Look, you aren't going to want to hear this. It's small, insignificant. It's stupid. In the grand scheme of everything that happens on this weird-ass planet every day, it barely deserves mention. That said, it is what it is. And before I get into the ins and outs of this brain-twisting pile of ridiculousness, just prepare yourself to roll your eyes until they fall out of the back of your head. Also know that irony isn't lost on me, and I'm basically doing the same thing as I type this out. Here it is, my admission, my big problem, as silly as it is:

Sometimes I have to talk myself into driving my hot rod.


Yikes, I know. And I know what you're thinking: That sounds like the stupidest problem I've ever heard. What a "dilemma", right? A non-problem. But it's true, and I would wager that you, even being the dedicated hot rodder that you are, likely feels like this sometimes too. Or hey, maybe not. Maybe I'm just getting old, lazy, cranky, and lame. (Just add "er" to the ends of all four of those descriptors honestly)

(Rob Benko is a proponent of the DRIVE THEM theory)

Don't get me wrong, I drive my stuff a lot. Probably more than most really. And I do feel lucky to have that opportunity. To me, there is NOTHING like getting behind the thin, oversized wheel of one of these old rolling representations of simpler times, and losing myself in a calm, meandering drive down a country road. I'm not saying I don't drive them, I'm just saying that sometimes I have to force myself to slog my way out to the shop and start the process of coaxing an 80 or 90 year old car to life.

(Clayton Paddison makes no excuses, he drives his T hard - he even lets Celebrities like Jay Leno drive it. Because, why not? See: In His own Words)  

So, what's the problem? Why wouldn't you or I want to drive a beautiful old car down the road? It's simple: I am, and we are spoiled. The decades-long orgy between Detroit and Silicone Valley has resulted in cars so ridiculously comfortable and easy to drive, and stuffed with so many technological amenities (if you're into that kind of thing) that sometimes even guys like you or me can feel the urge to just jump in our "regular" car for that quick, anonymous trip to the hardware store.

(Eric Wolf drives his Roadster.. in fact, he flew to Indiana to purchase it, then DROVE it home to Portland, Oregon - See "Road Trip Roadster" )

Look, sometimes I don't feel like having to worry about where I park. Sometimes I don't feel like having a conversation. Sometimes I just want to get there and get back. But most often if I'm having the debate in my head, the pros and cons of driving this or that, it comes down to comfort. If it's hot as hell and my destination is going to have me sitting stagnant in endless miles of stop and go traffic, the idea of ice cold air conditioning will win out over the thought of gritting my teeth while reenacting the opening scene from the movie "Falling Down" over and over in my head, and sweating through my jeans..

( Despite it's name, there is absolutely no special occasion needed for Louis Stands to drive his gorgeous "Tuxedo Coupe" )

All that said, all things considered, I do still drive old stuff a lot of the time. Hurries, hot days and the headaches aside, the allure of these cars is still pretty powerful. There really is nothing quite like being at the controls of some sleek, low, flowing custom, or listening to the angry grumbling of a hopped up flathead resonating through a pair of dual pipes in a hot rod Model A Roadster. There just isn't a replacement for those things. Not Air conditioning, power steering, or cruise control. Not 16 speakers, bluetooth, or infotainment. None of it. Nope, at the end of the day, there is nothing that compares to driving one of these old things around. Which is why I can honestly say, no matter how many times I have to "talk myself into" driving an antique car, I have never - and I do mean ever, regretted doing so when the journey was complete. My advice to you is, drive them. 

( And of course, don't forget man's best friend! )






Charging my battery! Thanks for the inspiration!

Scott McGilvray

Great article. Well written and a quick read. What stands out is your accuracy on the emotions of Rodder.great weather is a difficult decision maker. My beast of burden was a couple Harleys. The adrenaline release these vehicles provide is what our body and brain wants. Dirt bikes to bigrig diesels to Pro-Mod to 4×4 to1/4 mile to high bank ovals. We have something in common.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published