Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

So, first things first I recently got my old Nissan D21 pickup back from my friend Murderstang. If you remember a few posts ago I exclaimed that hell had in fact frozen over and I had sold my Nissan D21 that I had owned since 1995. Long story short, he wanted a bigger truck and i was in the market so BAM Nissan is back. now on to the story...

Bought the truck on Saturday and was so excited to get it back. Murderstang had done some keen upgrades and work to it while in his care. I knew i couldn't drive it and would have to wait to title it until the dreaded DMV was open during the week. No biggie, i can wait. So the first available time slot for a much on the go person was Wednesday at 8:15am. Read all about what i needed in hand and off we go to the DMV.

So, remember the title of this post (see above...)? Yeah, we couldn't remember if BOTH names were on the original title or if it was me or the misses or ????? I was all like "Leave it blank, the kind employee at the DMV will help us straighten it all out". Flash forward to the bureaucratic kick in the nuts i received as i handed over the papers with glee, just full of joy that i would get to drive my truck to work that day. See unbeknownst to me and the misses this tiny blank space on the title meant NO TRUCK FOR YOU! The government sponsored paperwork Nazi had seen his opening to dash the dreams of said wannabe hotrodder that sat in front of him.  And DASH DREAMS HE DID!

See, the truth is any government agency exists only to spread pain and agony on the citizens and blind them with confusing haphazard red tape and nonsense. This keeps the general masses from realizing that their wages and buying power have been on a steady decline since the 1970s whilst cost of goods and services doubles about every 15 minutes or so. With a grinch inspired smile he handed back the title along with another paper that had to be filled out from my friend Murder Stang (who by the way works 2 jobs and is insanely busy). Knowing the chances of me getting this crap filled out within the next year or so is about the same as me going and punching out Mike Tyson the rage builds and my only recourse is to leave and try to limit my cursing to 100 or less.

So, long story short never ever expect any help from any government employee. If they had come into their position with joy in their heart that has long since been crushed by angry confused patrons and overbearing unbending laws about their useless pieces of paper. Whether leaning on a government shovel or sitting behind a drab grey government cubical your encounter will be unpleasant. Just try your best to avoid at all costs.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ed Roth's fleeting time in the sun

I Disappear... as does everyone

It is probably no big surprise that I am a huge Ed Roth fan. Growing up Ratfink defined cool and custom and car culture. There is a pretty big love/hate divide in the hotrod world toward the custom cars he created but nobody, and I mean NOBODY, hates on Ed Roth for his iconic influence on hot rod culture.

Just knowing about Ed Roth from the grotesque caricatures he created on shirts and hats of the 60s and 70s only gives a very slight insight into the man. So I set out to learn more about the almighty Roth the old fashioned way... reading. For you younger folks looking at this post "reading" is a thing that people used to do before movies, youtubes and vine clips. As I read and learned more and more about the wild ride that was Ed Roth's life one thing really struck me as insane... his hot rod shop was only in existence for 11 years. Yup, 1959 - 1970 was the run of his shop at 4616 Slauson Avenue in Maywood, California.

Imagine being a genre defining icon that changed what future generations considered possible in custom car culture closing your shop and becoming a sign painter for a berry farm. How is that even possible? To me it is mind bending how fragile success can be. I always imagined that when an artist or musician "makes it big" they are set for life and that my friends could not be farther from the truth. As I learned more and more about Ed Roth it seems that his life was really broken into disjointed segments, each completely separate from the others.

I realize that a book is one persons interpretation of a person or event so it cannot be taken as gospel but there must be some truth to the accounts as they often overlap. All I know is for one person to shake up the custom car world so completely I wish his time in the spotlight would have been longer. I also wish I could have met the man and thanked him for his contributions. But as my late great father would have said... "Shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which builds up fastest."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You Might Not Be Perfect, But You Gotta Bring SOMETHING


So everyone knows that hotrods are inherently a losing proposition. If you are getting into a hotrod to make money you are in the wrong business. As my pop always used to say "Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?" In today's classic car market there is a growing problem that stems from a few different misconceptions.

If you are in the market to buy a decent starter hotrod there are numerous avenues to spend your hard earned cash... craigslist, auctions and of course just kinda keeping your eyes peeled. I have employed all these and many others and gotta say the divide between seller and buyer could not be larger. It has and will always be the seller wants the most he can get and the buyer wants it as cheap as he can get it but I contend not to the degree that is it now.

Numerous shows that feature classic car auctions and show people buying and selling them has given the sellers an incredibly false sense of what their classic hotrods are actually worth. There is no place on this planet or any other where a Chevy Malibu is worth $170k, I don't care if GOD pimped that ride... NO WAY! But week after week we see these shriveled up old rich guys throwing up their paddle to show they are rich enough to outlast other said old rich guys. Troubling trend is that now that the upper 1% have bought all the houses and lives they can they have moved onto such rouge-ish enterprises as classic cars.... but you know, as investments not to actually enjoy the car.

