A Tried-and-True Tradition

A Tried-and-True Tradition

With the holidays fast approaching, things seem to be ramping up. The streets are getting busier, the lines are getting longer, and tensions are getting higher anywhere within a 15-mile radius of a Post Office. Cold air. Honking horns. Smiles turn to scowls. Sometimes the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t look so wonderful after all.

That all seems to change when the sun goes down and you turn down that old familiar street. You see the lights of green, red, silver and gold. Tall trees twinkle inside living rooms, and candles fill every window. The fast pace slows and the warmth of the holidays start sinking in.

When I was younger, Christmas meant a week off of school to play in the snow, skate on the pond and—perhaps most importantly—build model kits in the warmth of our basement. With the furnace roaring and the days turning to nights faster than you can say “Beatnik Bandit,” it was a time to make big strides on my projects—and also pick up a few new ones underneath the Christmas tree.

As the years passed, the holidays transitioned from “work on everything” to “try to work on nothing.” When I came home from college, I would always be greeted with a stack of magazines that still shipped to my parents’ house. Rodder’s Journal, Rod & Custom, Car Craft, Hot Rod, they were all there, plus a few old titles for good measure. Combine those with a comfortable leather couch, a decorated Christmas tree, and some sort of sweets from Mom’s kitchen and I was in heaven.

These days, most of those subscriptions have lapsed or the magazines have gone under (RIP R&C). That being said, my holiday magazine stack is now of even higher quality. How so? After retiring from General Motors, my Dad now works at our local antique store. He has a good eye for good old car magazines, and he makes sure to add one or two to my collection every Christmas. Not only do I like the issues, I love hearing his stories about finding them at the store and picking the ones he does.

I’m heading home to Detroit for the holidays, and I can’t wait to sit around and read old car magazines. It’s a traditional tradition—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy holidays, everyone!

Joey Ukrop


Seeing that I’ll be in Michigan for a few days, it’s only fitting to showcase Angelo Giampetroni’s Gratiot Auto Supply shop truck from the March 1962 issue of HRM—one I got for Christmas years ago.


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