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Features Influential

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ryan, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. WillyKJr
    Joined: Sep 5, 2009
    Posts: 149

    from Blackstone

    This past summer/fall there was a cars and coffee started as a VERY casual get together, in a very small town, in an empty-on-Sunday business parking lot, next to a casual donut shop. Nobody asked permission to gather there. Nobody put out a social media campaign to get attendance up. Nobody invited high end builders or rich car dealers. What we got was a fairly large parking lot full of cars and people of all genres and all ages. Mostly under thirty types with old cars, trucks and motorcycles many with a traditional vibe. There were young guys with new hot rods too. No tuner cars to speak of. Old farts with old cars. Old farts with new cars. Even a few drive thru spectators that just wanted to look at all the cool rides. Not sure this speaks directly to the health of our traditional niche or not but as a whole I believe the HOBBY is very healthy and in good hands going forward. It may just depend on where you are spending your time. SEMA sure isn't much of an old guy convention and it is the big mac daddy of all hot rod gatherings. Lots of local shows and cruise-ins here attract 18 to 80 with all kinds of likes and wants. If you attend trad-only events then you may have the doom and gloom view but remember that Hot Rodders from the era we all covet so much were considered hoodlums, by no means main stream and few in numbers. No reason this era should resonate largely with today's youth. It just isn't in their wheelhouse and is generations removed from the folks that actually lived it the first time around. I would love it if every kid taking auto shop (heh heh how many of those even exist any more) was loving the traditional rod and custom life but there are just too many cool options these days. Support any kid that shows interest in your stuff. Show interest in their stuff. Maybe that kid will understand how cool an old hot rod can be.
  2. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,264

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Ryan, that was really refreshing to read. I hope you and the locals help him along on the build, with encouragement, advise, parts (below market or gratisimo), maybe some traded labor. If he needs some simple machining done, maybe someone with a mill or lathe in their garage can not only offer the machine time, but show him how to run the machine. This sort of stuff, after all is traditional Hot Rodding.

    We all remember that feeling of seeing that first local car that set us off.

    Hopefully, when that Roadster is done and he's seen bombing around with a Cutie, his friends and other young guns will get hooked and will also want a Hot Rod bad enough to follow through.
  3. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


  4. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,048


    I'm 37 and I know plenty of people younger than me that are into early rods and customs. Many of them quite talented, too. In my view, the future looks bright.

    I hope the guy from the article keeps contact and gets a car together. Like Gavin said on the page before, I think work space is holding back more builds than interest in the cars.
  5. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,805

    Marty Strode

    That kid is a rare commodity these days, I don't seem to run into any young ones with that much interest. The part about him going to the library, reminds me of my old friend Jack Gillis, who at 17 built an A/V8 to drive to school and race on oval tracks. In 1947 at 18, while building a 27 roadster to race, he went to the library to study supercharging, since Hot Rod Magazine had not hit the stands yet. He found a book with some info on Don Blair running a supercharger at the lakes. That was what convinced him to mount a 6-71 on his flathead. And "Old Bluey" is a nice car, Mike and I swapped cars for a few miles, 20 years ago. 2012-08-04 170849.jpg IMG_2194.JPG
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,165


    Cool story, I just have to say that anyone who is new to the hobby that is building a traditional hotrod without accessing the internet for info an for hunting parts is one resourceful individual.
    Darryl Deir, CudaChick1968 and Stogy like this.
  7. I’m 40 and know that at our local shows there are lots of young people and we get a few students who are into it. As far as work space goes I still don’t have a heated shop, working out of a Quonset with a gravel floor, desire overcomes all obstacles. I’ve never had a finished shop.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    Darryl Deir, CudaChick1968 and Stogy like this.
  8. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,416

    lumpy 63

    I used to go to the downtown San Diego Library with my Dad starting around 1973 or so, Was 10 yrs old at the time. I would pour over the automotive section ...lots of old Hot Rod yearbooks, engine swapping books etc. Do any of you guys miss the smell of old print?.. Magic.
    Darryl Deir, CudaChick1968 and Stogy like this.
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,777


