Right Shopper, Wrong Time?

Right Shopper, Wrong Time?

You did it all right—or so you thought. You used all the pieces and there wasn’t any hardware left over. You applied just enough ant-seize here and enough Loctite there. You made sure the wiring was cloth-wrapped so, when you plopped down in the WWII-surplus bomber seat and fastened the lap-belt, the whole cockpit had an era-correct feel. You insert your punch card, hit the toggle switches, turn the key and watch the needle on the NOS Stewart-Warner gauges spin backwards. They start slowly and pick up speed like J. Otto Croker’s clocks at Bonneville. Your workshop’s walls begin to blur. You feel yourself loosing consciousness. “1953…1953…take me back to 1953…”

There’s a flash—then a bang. Moments later, you come to. You glance at the instrument panel. The “Year” gauge seems to be stuck. You check the gas gauge. Empty. Shit. You forgot to top off the tank. You stumble out of your traditional time machine to see where exactly you landed. You made it to Los Angeles, no doubt, but judging by the bubble-windowed boogie van parked next to you, you’re not in 1953. You check its registration tag. You’re in 1973.

But it’s not all bad. Even though you missed the heyday of Bonneville, the birth of the drags and the years we now affectionately refer to as hot rodding’s Golden Age, there was still a whole lot to see and do. Sure, there were trucks and vans and panel paint and bell bottoms and plenty of articles about smog, but there were also a wide variety of affordable cars ripe for the picking. You walk to the local newsstand, pick up the August issue of Hot Rod Magazine and see how far your dollar can go.


Say you crash landed in 1973, which of these would you pick and why? I’m torn between the $1,500 Nomad and the $1,500 Model A, but there are plenty of winners to choose from. Oh, and I do like that Deuce five-window…

Joey Ukrop

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