Blast From The Past

Blast From The Past

I started The Jalopy Journal in 1995 in my parent’s kitchen while on Christmas break from the University of Oklahoma. At the time, I didn’t know a single person into traditional hot rodding. All I had was a stack of books authored by guys like Dean Batchelor and Andy Southard. I read them all and figured, afterwards, that I must know it all.

Looking back, I couldn’t have been anymore ridiculous. Browsing over all of my old journal entries from the time leaves me feeling as if I’m looking at old yearbooks and laughing nostalgically at the photos.

“Oh my god, look at my hair!”

“Sweet Jesus, what was I wearing?”

“I look 12, but the look on my face says I’m certain that I know it all.”

I guess the normal reaction would be to box those yearbooks up and hide them back in the attic. But where’s the fun in that? It’s important to realize that everyone starts somewhere and it’s even more important to remember where you started, right? I think so.

So with all that mind, here is the article I wrote sometime in 1995 or ’96 to announce the launch of our new Hokey Ass Message Board:

The kustom kulture god – Dutch, Roth, Barris, Hilborn – whoever you might be. Surely fifty years have passed and you must finally be awake in your shop, putting on your black top hat to walk through a strange new world. And poor bastard, with your cunning magic, did it do you any good to sleep that fifty years, your enchantress in her grave, both our power plants turned to dust?

Or do you have one last magic spell that can work? A terrible long shot, but what’s that to a gambler? I still have a stack of black chips and an itch for terror.

I wasn’t alive, but I can remember. I can remember how dangerous you were. I can remember the dark side. The Beach Boys were for pussies, Poodle skirts were for the ignored, parts were stolen, and greasers were outlaws. A heavily chopped coupe stalking the boulevard late at night – flames spitting out of the open exhaust, bias plies screaming horror, and you behind the wheel.

It’s true that you may be a sort of phantom in life, but you know your beginning and you know your end. Have you ended yet? It’s true that you might be the X in an indeterminate equation, the X that will terrify the mainstream as it cruises from one coast to another. Have you started that coupe yet?

Something is happening. Someone is knocking on our door and we don’t know who is behind it. Is it a reincarnated kustom kulture god or is it the X in an evil equation? We won’t know till we open that door. Stack your chips and grab your hand bro – it’s time to find out. I’ll take the aces and eight’s, let the rest of the players go for broke…

Regardless, we’re still here bringing you the digs – jalopies, pinups, art, and grease, everything that makes you roll out of bed, roll your jeans, tune the billy, and grab a gear. This month we sat down and had a bullshit session with Jim Heath of The Reverend Horton Heat. The Rev preached, we listened, and we learned. We also got schooled by David Perry and his masterful coverage of Paso Robles – Is there any other way?

But wait, we’re not done yet. More event coverage is in the works, more interviews have been had, and more feature cars are on the drawing board. Wanna know more? Just stay tuned bro and while your at it… Here’s your Hokey Ass Message Board.

I’m blushing right now. Seriously.

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