    Wow, refreshing. Not too many people these days without modern technology; IG, FB, e-mail etc etc. Definately a blank canvas with no preconceived ideas or prejudices and open to ideas.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Darryl Deir, CudaChick1968 and Stogy like this.
  10. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,418

    from red oak

    Sometimes, the student becomes the teacher. I have never been on IG, FB or even had an E-mail account. Well they cancelled it because it went dormant after not using it, not even once. Never sent a text either. Still use a flip trac phone. Don`t plan on changing either. The HAMB is the only site I go on. It`s Ryan`s fault I`m even on the computer. Craig`s list when I can`t sleep, but that`s about it. Not quite 50 yet. As far as space goes. you will never have enough. I have to work on my stuff on a gravel driveway, The shops full of customers projects.
  11. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,726

    sloppy jalopies

    It is great to see the younger guys into hotrods...
    few years back it was the alterboy's [yoots] that were wrenching on early tin...
    they grew up but not out ! … go A B go...
    Stogy likes this.
  12. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,615


    Really glad to see a young person interested enough to pursue his idea. I would love to have someone like him around me. I have 22 grandchildren and the youngest just turned 21. Many of them spent their formative years around me and none have ever shown any interest in learning anything that I could teach them. For them, cars are just a means to get from one place to another and a road trip is just another opportunity to play games and text their acquaintances on their phones. Never mind looking outside and experiencing something real. I hope this young person stays involved and doesn't get discouraged when something goes wrong. Being wrong is a learning experience too.
  13. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    This rareness of hot rod inspired individuals is really nothing new.;)....In 1976 I was 12, a friend who on his 16th birthday in July of that same year received a 1923 T Roadster. This was no Fad T, other than the body, it was all 1957 J2 Olds Powertain. The chassis was a shortened A chassis with a suicide front end and a Mor-Drop axle on drum brakes.

    It was a project and required lots of work. We had many friends among us who did the whole MX, BMX & Skateboarding deal. Out of all those guys, we’re still the only ones that actually are in this for life.
    I didn’t get my Hot Rod till I was 21, several years later, had different cars that I used to work my way into a 34 3W. Here’s a picture from that time when I was the youngest OUTRIDER Club member. (YellowShirt). A364A4D8-F528-42E4-9D0F-4ADFC8A0D0D9.png

    I’m stoked that the young guy saw those Hot Rods on I-35 and created a goal to learn about them, what a great future!!!!!!!
    Stogy and Surf City like this.
  14. longhorizon
    Joined: Sep 25, 2011
    Posts: 54


    As I was reading the story and only saw the initial picture, I thought that was the roadster the kid built, after he got home from the library! Inadequate doesn't begin to describe how I felt... Yup. Great book. First heard about it here; have read it a couple of times. Someday, when that garage comes... maybe... As for Instagram, I recently started using it (inspired by my 14 y/o daughter who promptly 'blocked' me from seeing her account!) Properly curated, it can be a great source of inspiration I think. For exactly this kind of stuff. And a good way to keep up with far ranging family. Nope, don't do Facebook, don't do Twitter.
  15. HelmuthBrothers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2007
    Posts: 720

    from New Jersey

    Awesome catch man! Can't wait to see where you go with it and how much interest he shows in the project over time. I hope it sticks with him as bad as it does with us!
  16. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,728

    anthony myrick

    so someone drove a hot rod and a young person got inspired
    what a concept

    wonder what would happen if more folks drove their old rides more often
    40ragtopdown, alanp561, b-bop and 3 others like this.
  17. Fry
    Joined: Nov 14, 2002
    Posts: 885

    from SK, Canada

    Neat story, it’s funny how times change. 10–15 years ago thats the norm. Today it’s the outlier.
    Good on the kid for taking the initiative to actually read a book though, and he’s pretty lucky he’s in an area where there are cars to see and hot rodders around to learn from.

