage and build­ing mo­men­tum down the street. I know, as it hap­pens all the time. And it is be­cause of this that I have a keen sense of know­ing why “a dog sticks his head out the car win­dow.”

There’s ev­ery like­li­hood that there will be a closed car in my fu­ture. I’m just not sure I’m im­prov­ing my lot in life.

Brian Bren­nanNet­work Di­rec­tor/Ed­i­tor

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