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Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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The Stoner T: How to Build a Hot Rod in 10 Years (and Influence People)

Posted November 28, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

When I moved to California in 2001 to start my own car culture magazine, I thought I knew what a hot rod was. We were barely into the new millennium and the hot-rod revival that Greg Escalante’s traveling “Kustom Kulture” exhibit had ignited in 1993 was just bubbling up to the surface of public consciousness. Back then, I was really trying hard to shed all the preconceived notions I had of what a custom car was–buying an old car, changing a bunch of stuff to personalize it, and make it go a whole helluva lot faster–and embrace the additive process of building a hot rod: Start with a bare garage floor, collect a bunch of parts, fabricate the stuff you can’t find, and figure out the best way to fasten it all together into a car that didn’t exist before you started. That was a whole new approach to the world, for me.

That first summer in San Francisco was a real immersion trip: Since I was burning through my savings account to launch a magazine with “The Hot Rod Way Of Life” as its tagline, I knew I had to embed in West Coast car culture a whole lot faster than the natural course of those things might afford. So, while I was living at the swanky Sir Francis Drake hotel downtown, I took an “internship” at Vern Tardel’s hot-rod ranch outside of Santa Rosa, California, to get my hands dirty in more ways than one. Every day, I’d drive the 60 miles north from San Francisco to Windsor; go earlobe-deep in old hot rods and even older piles of parts; drive back to the city at the end of the day; valet my pickup truck; walk through the lobby to the elevator in a protective layer of dirt, grease, and old Cosmoline; then share a car to my floor with any number of surprised, well-dressed penthouse nightclub patrons. It was glorious.

An unusual tale of adapting to American culture and American cars, also.

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Re: The Stoner T: How to Build a Hot Rod in 10 Years (and Influence People)

11/28/2017 5:35 PM

Zzzzzzzzzzz....

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