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    Hot Rods!

    I had the pleasure this past week-end to take a 1955 Chevy street rod to two different 'drive in' car shows in Olympia and Lacey, Washington State, USA.

    The Hot Rod is a distinctly American Art Form . . . stereotypically characterized by painted FLAMES.

    I saw many fine, and some famous, hot rods.

    Wild 40 Willys coupe street rod . . . WOW!

    Scalloped flames on a 1939 Ford Hot Rod.

    The '1939 Ford had a beautifully detailed, polished and painted engine.  I liked the mirror firewall.

    My friend and neighbor, Ken, had two hot rods at both shows: a flamed mint green 1935 Chevrolet and a black 1946 Chevrolet . . . both have 'chopped' tops.

    Among the traditional 'hot rods' were some very rare 'muscle cars' and more recent vintage 'street machines.'  This is a 1 of 31 made "Street 426" Dodge Polara . . . looking like new.

    For Sale - only US$100,000.oo!  Full new custom frame, new Corvette suspension, NEW steel body stampings, New interior and gauges, NEW all-aluminum 800hp big block engine and 6-speed transmission.  Essentially a brand new 1967 Chevrolet Camero.

    The engine, like everything else on the 'new' 1967 Camero, was spotless.

    These are NOT restored standard cars.  The Ford Starliner had a mega-horsepower engine and racing underpinnings.  It is a Hot Rod in sheep's clothing . . . a classic 'sleeper'!

    The nice thing about hot rod shows, and hot rodders in general, is that there are many different categories of modified cars present . . . and appreciated.  Here a very rare 1958 348 cubic inch, three carburetor V8 . . . restored and modified.

    The 'tri-power' 348ci V8 in the 1958 Chevy (above).  This car is a 'daily driver.'

    One of my favorite cars in either show: a 1956 Ford Fairlane.  The owner was an 82 year old custom car upholsterer . . . and this car had a fantastic interior!

    1956 Ford Fairlane custom interior . . . by owner.

    A 1955 Chevrolet done in the style of a 'Gasser' from an earlier era of championship drag racing.

    Another nice 1955 Chevrolet . . . a favorite car to Hot Rod when I was in high school.

    This 1955 Chevy I brought to the car shows belongs to my brother.  It has a modern 383ci V8, TH400 transmission, Ford 9" rear end, modern power disc brakes and modern power steering . . . otherwise it is all stock in appearance.  I spent weeks polishing and cleaning everything inside and out in preparation to show it.

    The engine compartment of 'my' 1955 Chevy.

    Another category of hot rod is the 'Rat Rod' . . . . ugly and untouched on the outside (left exactly as it was found in the field), but with modern high performance engine, transmission, chassis, steering and brakes.  This is a 1953 Ford pick-up.
    The interior of the Ford pick-up 'Rat Rod' had a lot of fun stuff in it!!!

    A rare body style 1949 Ford with a 'built' flathead V8.

    A beautifully prepared 4bbl flathead V8 in the 1949 Ford.

    A pair of 1939 Chevys . . . one a business coupe and one a 4-door sedan.

    A very nice 1941 Chevy with a perfect body and perfect paint.

    One of my favorite rods from the two days of shows . . . Model A pick-up.

    I like the big 'fat fendered' four door hot rods . . . so practical.

    The classic hot rod, the '32 Deuce Highboy.

    A '33 Ford full-fendered hot rod.  Nice flames . . . very traditional.

    Very nice display with this '35 Chevy . . . the burger drive-in window window tray from Bob's Big Boy.

    "Dare to be different" - 36 Plymouth hot rod.

    Another unusual make and model: a 40 Buick.

    An amazing '41 Lincoln V12.

    Everybody loves a 1959 Cadillac.  A nice collection at the parking lot car show in Lacy, Washington.

    Caddy tail lights and classic hot rods.

    "Low Rider" car culture was represented by this amazing 1964 Chevy Impala . . . it won the 'Best Engine' Trophy.

    The prize-winning engine in the 1964 Impala.  Wow!

    Car owners often displayed plaques that itemize the various modifications and custom parts.

    Certain cars from the 'Muscle Car' era are considered 'Holy Grail' cars.  This 426 Max Wedge is a Holy Grail collector car.

    Perfectly presented 426 Max Wedge engine . . . essentially a race car engine offered in a street car.

    Another of my favorite cars.  The paint and interior on this VW were absolutely amazing.

    The interior on the brown Bug.

    There was a motorcycle category at the show too . . . this Honda won the trophy.

    Another classic Deuce Highboy . . . in red.  Tidy.

    Winner, Best in Show . . . custom '49 Mercury convertible.  WOW!

    The dashboard on the Best of Show '49 Merc.

    A beautiful customized Hot Rod.  Classic!

    Another of my favorites, and winner of the Best Truck in Show, was this Ford Econoline pick-up.  It was a real crowd favorite too.

    The Ford Econoline interior.

    Cute 'eyelids'.

    Nice old Buick hot rod.

    Another Buick . . . custom Riviera.

    I had a lot of fun walking around the car shows . . . talking with the car owner/builders about their pride and joy . . . and answering questions about my brother's '55 Chevy.

    It had been many years since I attended a hot rod show . . . and now I have my fill!

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