We have seen a lot of old iron and interviewed a lot of car owners over the years.
The vehicles range from show to go-and all points in between these two sometimes divergent philosophies.
Let’s face it, a show car may well be a 100-point restoration car, complete with an underpowered six-banger from days of yore.
On the other hand, it might be a 100-point, 440-equipped Plymouth.
But we want to know which school of thought wins the day in 2012.
Which idea has more merit, more points toward a 100-point restoration trophy or brute force street warriors designed to punish the competition on the street?
The idea of a fully restored vehicle that looks and drives like its first day out of the showroom from a past car era has a great deal of appeal to people who want to be reminded of their own past.
Maybe their Dad had one, or maybe they just wanted to remember the time when these cars were common on the streets of their own pasts.
The sight of one of these old school cars triggers memories the same way an old song kick starts memories. You see one of these old classics in modern traffic and it looks so out of place-and yet it looks so familiar at the same time. Conflicted emotions duke it out in your cerebral cortex every time you see an old ride on the street.
They had chrome, they had an incredibly unique look, and some of the later models from the past had big horsepower, but was it enough horsepower to compete on the street against today’s performance?
The short answer for today’s speed merchants is no. We live in an era in which a 2012 Jeep can do 0-60 in 4.6 seconds-that is crazy fast-and a Jeep is not even the high water mark for factory 0-60 times from Detroit these days.
Many car guys love the old school style from bygone eras of cars, but they are not in love with the performance of the old school rides. So they will initiate a forced marriage between an old ride and an insanely fast heart transplant for the old girl.
The car may even get lower and sleeker in the process, or it may become a wolf in sheep’s clothing, with little outward evidence of its inner giant and toothy bite under the hood. The net result may be a full-blown custom rod with fully functional wheelie bars and an abiding need for same, or a very innocent looking sedan that has Brady Bunch second car written all over it.
The owners of resto-mods have two thoughts in mind: they want to kick some serious ass on the street and they want to look great doing it. It’s a very simple game plan.
We can’t make the call on restored or street dominator resto-mod for car guys. They vote with their sizable financial investment in either philosophy, we just admire the results at shows and on the street.
We, the viewing public, win either way.
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