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Old 07-15-2008, 09:34 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default The West's Best - 1958

In the May, 1958 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine editors put together a little pictorial titled, "The West's Best." As I was studying each entry, I thought it was interesting to note and think about how each car would strike me today if it were a n...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
Richard D
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958


16" channel, I wonder how he fit in it?
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

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16" channel, I wonder how he fit in it?
Whoa, I've made a couple posts asking if anyone has info on this car...

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=231614


I'm guessing that the 16" channel was a lazier way to say there was a channel, kickup, and chop that combined to 16". ONCE MORE, does anyone have more info on this car?
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

I'm guessing that the 16" channel was a lazier way to say there was a channel, kickup, and chop that combined to 16". ONCE MORE, does anyone have more info on this car?[/quote]

I'ld love to see a pic of this car with the door open!! I thought 9 inches was a big channel.-MIKE
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

I'll be honest, I have been trying to force myself to appreciate the tricks that many used during this time. To me it just seems like a "throw it on there because I can" attitude that sort of throws everything that made customs cool in the late 40's to mid 50's out the window. I like that people own these cars but I'm not sure I would ever want one. Although Ala Kart is pretty cool as well as that '32, my father raised me to be a simple man and I stickin' to it.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

Yep, I too prefer the well-proportioned "neo-traditional" stuff being built today than the stuff that professionals were building back then. In fact, most amateurs pulled it off better than the pros. Moonglow, for instance.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

Looking into the past does upset the stereotypes...if I saw the '32 coupe without that heading, I would immediately say "classic east coast aesthetic, modifications made in order to show that it was modified, not for improvement"...but there it is, out there.
Everything that isn't traditional was indeed tried back then, but it is the cars that have decent flow and improved lines that survive in our memories.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

Don't know if ya could find today ,some of those "signature" brite metal inserts in the trim ,etc. definatly period design stuff.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958



but i like quad headlights.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

That's a great post Ryan. I've thought about this a couple times myself. I bet if A la Cart was a new build today, some self appointed keeper of history would have some comment about the gold panels, padded roof or something.

Looking through my little books I've noticed quite a few lakes racers that look pretty "ratty" and unsafe.

I sorta like the batmobile headlights on the Ford though even though they are ugly. It just puts me in the mood of the time.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

All the pieces of the Aztek taken separately are pretty ridiculous, but together as a whole, it works... if anything on that car was closer to stock, it would out of place.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

Of course it is always easier to be better than something that has already been done because you then have the advantage of being able to analyze it and figure out how to improve on it. The question some of might want to ask is if we ourselves had been in their situation back in the day, with the resources, skills, equipment and example references to work off of, how good are some of these cars? At least they are a bit more diverse and creative than a lot of the proven formula cars we currently see which are nice, some extraordinarily nice, but none the less simply an execution of perfection of the ideas a lot of these cars set the ground work for decades ago. And how some of those guys did that work with just the most basic and simple tools most had back then is pretty humbling to me anyway.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:52 AM   #13
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

I agree that the Dodge does have just the perfect stance. I think that when building a traditional hot rod you should keep pictures like this in mind. What was built 50 years ago that looks ridiculous now? Cars like that little roadster have stood the test of time.

And I also believe that the 'more is actually less' movement did 'hurt' the custom scene in the late 50s. Maybe 'hurt' isn't quite the right word but it just seemed to take customs into a direction they were never meant to go. Overdone customs of the 50s (like Carr's '55 Chevy) opened the door to the wild and crazy show cars of the sixties, a time when it seems like everyone was trying to out do each other with more and more body mods, crazy paint and gadgets. They all just seem to be a far cry from say a Westergard, where it all started. In retrospect it just seems like the two aren't even in the same class!

Then again, opinions are like belly buttons, everyone's got one
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

The problem was the move to "objective" judging...look at each modification, add up the points, more mods=more points. Looking good is subjective, and so has no role in the pure world of adding up numbers and going with the big one. Modify your ashtray so it opens upside down?? 5 points!
The Ala Kart and Imperor roadsters were an early evolutionary step--both were basically traditional roadsters, jazzed by adding front and rear areas equivalent to late model cars in giving areas for modification. Obviously both took in the contemporary trends in upholstery, use of textured metal, etc.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

I judged a car show back in the early 60s and Bruce is right about more mods more points..
The judging sheet also had a place for judges overall addition or subtracting points..
I did deduct a bunch of points because the car looked like Sh**Owner was severly pissed!!!!
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

overall i think the ala kart is ugly as sin
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

I like the front of this one, but the back end is way overdone.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

That 3W rules.........

It's too bad today's "traditional" rodder doesn't have the balls to cut up old cars like they did "back in the day".....

Cool blog Ryan.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

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That 3W rules.........
I must say I agree. I couldn't drive it for very long, however, maybe staight to the chiropractor!
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: The West's Best - 1958

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That 3W rules.........

It's too bad today's "traditional" rodder doesn't have the balls to cut up old cars like they did "back in the day".....
Huh???
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