So scratch the auction scene, reserve cars will pass and pass and pass with no-sale after no-sale. On to the local market, that will give up some awesome cars right? eh, right?!?  When you go through the craigslist experience you will see that most are as delirious there as at an auction. A big problem with local craigslist cars is they bring nothing to the table, and i mean NOTHING! You can go buy a much newer SS camaro or GT mustang for the same or less than most of these classics and they are WAY more car and WAY WAY faster. Now, style and cool have nothing to do with that so i get it, buying an older classic hotrod is very different than buying a new Mustang but if you want speed they don't even compare. And here inlays the problem.

Say i want to buy an old 1969 Firebird (which i sure wouldn't mind), locally they are on craigslist for 13k - 25k. These cars have no new steering or suspension components, are not matching numbers, have rust throughout and the interior is mostly shot. For about 18k i can get a low mileage 2012 SS Camaro that is near perfect. What the hell man, give me SOMETHING. Like if the Firebird had the Disc Brake conversion and decent engine, or a solid body with some attention needed okay i could see $15k. But the cars i am seeing are bringing absolutely NOTHING to the table. Bored over garbage engines, gutted interiors... basically projects at best.

If you are selling a project price it like a GOD DAMN PROJECT! Everyone is looking for numbers matching show car money for parts car quality. I get that you want to make a few bucks but please, take a realistic look at what you are selling before you add another 10k to the price. Just because you let the car "age" like fine wine in the back yard on blocks since 1978 doesn't mean it is a rare classic. Not EVERY car is a super rare collectible, in fact the reality is none of them are.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

You May Have Noticed... This Site Is DEAD AS SHIT!

Lulus Marble

One of the problems with saving toward a long term goal is it seems like the reality of achieving said goal feels like it will never be. I have long maintained that my goal was to get a 32 ford (fiberglass wannabe since a real one is like forget it) or a factory five Shelby Cobra kit car. Seems simple enough, get a goal and save for it. But then since you don't really think it is ever going to come you "borrow" some money for a kick ass guitar, or you slam a truck into a fence basically taking away all the money you had been getting from a side job for like 2 years.

Long story short, you lose focus. I am still putting money away but when you start thinking that you will be able to get your hotrod around 2018 give or take that sucks. In a moment of weakness I started looking around for other options, a Datsun Fairlady or a VW manx were some of the contenders that popped. Should i just start wheeling and dealing like I do with guitars? just keep buying and selling Until I work my way up? Part of me says yes start wheeling and dealing and having fun with lots of different cars. The other stupid logical part of me says stay the course and get the one you want.

Truthfully there is no real "right" answer. I guess time will tell. I would say I will try to be more dedicated in keeping this site updated but we all know how full of shit that lie would be. I WILL try but you know your wannabe hotrodder is just that, a wannabe.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Now For Some RAT FINK!

I know... it has been like MONTHS AND MONTHS since I posted anything on here. Not sure why, I guess the dog days of saving money for a car I might never get is weighing on me. Lucky for you Dr. Morbius (from our many many podcasts) can't stand watching the tumbleweeds roll by on this slowly dying blog. He sent me these awesome Ed Roth RAT FINK comics... ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Maybe I Need To Evaluate My Strategy


So, I went to an auto auction in Zepherhills Florida last weekend. I woke up early and drove over with a pocket full of cash and a mind full of dreams. As I walked the car corral I didn't see anything that really jumped out at me. There was a pretty wicked 67 Ford Gasser that looked like a beast until I opened the hood and saw it was all show and no go. Sorry bro, gassers are supposed to be smelly ugly beasts that have about as much engine hanging out of the hood as they do under it, not some lame ass 302 with a sad little 2 barrel carb. But whatever, it was early and I had the auction to go to.

As I sit down and look over the sheet to see which one of these little beauties would be taking my hard earned cash I noticed there was about 10 golf carts for sale, odd but whatever. Auctions are kinda like a rolling carnival of lawless oddities. In my little pea brain I am busy doing the internal math that will keep me in the good graces of the accounting department. Because the other interesting thing about Auctions is they pretty much charge everyone for everything, buyers premiums, sellers premiums... hell I think there is a "being alive fee" in there somewhere. After about 30 minutes of hearing the barker go over about a million things and plug everything under the sun he finally starts.

An elderly man sits next to me as the auction kicks off. He is writing everything down on his paper... what the bids go for and if they sell or not. Nothing is selling, i mean NOTHING. I look at him and say "what the hell is going on here?" He exclaims that for the most part only about 10% of the cars in an auction actually sell because everything carries a reserve price.

About 30 cars into this 60 car auction I have seen about all I need to see. Oddly enough the very thing that represents actual free market has perverted into complete and utter bullshit. Auctions should be the complete celebration of free market, wanna know what something is worth? Auction it off... what ever the crowd pays that is exactly what it is worth. Sadly, television and "reality TV" has once again reared its ugly head and created a fantasy world where 1967 Camaros are worth 120k and old British roadsters actually run. So, looks like my money and my effort will be better spent elsewhere. No more auctions for this wannabe hotrodder... time to hit the market and see what I can shake loose.