A few years ago, I was in Tennessee hanging out in an old brick building with an “Honest Charley” sign hanging out front. Mike Goodman was walking me around his collection of cars and showing me the finer points of what he called “casual” hot rods. By “casual,” he didn’t mean rolling pieces of ungodly horse shit. Nope. His cars weren’t rough by any stretch of the word, but they weren’t polished jewels built to be stashed away under some silk car cover either. Instead, they were honest cars built to a high standard with driveability over polishability in mind.
Since, I’ve stolen Mike’s terminology and used it as my own philosophy of sorts. At the end of the day, I’m a pretty casual guy… and that’s the way I like my hot rods too. I enjoy cars that I can actually own rather than them own me. I can drive them every day and anywhere without worrying about that looming scratch or some renegade McDonald’s french fry that made it into some impossible to reach place. I can use them as what they are – cars.
And so it might seem a bit odd that when I sat down to figure out what my favorite new build of 2012 was, I picked Tom Gloy’s ’32 Roadster built by Roy Brizio. For all intents and purposes, it’s a polished jewel that has been perfected in every conceivable way. Hell, it even picked up a 2nd place finish for America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. There’s nothing casual about it.
Even so, I love this car. I can imagine it 15 years and 100,000 miles from now. By then, the car will hopefully feature the prizes of the road (nicks and scratches) as well as a few changes for practicality. I could see the owner getting sick of dealing with the injection and throwing on a trio of 97′s just to simplify his life. I could see the surpentine belt leaping for freedom during some cross country road trip only to be replaced by a more conventional setup. I could see…
Shit. Maybe it’s not my favorite build of 2012… But I still love it… and nothing else really speaks to me so loudly at the moment.
What’s your favorite of 2012?