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