Alright. Many of you know that Paul Walker died. Yes, he was the star of a film series that did perpetrate automotive blasphemy (Crashing a Yenko Camaro into a boat?) but that movie series did something important for hot-rodding. It brought it back into vogue. Put car culture into the spotlight. Inspired a bunch of teenagers to get a car and hop it up. It reinforced a love of cars that many of us hold sacred. Mr. Walker had a Charity called Reach Out Worldwide that aids in disaster relief across the globe. (Typhoon Haiyan, Illinois Tornadoes, Oklahoma Tornadoes, etc.) And many people are paying tribute by organizing cruises to benefit that charity. Here's the problem I've noticed. I haven't seen anyone try to organize a cruise involving traditional Rods and Customs. A cruise without them makes no sense to me. It's like dairy-free cheese. It happens, but nobody is quite sure why. So I'm organizing a cruise in Kansas City that will basically run the whole 435 loop and end with everyone descending on a place and grabbing lunch and talking cars. I want every angle represented. Traditional Rods and Customs, Muscle Cars, Japanese cars, German cars, hell, I'll even hit up the swedes and koreans. I'm putting it off until march, when things thaw out. I've tried starting a 47 year old car in 18 degree weather. It sucks. It sucks worse when you learn the defroster isn't working. But here's the thing that you know but very few of them know. Without these traditional ways that you all are so valiantly preserving, nothing that came after would be possible. Period. Traditional hot-rodding is genesis. Nobody would know about how to pull off forced induction on a budget had hot-rodders not pulled superchargers off of old detroit diesels and made it work. Louis Chevrolet ended his career making performance parts for Fords. Soichiro Honda built his first car out of a racing frame and a Curtiss Jenny engine. Enzo Ferrari didn't believe in Disc brakes. And Hot-rodders figured out the key to success long before Colin Chapman did - remove everything that isn't necessary and reduce drag. If it's lighter, it's faster. If it's got a smaller frontal area, it's faster. You guys might not be the ones who were pioneering it, but you are keeping the tradition alive. And you all deserve a pat on the back for that. A cruise just isn't a cruise without you. So who's with me? And, a little on my background and why the idea of traditional rodding resonates so much with me - I'm a clockmaker by training, even though I do have a couple of useless college degrees. It's an art that's dying. I can breathe life into a dead clock or watch and make it look and run like new, using the same methods used by the people who were making them in the 1860s.