Dragger’s Dream

Dragger’s Dream

Last night, a storm of biblical proportions descended upon us, unleashing its fury in the form of savage winds, hail the size of golf balls, and an ungodly deluge of rain. Sleep became an elusive luxury, and with the power grid hanging by a thread, I found myself in need of diversion. Thus, I sought solace in the sanctuary of my library, where amidst the dusty tomes, I unearthed a relic from December 1956: an issue of Rodding & Restyling featuring none other than Ed Eaton’s RPU.

Now, for the uninitiated, Ed Eaton was the East Coast’s answer to Alex Xydias – a maestro of mayhem who orchestrated the antics of petrolhead misfits, orchestrated raucous events, and etched his name into the annals of automotive history by birthing Drag Racing’s iconic Christmas Tree. The man was a legend in his own right, deserving of a saga dedicated solely to his exploits. But for the present moment, let’s divert our gaze to his diminutive Roadster Pickup.

I must confess, I’ve never afforded much attention to this hot rod. Often, I find that while Model-T’s may exude charm in photographs, they tend to transform their pilots into contorted figures resembling monkeys attempting an impossible task with a football – heads jutting a foot beyond the windshield, knees grazing their chins, contorted into ergonomic nightmares that shatter any illusion of motoring bliss.

Yet, on this particular morning, such reservations seem trivial. There’s a certain joy in dissecting the handiwork of a young enthusiast who would later ascend to mythical status. From its low-slung stance to the whimsical exhaust notes harmonizing with its flame-emblazoned exterior—there’s an undeniable allure in revisiting our humble origins.

This car, this feature—it’s a testament to the passion and ingenuity that fueled an entire subculture. And as I pore over its pages, I can’t help but fall in love with both the vehicle and the spirit it embodies once more.

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