I met a 20-something hot rodder the other day. The potential of such a thing often leaves me gleeful, but this was different. He wasn’t your typical kid. He didn’t have a smart phone. He’s not on facebook. He doesn’t give a shit about Instagram. Hell, he didn’t even know what the H.A.M.B. was… He was a blank canvas influenced by nothing on screen and fueled by good ole youthful angst.

He was just my type. He’s what I’d be if I were his age. He’s what I dream to be now.

In any case, he was building his first hot rod, a model-a roadster, and has been using the Vern Tardel/Mike Bishop book (How To Build a Traditional Ford Hot Rod) as a guide of sorts. Having no real connection to the scene, he wasn’t aware that the book he was using had influenced so many others in the past. I’m paraphrasing here, but:

“I saw a group of old cars on I-35 last summer and fell in love with the look of them. I stopped by the library, found the Vern Tardel book, and thought – Why can’t I do that?”

What struck me was that I had found what most people would call a “hipster kid” that was untouched by any preconceived notion of what a hot rod should be and yet, he was following the same path that so many of us “influenced” people had before him. It felt weirdly confirming…

I’m already working on him – trying to talk him into a shoot of sorts. I’m actually pretty confident it would be worthy. And in honor of him as well as the Tardel/Bishop book, I thought today would be a good day to share some old shots of “Old Bluey” taken by Mike Chase.


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