25 Things to Do Before You Die.

25 Things to Do Before You Die.

It’s still a fairly new year, and and a good time to set your car-related goals for the coming months. I got to spend last weekend walking around the Turlock Model A Swap and the GRNS with a buddy who is my age, but still fairly new to traditional hot rods. Helping him scan for the right period-correct parts and chatting vehicles I’ve had, it dawned on me that the last 20 years of being into this hot rod and custom thing went rather quickly. Hanging out with someone who finds all of this new and exciting to was refreshing as well. The weekend got me pumped up to start making my cars a bit nicer, and to check a few things off my list.

Below I’ve assembled 25 car-related things (in no particular order) to do before you short your mortal coil. Most of you have hit quite a few things on this list. Some are easy and cheap, others are more of a reach but still fun to consider trying… Most important thing is to have fun!

  1. Meet your hot rod heroes. These guys won’t be around, and we loose more hot rod pioneers every year. Try to seek out and spend time with a few of the legends who created this thing we love before they are all gone.
  2. Drive an old car Bonneville. Tooling around the salt flats in a hot rod is the next best thing to racing out there.
  3. Help someone build their car. There’s no better bonding experience then garage time with pals, turning wrenches and busting knuckles over beer.
  4. Build something yourself. If you’ve never built a hot rod from the ground up, try it. You’ll know your car better than anyone else and pick up valuable skills to boot.
  5. Rebuild your own motor and/or transmission. The beauty of an old engine is how easy it is to work on with basic tools.
  6. Ride in a rumble seat.
  7. Learn how to weld. Even just starting with a 110 MIG welder with no gas… Welding is easy to learn but hard to master!
  8. Help on a race team. Drags, Land Speed, does matter… You will learn stuff!
  9. Take a kid for a ride in your old car. We’ve got the chance to inspire a whole new generation.
  10. Go to the Grand National Roadster Show. Nearly 70 years running, it’s still the pinnacle of indoor hot rod shows.
  11. Go to SEMA. It’s insane, massive, and fun.
  12. Go to a drive in movie in your car.
  13. Do a track day.
  14. Take a road trip down Route 66. The Mother Road is calling…
  15. Start a car show or reliability run with your buddies.
  16. Drive all the Cylinders: 4 Bangers, Straight 6s, OHV and Flathead V-8s (and maybe a Lincoln V-12).
  17. Try the Hot Rod Hill Climb.
  18. Check out The Race of Gentlemen. Even better, enter something.
  19. Drive your hot rod in the snow.
  20. Go to the Lone Star Roundup.
  21. Build or buy your dream car. Sell the stale projects in the back yard and get the one you really want. ‘Someday’ might never come.
  22. Drive over 150 miles per hour (in a legal environment to do so).
  23. Go to a car or racing event in another country.
  24. Try pinstriping
  25. Create something related to cars: Write an article, make a video, or do some art…

How did you score on the list?

0-5: Hot rod rookie. Much to learn, my friend.

6-10: In the slow lane but picking up speed…

11-15: You’ve been around the block!

16-20: A true gear head. Well done.

21-25: Wow! Gold star my friend… Time to make a new list of your own!


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