Modern Rodding STARTING OVER
A headshot picture of Brian Brennan grinning
A Country of Addicts
By Brian Brennan

on’t jump off your couch or stub your toe on a jackstand. Let me explain what I mean by a “country of addicts.” While it’s never good to be addicted to anything I suppose there are some things that are “less bad,” giving us a morsel of wiggle room. For instance, there’s no question we are a body of people addicted to sugar and that’s not a good thing. Although I, and many of my generation, grew up on a bowl of sugary, quick-served breakfast cereal. As time has gone on, we have made “some” adjustments as we have progressed from driving open to closed cars. (In other words, as we got older!)

Although it frustrates me to no end not to be able to stick my face into a hot stack of French toast that finds itself slowly engulfed in melting butter, I should further mention that I would also like to see the butter flowing beneath a coating of hot maple syrup streaming around fresh strawberries intermingled with six, no eight, pieces of crispy bacon. That my hot rod friend is what a roadster driver who is about to satisfy a cold early morning urge wishes to enjoy. (Jeez, excuse me, it must be breakfast time somewhere!)

I’m writing this post-Thanksgiving editorial while settling in for Christmas. (The magic of producing magazines well in advance of the Gregorian calendar’s stated date.) Here is hoping all of us got through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season unscathed. I want to be optimistic as several of my favorite indoor car shows are just around the turn of the calendar page. I have attended the Grand National Roadster Show with its America’s Most Beautiful Roadster and Slonaker awards followed shortly by the Detroit Autorama with its Great 8 and, of course, the Ridler award for many years. Both shows are steeped in decades of history that all hot rodders thoroughly enjoy. I’ve never been disappointed seeing my many hot rod friends, albeit infrequently, while attending these shows. It is always exciting to see what innovative ideas come from the productive minds of our new or experienced builders. It is always eye opening—and, you never know what bit of detail will resonate with the rodding crowd, thereby becoming the basis of a new trend.

I know hot rodders are addicts, having spoken (or written) with many of you over the past two years and listening to all the stories about the withdrawals each of us has undergone. All of us have missed our favorite series of indoor and outdoor shows, or maybe it’s club meetings, or maybe Saturday morning coffee, or just maybe it’s the early morning blast to have breakfast somewhere down the road. All of us have come up missing something that we are “addicted” to enjoying. It should also be noted because I report daily as to what’s going on in our industry, having had my ability to visit these shops curtailed has been frustrating.

It should be noted that my favorite part of our hobby is the driving. More specifically several hours of drive time. Enough time behind the wheel to feel the experience not only on your body but also in your mind. For me it’s driving my roadster, although I do enjoy my other four-wheeled conveyances. For others it may be the build process, maybe it’s a particular aspect such as the fabrication, maybe it’s the bodywork, or possibly you thoroughly enjoy laying down your favorite color of paint. Something that I have always admired from my days hanging around with Tom McMullen–the ability to run ruler straight wiring with crisp turns and impeccably terminated ends. Probably because it is illegal in most states for me to pick up anything that has a sharp edge, is self-powered, or heavy enough to cause damage when dropped.

Speaking of trends, it’s easy to continue to predicate those classic trucks will, once again, lead the way this year with their popularity and truly amazing builds. I am seeing a bit of a resurgence of early hot rods (pre 1949 for old timers) showing up on two ends of the spectrum–the traditional hot rod and the over-the-top builds where imagination, artisanship, and technology knows no bounds.

Nowadays I am addicted to my cell phone. Seems like I cannot go 2 minutes without checking to see if there is a text or an email and that doesn’t even begin to address the fact that it is a phone. Once again, I’m off onto a new tangent. Now I know why it takes me so long to write an editorial. Hopefully, I will always be addicted to hot rodding.

Modern Rodding
VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 17 • 2022