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banana4monkey

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Reply with quote  #1 
I hated the color. Who would paint a car like this light yellow? There must have been over one hundred cars gleaming under the lights at the Tuesday night cruise but I was only focused on one. It was a 66 Chevelle SS396 convertible with a 4 speed. Despite the color this was my "ideal" car for many years.

When I first starting getting into cars I had a pretty narrow spectrum. I would go to cruise nights and car shows looking at just muscle cars from 1964 to 1972. As time went on my view narrowed to just Chevy muscle cars. After I bought my 1969 Chevelle (no not a convertible I couldn't afford it) I found myself just looking at Chevelles. This was mostly to get ideas for my car or trying to find a restored original to see how it is supposed to look from the factory. I didn't realize it at the time but I'm sure I passed by many great cars that could have changed my perspective.

It took some years for me to start looking further. As I challenged myself to learn new restoration skills I started spending a lot more time at car shows, cruise nights, and bike nights. Not until you actually do the work do you realize the effort and talent it takes to restore or modify some of these cars. I was never into hot rods at an early age but now I admire chopped tops, shaved door handles, and custom interiors. Seeing great examples of metalworking, paint, and just overall design concepts gives me inspiration to keep pushing myself.

If you asked me about restoring a Geo Metro ten years ago I would have just laughed. It took a trip to Italy to change my perspective on the car. While I was in Italy I was admiring the micro cars they have as much as the other sights. These little cars were awesome. Some of them only had three wheels! It didn't matter if they were only 40 HP it was the idea of having a street legal bumper car that appealed to me. I am still looking for a micro car but in the meantime restoring a 1991 Geo Metro convertible was a fun project for me.

My ideal vehicle now is the rat rod. Many traditionalists don't like this style due to the look or even safety issues in certain builds but I like them. Why? Next time you see a rat rod take a good overall look and then look closer. You will typically find off the wall items used that do not look practical at all but still perform the intended function. There are a few aspects working together here. Artistic - some rat rods seem to be based on a theme or a particular time period. Using an old Pennzoil oil can for a radiator overflow catch, an old rusty wrench as a support bracket, or a steering wheel made out of sockets and ratchets is art to me. Resourcefulness - some of the items used on these rat rodz would be considered junk to the average person but the builders make use of them. Engineering - They are modifying the "junk" to be a functional piece of the vehicle. I often wonder do they have the items first and then incorporate them into the build or do they leave parts out of the build purposely and then decide what "junk" could be used to perform the intended function. Either way I see the rat rod bringing art and fabrication together. The person who can pull this off has talent in my book.

Next time you are at a car show or cruise night slow down, and take a closer look at that car you first thought was unappealing - you may miss a feature, design, or product that can inspire you to change your taste.


IMG_0140.JPG  Micro car I saw in Italy - Sweetness!
IMG_0139.JPG  Hood ornament on same micro car.



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MR. X

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Reply with quote  #2 
All this talk of micro cars being cool just makes me want to revoke your man card .[smile]
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banana4monkey

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Reply with quote  #3 
I tell ya you have to see these micro cars up close to appreciate them and their possibilities.
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