Letter from a StreetRodding Member
Feb 25, 2018 8:54 AM - 488 Views
Good morning Willie!
I happen to stumble across the forum this morning while searching for potential power steering upgrades to my otherwise very manual Vega steering box. Very nice forum Sir!
This is kind of a unique experience for me as I had been one of those guys who brought cars back to their “as-built” condition as opposed to “street rodding”.
Several years back… when I was judging formal shows for Buick Club of America… I got stuck with perfectly even final scores on the judging sheets for a pair of matching cars. (One in blue and the other green.) The blue car was a full on restoration primarily done by the owner that was driven from Cincinnati to Chicago to attend the show. The green car… an original unrestored car with just 18,000 miles on it that the owner spent gobs of money for and trailed it to the show in an enclosed trailer behind his (at the time) $15,000 pickup.
The ironic part is that the green car wouldn’t start that day we lined the car up on the judging field. The owner didn’t want to mess with the otherwise original motor. So the head judge gave the guy a “pass” for the day and let him and his family push the car to its assigned spot. Normally we would deduct 25 points if there were any issues with the drivetrain that prohibited it from moving under its own power.
So as I’m walking around these two cars… looking them over… trying to decide which car wins the annual Best of Show for cars from 1951 to 1953 Buicks… when the head judge walks up to me and asks what’s going on. I explain the dilemma with the final scores and that I am going to make a choice in just a moment.
He grabs my judging sheet… and tells me it’s an easy decision. The green car gets the trophy. I mutter something like… “WTF… his car won’t start!” The head judge points to the blue cars wheels and tires. He tells me that I didn’t deduct five (5) points for the aftermarket valve stem covers (that resemble) a Standard Oil Crown (red in color) from the top of an old gasoline pump. Yea… he made me deduct five points. Green car won that day.
I immediately took off the judging hat, smock and handed all of the judging stuff to him and walked to my car which was also on display that day and drove home. I likely also called him a name of two. Never went back to ANY event of that nature again.
So… I walked away from all of that nonsense many years ago. Kids grew up. Started a business. And all of that stuff that happens as your life moves on. Now that I’ve got all that past me… first wife out of my life… kids gone… I finally decide it’s time to get back to it and find something that goes fast again.
This time though… I headed to the other extreme and purchased a partially completed ’46 Ford Coupe that is more of an old school street rod perhaps even a bit of rat rod in it. It’s a small block Ford in a Ford! And I’m loving it and all of the challenges that go with keeping a “Frankenstein” on the road! Here’s a picture of the right rear wheel on my ’46 Ford Coupe. Be sure to look close! Hope it brings a smile to your face!
I’m not sure that I can offer much from a street rodding perspective… but will make a point to contribute as much as I can in the future!
And one last detail… I am an active member of the Northern Illinois Street Rod Association. Hope to run into you along the way on one of the many trips that we’ll be making in the future! The big event for us this year is attending Goodguys in Des Moines last weekend of June.
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