Part 3: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

This is it, I swear.  I also said I’d finish it up last week, so who am I to think anyone is going to believe me?  I’m just a guy building a gasser with control arms, power disc brakes, radial tires, overdrive, and a full interior ranting on the internet about other people’s shit.  It’s cool though, unlike Instagram, my content doesn’t get pulled at random here, so hooray for me.

Ed Roth.  He built cars out of wads of newspaper, plaster, and fibreglass.  Stuff that nobody had ever seen before.  Two engines? Sure!  Bubble top?  You bet!  Mis-matched headlights and other asymmetrical touches?  Of course!  That was just one car.  He didn’t raise the bar, because I don’t think he wanted to.  Rather, he built his own bar somewhere else, and set it wherever he wanted.  The Orbitron had three different colored headlights to create (allegedly) a truly white light.  The Surfite was built around a surf board.  My favourite has always been the Beatnik Bandit…  I think it’s the paint job that does it.

Why bring up Ed Roth today?  Because he was an innovator.  I don’t think he gave a damn what the current trends were.  He painted monsters on t-shirts, built crazy cars out of mostly junk, and wore a hillbilly hat and paint-covered pants.  He didn’t have the popular hot rodder image, what he had was fun.  The model kits alone must have been a blast for him, and I know I’m not alone in saying that they made my childhood better.

What am I getting at with this?  It’s simple:  If you want era correct, that’s cool, but it’s not my thing, and it’s certainly not necessary, despite the current trend.  Maybe you want disc brakes?  Build a car so radical, so different, that people don’t notice the brakes until the third or fourth time they see it.  The same goes for wheels, tires, carburetors, valve covers, and gauges.  If you can incorporate it into a unique car that flows well, no one credible is going to criticize it.  Don’t be scared of critics, they’re everywhere, and they rarely carry solutions.  I’d be much more concerned hating a car that I built from someone else’s ideas than I would be concerned with building something I love that not everyone else does.  Don’t like what others are building?  Build yours better.  Inspire, don’t criticize.  Also, get inspired, a copycat is just a fresh version of someone else’s creativity.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stare at a pile of parts and convince myself I want to put them back together again.

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