This past weekend (June 15), I discovered a little custom car show being held in a local McDonald’s parking lot. Along with the rather out-of-place stock Prowler and Viper (maybe there was Chrysler money involved), was an interesting, albeit usual assortment of restored and customized cars. Like a 1966 Ford Cobra, a low-rider car whose owner happily demonstrated its hydraulics, all the way back to a ’26 Ford Model T. Some, like the Cobra, needed only to be restored to their original condition to impress; others were chopped, lowered, revved up and otherwise refitted into impressive street rods. Some had extra banks of batteries in the back to power a honkin’ sound system. There was even a Rav 4 fitted out with both video and DVD players (running “The Fast and the Furious,” natch).
I think nearly any male who was a kid during the 1960s has had some acquaintance with the hot rod culture. We had at least issue of “CarTOONS” magazine, we assembled Aurora models of hot rods original built by George Barris or Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. At the very least, we wanted to cruise around in the Batmobile, or sit in Eddie’s seat way in back of the “Munster-mobile.” We might even have met some of favorite TV stars at a “World of Wheels” appearance.
That America’s love affair with the automobile was expressed in a large, distinct hot-rod culture has been covered extensively elsewhere. Perhaps, though, we should consider revisiting the world of “Kustom Kars” in our everyday lives.
After all, look at the buying frenzy that surrounded the P.T. Cruiser. Ford will probably get similar results with its reintroduced Thunderbird and its Forty-Nine Roadster, and BMW is re-introducing the Mini Cooper from England.
But why stop there? Why pay a premium to be first on your block to buy a snazzy new car when everyone else on the block is just to get their a little later. Are still impressed with someone who has a Cruiser?
I just think that if I am ever at the point where I have $40,000 to blow on a car (yeah, right), why should I clutter the highway with yet another Mercedes? I’m going to a custom shop and having a car customized for me. Maybe a late 40’s cabover pickup truck, with captain’s cars swiveling to a portable snack galley. With not just a DVD player, but a Sharpvision projector in the bed so I can face it to a wall and have my own drive-in movie show. With that kind of audio gear, I’d just need one iPod to be an outdoor DJ, too.
It would also need a nice intimidating flame job around the front of the cab, to blow some of those piggy Lincoln Navigators off the road for a change.