In light of what is going on in the U.S. right now, and what sore losers Democrats are, it’s time for part two of part one from last week. This year, I’d like to do a lot more blog entries, but we’ll see. I vent, it’s what I do. I don’t bottle stuff up. If you’ve met me, you know, and if not, I’m loud and offensive. I’m also self-destructive and mildly entertaining. Husband material, right? Not so much.
Cars. This is about cars, and the people that build them. I’ve gotta focus. Remember what I said about progress? I still see it, faintly. Tons of shops are out there tucking bumpers, chopping tops, and altering things so flawlessly, that you can’t tell how it’s been altered. There’s also tons of shops out there that are placing orders with Summit, Speedway, and even other shops, then assembling the car like a model kit, with little to no original touches or any fabrication. There’s nothing wrong with doing this if you’re an enthusiast with limited tools or talent, but a shop? Shops should use more than a Craftsman socket set. The part that gets me, is that people now accept this as the norm, and are starting to reject innovation.
Disclaimer: I use new parts that look like old parts, almost everyone does now, as old parts are ridiculously expensive. You know what else is getting ridiculously expensive? New parts that look like old parts. A three deuce setup can go for almost as much as a complete supercharger kit… Crazy! And it doesn’t look “right”. There’s always something that just doesn’t fit, either a single part, or a few parts that are machined instead of cast, or cast noticeably different. It never really used to bother me, but now that I’m seeing it more and more, it’s starting to… A lot of money is changing hands to make new look old, but unfortunately, it just looks like “knock-off old”.
Now, I don’t want to be one of those guys who picks out flaws from across the fairgounds, as that’s what muscle car guys normally do, but it’s in the hot rod world, too. I’m seeing a sway in the scene, where the hot rod shops are trying to keep ultra-nostalgic, while the muscle car shops are boldly moving forward with modern technology, new ideas, and radical modifications. No longer is it only the muscle car crowd picking out the wrong grille or emblem location, but now, the hot rod crowd are pointing out pieces from the wrong period, or parts that have been refinished incorrectly. Is it good for the scene? Short answer, no. Not maybe. Not perhaps. Not conditionally. No.
The first car I ever built was a Corvette. They have instruction manuals, literally. Very few makes and models are documented as well as the Chevrolet Corvette. There is a way to build them, and the books are available everywhere. It’s simple, like Tee-ball, tracing, or connect-the-dots. Hot rods are different, or at least they were when I first became interested in them. They were a form of self-expression. Sure, some self-expression is tasteless, but they always carried with them all the ideas of the creator. Nowadays, I’m seeing the same paint colors, the same wheel and tire combos, very few flames, and almost no angel hair or flake. What the heck? The Chevy small block is getting shamed as “overdone” or “not traditional”, even though the first one was made available in 1955… If you are brave enough to use one, be sure it has the “right” valve covers, and the “correct” intake and carburetor on it. Modern roller cam? Forget that! Only a Duntov will do, so be ready to adjust your rockers. Where am I going with this? On a rant, apparently. Find out later this week where I think it should go. For now, where I need to go is bed…