    For all the people bragging they aren’t on social media, that isn’t the point of the story. Social media will inspire more people to get out and build stuff than any book could dream. Each YouTube Roadkill blasphemi episode has 5 million views.. the IG page has over 600,000 followers.
    Instagram IS a double edged sword though, on one hand you have all the content you desire, and on the other everything appears unobtainable. Too many would be pro welders, fabricators and builders..
    The average novice builder wants a mix of what to aspire to be and what’s obtainable when they aren’t yet to that level. Much like what was so attractive about the traditional/rat rod movement of the late 90s. Before the two separated to become cars that are too nice and cars that are too hideous. (At least as seen through social media)
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    WillyKJr, clunker and Squablow like this.
  18. Spooky Two
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 128

    Spooky Two

    Ryan, tell your 20-something hot rodder he can totally make it happen.
    For the bulk of us, it's often been one article or one image that has pressed us forward in this "I'm gonna build that!" hot rod movement. And then we personalize it with what we have on hand. This IS traditional.

    while I was reading the comments, I have Sinatra singing these lyrics in the background...

    Here's to the heroes - those who move mountains.
    Here's to the miracles they make us see.
    Here's to all brothers - here's to all people
    Here's to the winners all of us can be.

    It felt weirdly confirming...
  19. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,206


    Good read. Bitchin ride.
  20. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    I'm a realist at 66.. this has been in my blood since building AMT models starting in the late 50s.. That view count on internet/TV shows means nothing. In fact, it backs up what is wrong these days in my mind...people prefer to sit on the couch looking at others who are out there building their passions.

    I drive mine as a true daily, and I sure did think I might be influencing at least a half dozen of the thousands of people I meet in my county..but I just recently faced reality.. you simply must have the driving passion that it takes to build an early rod.....not looking at it as "hey, that's cool, it must be fun". Then they go onto a different "want" by the next day.

    I can't even find a local rodder to cruise with around here!

    Going to rod shows or reading Hamb gives a false impression that the hobby is growing. I just don't see it here, and in fact, I definitely think it's a dying breed. "Modern life" has so much more distractions and daily economic pitfalls IMO.

    But, I still get the same damn stoke every time I drive last night coming home from a Halloween party past midnight in the rain...I had to go find my hood top before I headed out, as downpours were showing on the radar for the whole evening. The vac wipers and the rumble of the big Olds are all I needed. You simply cannot experience that feeling on the internet or dumb ass TV shows.

    WillyKJr, clunker, alanp561 and 2 others like this.
  21. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,418

    from red oak

    If he had a smart phone, he would of been looking at it rather than seeing the cars roll down the highway.
    Sancho likes this.
  22. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,640


    I’m sorry, I just don’t get all this worry about who’s going to carry the torch, the kids, we need to interest more young rodders, ect ect...

    It either grabs you or it doesn’t, I think it’s better that it’s not easy, I’ve helped a lot of young guys and it’s always disappointing, usally they watch you work on their car, but I do see some that dig in and research and figure stuff out themselves and look for stuff, those are the guys that really WANT it and they will be fine ....the numbers are getting smaller but so what .... those are the soul surfers of the hobby... lots of guys are in it for hipster glory or insta-fame I think it’s better without more of that
  23. good on that young guy !
  24. b-bop
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 887


    I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment. Every kid I encounter that thinks my hot rod is cool,no matter what age, gets to sit in it. If the time and place are ok, and his or her parents are ok with it, I take em for a spin too. Most times you can't wipe the grin off their face. As far as smartphones go, I have seen plenty of old farts sitting in their lawn chairs at shows and never look up to answer a young persons questions. Be an ambassador for the hobby. Take time to talk to younger folk when they have questions or comments, no matter how dumb they may seem.
  25. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,728

    anthony myrick

    I will even add to check out their rides at the local runs. I know we’re tired but holding down lawn chairs suck.
    alanp561 likes this.
  26. Glad to see younger folks interested again....In my are either doing the tuner thing or the rednecks are doing the monster don't even glance at the old cars it seems...on the phone all the time too...
    Kinda sad but it is what it is...
    I read that book too...would love to build one but they are out of my budget...

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