Modern Rodding STARTING OVER
Brian Brennan headshot
It’s Like I’ve Taken a Fresh Breath
By Brian Brennan

t’s time to wrap up 2021, and for all it’s been a year worth remembering. On behalf of most of us it was a better year than 2020 but not quite where we would have liked it to be. I sheltered plenty of apprehension as I still couldn’t get out and about like in the “old days.” There was this lingering and continual heightened awareness, which I am sure all of us shared. However, I believe I have just taken my first full and deep breath in nearly two years.

Life, you know the one where we have a family to watch over, a yard to mow, a dog to walk, a cat to answer to, and (in my case) grandkids to smile over–that life. All the normal things we have come to take for granted during our lifetime that within the past two years has endured a major reset. If it wasn’t politics then it was a national health crisis, but life most assuredly threw us curves along the way. And, how many of us could have imagined an economy that was growing exponentially just to be hit with severe supply chain issues that appear will be with us for at least another year and a half. I can look off the coastal beaches where I live and I’m told there are as many as a 167 freighters and tankers just idling. Well, that can’t be good! So now I’m wondering what Christmas will be like for those who like to “shower” their kids and grandkids with gifts? I am going to be a bit self-serving here, but what about my car parts? (Mentioned this topic in a previous issue.) But let’s stay positive as we have plenty to be thankful for. I’m not prepared to say life is over as we once knew it, but there’s a monumental shift in life’s plan and each of us will have to withstand this change.

But all isn’t lost. Yep, I have taken that deep breath and it was both exhilarating and refreshing. You see, I am wrapping up a year in which there were still plenty of canceled events but toward the end of this year there were plenty of great events reopening. All of us have our local favorites and they all seem to be picking up steam and getting back to the ways of old. For me I was able to make it to the NSRA Street Rod Nats, spend several weeks on the road visiting shops (always fun to see friends and combine both business and social time), once again enjoyed the Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals, and, my personal favorite, the Shades of the Past Street Rod Association’s 38th annual Hot Rod Roundup held each year at Dollywood’s Splash Country. As many of you know I’m deeply involved with the Triple Crown of Rodding and now Modern Rodding is a big part of it going forward. This year the competition was the highest it’s been and looking forward it appears it will continue to climb.

In the Garage Media booth at a car show

From now until the first of the year I will be anxiously awaiting 2022–you see, I am also a big fan of the indoor car show season and can’t wait to get back to the Grand National Roadster Show, Detroit Autorama, and others. For me the GNRS has special meaning as I’ve been extremely fortunate to be one of the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster judges for the past 10-plus years. The GNRS has a unique criterion: 50 percent of a competing roadster’s value rests in its appearance. Is it “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” and this is where I’m most comfortable? The aesthetic value plays an important part. Based on sheer numbers I have seen roadsters up close and personal for the past eight decades. I know what I like and I believe I understand when a roadster strikes a chord with oneself and it communicates to you “I’ve got it.” Immediately you know whether or not this roadster has the “it” factor. But I digress.

If all goes well during the winter season that should mean we will have a great summer season and that, frankly, is what I live for–at least in terms of the rodding world. It means I can get the roadster out and drive it to work every now and then. Maybe, just maybe, I can get one more cross-country drive in; that would be amazing. And, for real excitement, maybe there’s a fun project or two to be had on the ol’ ’29 A/V-8. Wow, there are lots of exciting things to look forward to–I can’t wait for 2022, it’s going to be a good year.

Modern Rodding
VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 14 • 2021