Christmas is a season that sets itself up well for looking back and making wishes.

The first thing I’d like to see is good weather for every car show in 2024. This topic comes up a lot at MyStar for a simple reason—summer car shows are held outside.

A summer storm can shut down a car show faster than a bomb threat and that’s a disaster for all the volunteers who spend a whole year planning these events. Let’s hear it for sun and fun in 2024.

My next Christmas wish is a little more political, depending on what car brand you like the most.

I want to see more street rods and customs without small block Chevys under the hood. I’m not knocking the SBC as a concept, because they make sense if you’re running a tight budget. If you want power with ease of installation, the small block Chevy is the right path for you. If you want to stretch your wings try finding an old 401 Buick.     

I get that easier part. But is it the only path you take because it’s easier? Street rods were founded on the concept of using what you could find at an auto wrecker—not what was easiest. Get back to what they did in the golden era and check out an auto wrecker for something that isn’t found in every street rod at every show.

Car guys ripped motors out of wrecked Buicks, Caddys, Chryslers, and Lincolns back in the classic 50s street rod era because they provided a lot of power—not because they bolted in easier. 

That meant you couldn’t predict what you’d see under the hood of a custom or street rod in 1953. Now there’s a 95% chance you’ll see a 350 under the hood of most deuce coupes. If you’re going to go with Chevy in a street rod, why not make it something cool like a 348, 409, 396 or a 427?     

Better yet, if it’s a 1930 or 40s Ford, find a 332 Thunderbird, 351 Cleveland, 390, or a 427 to match your Ford with a Ford. It’s not as easy to do that, but it’s going to make your Ford buddies a lot less hostile. Bonus note—it’s going to up the value of your street rod at by at least 25%.

Here’s another Christmas wish. I’d like to see more odd and unique cars and trucks at events.

I like seeing stuff I never see at car shows because variety tells me how wide and varied automotive history is. I get why certain cars have the giant fan clubs, but I like to see the strange and unusual stuff at car shows.

It can be anything from an old station wagon to an old bus, to an old wrecker, to an old police car, to an old taxi, to a one-off creation—you get the point. Vehicles like that are like unicorns so they get all the attention unicorns deserve. 

Better yet, the owners are definitely alphas in a beta world because you don’t work on vehicles like that to add value to your collection. You do it because it’s fun and you do it because you like explaining things to people. That’s why I’ll never walk by a unicorn vehicle.

My last wish is easy.

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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