Hot Rods & Customs
Well it's 2007 and the Grand National Hot Rod Show is a real "tour de force" of history and horsepower. No better proof of this excitement, than the observace of the 75th anniversary of Edsel Ford's 32 Duce V8. The car that got Ford into the performance market. As always the Grand National Hot Rod show is where you find both very best and the strangest of automotive and motorcycle creations on the planet.
As so many hard core performance gear heads know this the place to find everything you need for your own, home grown road rocket. Many younger perfromance fans will also find the roots of america's golden age of street rods. Covering every brand and almost every engine type that Detroit's big three ever cranked out. Also the personalities in attendance are also greater legends than the cars they raced. For as all we know. No car can be a legend unless, a hard core racer can tranform it into a "performer" that was greater than the metal it was orginally created from.
So the Ford 75th anniversary of the V8 Duce. Is proof of the success that American were legends are born from. Thanks to Edsel Ford for delivering a concept that was able to redfine the standard of performance, style and value in middle of America's Great Depression. As well as the still living legends that raced these cars after they had appiled the best "back alley" performance secrets, that kept the 32 Ford's racing for many years after WWII.
With any big corprate promoitional event like the 32 Ford anniversary, there is are special charity situations that help raise money for worthwhile causes. On the far wall of the Ford exposition was a long display of pedal cars that we create by different designers. Each to be acutioned off to raise money for Diabetes Foundation later this year.
The Grand National Hot Rod Show is also where backyard concepts are able to gain the spotlight of public review. Passionate fans of motorcycles are able to get equal representation and space. This year we found original expressions of the motorcycle performance art. The most original was this v twin powered chopper with a leading swing-stearing arm.
Also the devoted fans of Choppers & Indain motorcycles were well represented in both styling and performance. One Japanese based Harley builder, coming all the way to the Grand National Show just to share his passion for the V-Twin, and Metal Flake.
The Grand National Hot Rod Show also has something for even the Tree Hugging "Anti-performance" crowd. WE see here a new wave to high performance 2 wheel, and also 3 wheel concepts. However no zero to 60 mph performance figure were offered for review. However MPG figures are quoted in excess of 100 MPG, If you in shape to go the distance!
In the realm of the more traditional we see the spirt of Big Daddy Roth in such creations as the "Morbid" Hot Rod. Complete with the Grim Reaper in attendance. If we ever see a remake of the "Munster's" this Rod should have the inside track a feature role. Chrome Skulls and a Beer Keg tank and those 1960's organ vertical exhaust pipes. Wins our vote for craziest Rod on display.
But when you go to the Grand National Hot Rod Show, what your really looking for is monster motors. Well here is our vote for what surely must be the rocket motor award. Check out this baby!
Now there was a combination of muscle and chrome that few builders could match. Every year many specators come actually looking for historical merchandise. This year one of the best examples of historical gold mines, was the images & posters offered by the Kellogg Auto Archieve Collection. Ron Kellogg unvieled for the first time ever the earliest example of Von Dutch painting know to exist. Also other rare items like the very rare and few remaining example of Dean Bachelor posters. A special commerative "California Rod" poster with never before published photos of the actual 32 Fords racing on the dry lakes, and the salt flats. Ron's collection of never before pubilshed photos of Von Dutch, are from when he was young. As well as photos of "Big Daddy" Ed Roth are almost all entirely never before published. All negatives shown were shot by Ralph Pool of "Road & Track" fame. What a gold mine. Ron has told us soon some original negatives, and limited prints may be offered on Ebay for serious collectors. Talk about a great investment!!
As with all Hot Rod shows it is the diversity of body styles, and paint treatment that attracts the public. This year we chose, as you see, to do our photo coverage in a full retro perspective. As if you were reading a hot Rod magazine from Pre-WW2. So you can see that it is really all about the graphical impact of the paint scheme that makes a Hot Rod turn heads. Not the glaring Yellow or Orange.
This Caddy was one of the smoothest cars at the show, in a lavender paint that looked so tranparent and wet it just begged to be touched, if only to see if it was still wet. A real knockout treatment.
Once again look at these to different grill styles and notice that it's the raw metal and it use to accent the total shape of the car that makes it so exciting. Both different and yet both creating the same result, really great. That is why there is excitement around every corner at the Grand National Hot Rod Show. You do not need to be some car crazy nut, just a person who enjoys the automotive art form.
In the end it is the personal involvement of one owner, with one car, that makes the Hot Rod movement enduring. Most of these cars are an obsession that lasts beyond any particular age. So when ever you see some white haired guy or gal rolling down the road, remember it was'nt so long ago they were just out of high school and looking for something exciting to drive. So give'm a thumbs up for keeping that go fast dream alive.
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