Tag Archives: rat rods

Car shows and the people

27 Jun

I’ve been to a few car shows, or many in my day and after going to a few this summer, even though I know the summer isn’t over, yet. 

I really like the machines most of the time more than the people whom build and drive them. Since waiting for parts for Athena, I’ve had a lot of time to simply do nothing when I could be working on her. Yet, much of the time I could be doing something is usually something I usually don’t want to do such as removing pitted, chromed pot metal and having that re done or finding replacement pieces. Many things simply involve more money than I currently have like replacing the interior. It’s exciting to think about, but then I look at the cost, and it’s a little over a grand if I don’t go for the factory original fabric (which is also going to take up to, if not more than 6 months because there’s only one guy of whom I know who makes them to those specs.)

So I went to a few car shows and brought my Ford because even though I think my Subaru is intensely cool being a special edition colour, many of the boomer and gen x crowd don’t hold my same sentiment. They simply want to see the old Detroit iron they grew up with. So I took it to a few car shows in the past, and of course lifted the bonnet. One thing to note is my dad had a (302cid) 5.0L installed in it, and the car still has the original 289 emblems. Now I don’t mind this at all since I grew up with the car, and even remember when he had the engine installed. I just thought it was really cool at the time, not thinking, “well, dad, this engine isn’t the original, so maybe we should just go back to the original.” He actually wanted a 351 (5.8L) Clevelor engine as his dream engine. It’s simply a 351 Windsor block with Cleveland heads as the valves on the “C” heads are larger and will fit on the “W” block with minor modifications. He however never had the chance to realise this. So the 5.0L engine stayed. 

One of the first things guys do at car shows is look at the engine and make comments that it doesn’t look like a 289. I tell them they’re correct. Then they walk away as if dis satisfied. Some of them ask me about that, and I tell them an annotated version of the above paragraph, and that’s when I guess it takes some pressure off of myself because I’m not the one whom did this “atrocity” to this classic Ford. 

Most of the time I simply don’t raise the bonnet at car shows. My engine bay isn’t super clean, and I’m not too concerned about that. Some peoples’ cars are their livelihoods and their cars are immaculate, or close to. I guess if I wanted to spend that much time and money on my car I could, but it really doesn’t matter to me at this point. Some of the people in addition to being perfectionists about their cars (which I don’t at all mind, in fact I love people whom have passion for whatever they do) also have attitudes of superiority. I love when people customise their cars, or restore or have them restored to original, or even a car which was a working car such as a taxi, or dirt hauler – a bit of a look into how things were well before I was born, and when things were I guess you could say a little bit simpler. 

It’s really just the idea of someone having enough passion to make their car their own. I’ve seen most things from Mad Max style rat rods to absolutely perfectly restored concourse-level museum quality pieces (although sometimes using Nissan or VW colour codes, but slightly changed.)