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Art & Inspiration Racing the Ghosts of our Fathers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HatGuy, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. HatGuy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 137

    HatGuy
    Alliance Vendor
    from Arkansas

    Our first outing with the little Dodge was a success, if you qualify success as two clean runs and nothing serious broken ( lost the radiator when the thermostat failed). We posted a 13.39 pass at 100 mph, and considering that we finished the car to be as close to a 1963 SS/A car as possible (more work needed)...we are pretty darn satisfied. But the Ramchargers posted a 134 mph pass in 1963, so we have something to shoot for. The whole experience got me to thinking...I think too much most of the time...and what follows is the result. Pardon the length, and I hope you enjoy it.

    Real Steel Bodies, Flathead Motors, Bias Ply Tires, Cheater Slicks...and a thousand other vintage parts and pieces. What do they all have in common? They’re wanted by almost everyone...at least now they are.
    It has not been that long ago really, that these parts were relegated to rusting away in a field, or hung on a garage wall as a reminder of past glory. Most people were embracing automotive technology in a big way. We could get an almost flawless fiberglass body, mount it on an already modified set of rails, power it by a reliable and powerful computer controlled power plant and ride on radial tires. What could be better than that? Everything we needed was readily available to build the car we always wanted. No more, cutting, welding, beating and hammering. Just pick up a catalog and get exactly what you needed.
    Then, a few years ago...nobody knows for sure where and when...a rusty old roadster was rolled out to the road somewhere in America with a For Sale sign attached. Somebody with a vision bought that heap and set off on a journey to rediscover their Rodding Roots.
    Whoever that person was, it’s a good bet they didn’t have a lot of money and they bought the old roadster because they couldn’t afford all that “technology” in the mail-order books. They labored to put the car on the road evenings and weekends for months, maybe even years. They begged, borrowed, traded, swapped or stole all the parts and learned to “do” with what was available. Finally, after a Herculean effort, they rolled the car out into the light for the first time. The body wasn’t laser straight, the paint wasn’t flawless, the wheels were narrow and the tires were used, but they were proud, and rightfully so. This was their creation... not something “out of a box.”
    Fast forward to August 20, 2011 – MOKAN Raceway near the Missouri/Kansas border in Heartland America. The scene looks like something out of a messed up episode of Back to the Future. The cars are all old but the tow vehicles, for the most part, are newer. The track is crude by modern standards. Built in a cornfield 50 years ago, it looks more like a strip from “The Lords of Flatbush” than a place for John Force to run. Everywhere you look there are vintage Gassers, Altereds, Diggers and Period-Built Rods. This was the H.A.M.B Drags. A meet begun a decade or so ago by a group of guys who wanted to run their Home-Built Hot Rods on the track without having to bow down to the NHRA. Chances are, somewhere amongst the hundreds of racers was that old roadster. It might have made several passes during the day and although it didn’t break the 13 second mark, few people did in 1948. In fact, the B Roadster Record was only 129 mph on the dry lakes back then.
    Not a car in sight is perfect, at least not the way we’ve been conditioned to think of as perfect. Some were rusty, and many sported satin black paint. Their engines were not awash in chrome and there was not a set of Weld Superlites in sight. But if you looked closely you would have seen perfection. You would have seen combinations of parts that have not been done in 50 years. You would have been able to watch cars line up against one another that have not run that way since the Hemi was a new thing and Wrinkle Walls were just a dream. And nowhere would you have seen cars built out of a book.
    You see, in this world (and for my money it’s the REAL WORLD) the idea is not to go as fast as possible. It’s not to spend incredible sums of money on the latest and greatest speed parts. It’s not about setting records or pushing back the veil of quarter mile limits. It’s not about “show.” What it’s about is PRIDE! It’s about racing the ghosts of our Fathers at MOKAN and chasing the clouds of dust at El Mirage. Its beating and hammering, cutting and welding, wrenching and thrashing to prove it CAN BE DONE. And, in the end, it is also about the people. Guys who have the will to succeed and the heart to keep on pounding away in the face of the established Hot Rod Elite to live the life of a Rebel, taste the sand and beat the Ghosts.
    Copyright 2011 the Night Prowlers
     
  2. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,310

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well written! I liked it.
     
  3. zimm
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 802

    zimm
    Member
    from iowa

    that is it!
     
  4. erlomd
    Joined: Apr 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,213

    erlomd
    Member

    very nicely said...
    in a high performance, carbon fiber, computer controlled, laser cut, digital perfect world...its a breath of fresh air, to see speed equipped, magnesium, chopped down and hopped up, mechanical art in unison....
     

  5. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609

    rld14
    Member

    Hammer.

    Nail.

    Head.

    Fantastic post.
     
  6. HatGuy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 137

    HatGuy
    Alliance Vendor
    from Arkansas

    Thanks for the kind words, but it IS the truth! The Rebel is always the guy who works the hardest and sets the curve!
     
  7. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,408

    atomickustom
    Member

    Copyright 2011? You worried about getting plagiarized??

    I honestly think there is way more to this thing than anyone can logically explain because I don't think it's logical at all - it's pure emotion. That which lights up the pleasure center in our brain whether we want it to or not. When you look at a car and something inside goes "I want THAT!" there are all kinds of way to rationalize it but no way to truly explain it.
     
  8. HatGuy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 137

    HatGuy
    Alliance Vendor
    from Arkansas

    If you have to explain it, they probabely wouldn't get it anyway.
     
  9. Right on Cat!!!!
     
  10. HatGuy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 137

    HatGuy
    Alliance Vendor
    from Arkansas

  11. Excellent write.Puts a lot of things into perspective. Every person that builds what comes out of their head and pocketbook with their own hands owe you a salute. Thanks again, HillRat
     
  12. Amen brother.

    Rat
     
  13. dustdevil
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 814

    dustdevil
    Member
    from illinois


  14. That's great! I think you both hit something here. Damn! I actually got some goose bumps.
     
  15. Right on!

    That is why we had to create the Meltdown Drags.
     
  16. HatGuy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 137

    HatGuy
    Alliance Vendor
    from Arkansas

    Just got back from the Duck Drags in Tulsa...Same deal there! Man, this thing has got me! Going to a friend's shop tomorrow to start getting ready for next season...once it gets in your blood they told me...they were right! Thanks All! HG
     

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