2009 Hot Rod Revolution
“We cling to our tried and trued. We are creatures of comfort. We find our patterns and we stick to what we know best… But there is a big wide beautiful world out there and for those that want it, it’s there for the taking. Some of us are just content with what has been here and what we still have.”
The 2009 Hot Rod Revolution was remarkable. It starts with the venue. There is just something about the old dusty baseball diamond in that tiny Northern California town that makes everything right. The seemingly strategically placed trees, the numerous old pergolas, the hap-hazard condition and shape of the field itself – all of the elements work together to create an environment that is perfectly suited for a small number of old hot rods to just… well, sit.
And typically, it’s the essence of a parked hot rod that drives me away from car shows. I like to see cars in motion. I like to hear them roar. I like to see them on their own, away from clutter, and in their natural element. But again, this venue changes the dynamic. The layout and location blocks out the rest of the world and as soon as you pull in, you are only influenced by what’s inside the confines of the old park.
This saturday, the park housed 130 to 140 of the best traditional hot rods in Northern California. It was as if some hot rod gods got together and decided to create a show that was suited and groomed to do one thing – make me happy. Just about every car in attendance shared a traditional commonality, but just as impressively, each also seemed to have something that set it apart as well. If you are a guy like me… a guy that loves the simple aesthetic and reasoning behind a car built with the late 1940’s and early 1950’s in mind, then this show just might have been the best show you’ve ever attended. It was certainly that and more for me. Glorious.
Of course, something like this doesn’t happen without a little luck and a whole lot of help from some seriously fine people. I don’t even know where to begin or end. I guess a list of “thanks” would be most appropriate. Don’t skip to the pictures… Read this list – the folks being thanked deserve it.
This show could not have happened without:
1. Keith and Mary Tardel. Marcie and I are so lucky to have family like the Tardels. It’s rare that two couples find each other’s company so perfect.
2. Vern Tardel. He’s not just Vern to me. He’s a legend, a visionary, and one hell of a great guy to look up to. He also cooks one mean cheeseburger.
3. Rolo. Man… talk about a volunteer. Rolo worked his ass off all day in an effort to make sure we all got fed and got a beer. He’s also a damn good friend to all of us.
4. Anita. This is the woman that gave you the free hat at the open house. She made the open house happen and we all owe her for the clean shop!
5. Dave DiFalco. You probably know him as the owner of one kick ass little yellow roadster. We, however, know him as the best damn burger flipper west of the Mississippi.
6. Brothers Bruce and Paul. These fellas are straight from the flathead ranch and like the rest of them, a huge help. It was great meeting them both and seeing their projects!
7. John. He didn’t know us from a Chinaman before the show, but that didn’t stop him from bustin’ ass all day long at the beer booth. Again… Pal.
8. Jason (Turbo442. AKA: Spiderman). He PM’ed me a few months ago offering help. I always hate accepting ‘cuz I feel like the hard work can hinder the experience, but Jason is now part of the group. He has to be there every year now because he fits in with the rest of us so well. Sorry, Jason… You’re screwed from now on.
9. Jay Ward. I realized something this weekend. I really look up to Jay. The man understands character.
10. Danielle McCabe. That gorgeous little girl that served you burgers and hot dogs all day long…
11. Clay from Santa Cruz. He organized a bunch of folks to make the drive up north. All of them were in cars that belonged.
12. Flip and Trish. Speaking of Santa Cruz… This couple is traditional to the Hot Rod Revolution, a huge help, and very good friends. Who doesn’t love Flip and Trish?
13. There were historically significant cars sprinkled throughout the park, but there are two guys I really want to point out. As many of you know, this was a very big weekend for my pal Ralph Whitworth. Even so, he made sure that his buddy Jim Watson got the Tom Cobb’s roadster to the Revolution. It’s first time the car has been seen in public in almost half a century and it was breathtaking. Thanks go out to both Jim and Ralph.
Along the same lines, Ken Fuhrman brought out his roadster as well. Ken built it in the late 1940’s and it has survived pretty much unchanged since then. The Revolution will be the last show for the car and we were honored to have it in attendance.
14. Everyone that attended and brought out their hot rods… Man, you guys made it happen.