Off the Line

Off the Line

The sun had already started to rise as I made my north to Petaluma. I watched a golden light swallow the Golden Gate bridge while I looked up the road—blue skies ahead. It was the morning of the Northern California Roadster Run, and I was ready.

Soon thereafter, I found myself in a parking lot on the edge of town, surrounded by roadsters. There were Model T’s, Model A’s, ’32s and the people who built them. I felt my heart start to race.

“Where’s your roadster?” a friend asked.

“Which one?!” I replied.

My ’banger car was at home, and my V8 car was (and still is) in the works. But that didn’t stop me. Instead, it gave me the perfect excuse to hang around, ask questions, take notes and dream of next year.

The group was scheduled for a 150-mile day-trip on Northern California byways. As much as I would have liked to join, I had a transmission to rebuild.

So, when it was time to kick off the run, I positioned myself near the start of the action with camera I hand. One by one, I watched the roadsters take off. Flatheads roaring. Drivers smiling, passengers waving. As I watched the cars disappear into the distance, I made myself a promise: I will be back next year—with my roadster.


Even though I shot digital photos that day, the film ones capture the feel. They’re not perfect, and neither are these cars. That’s one of the many joys of this thing we call hot rodding.

Joey Ukrop

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