You know what I love about being a Gearhead? All the options.
You know what I hate about being a Gearhead? All the options.
Over the years since I caught this Gearhead disease I’ve saved and cataloged thousands of images. The Weld Burn Pinterest account has, as of today’s writing, 3,219 images across 64 Boards. (Yes some of those aren’t strictly Gearhead related) The boards range from Garage Ideas, to Concept Cars, to Vintage Motorcycle photos, to Motorcycle Gear, and beyond.
The gearhead mind can bounce around from bikes to cars, from Ford to Harley, from Cab Over Engine/COE’s to Cafe Racers, and back. It is so much fun to look through the local Craigslist ads and see a 68 Caddy and think about all the fun activities.
Any true and complete Gearhead doesn’t just have that one Dream Car, which I’ve already written about here, that they wanna build and then they are done. A true Gearhead has a revolving door of projects with a eye towards the next cool thing that could come down the line.
The ratrod movement is fraught with strong opinions, both for and against it, but you know what I’ve noticed in the wake of that trend?
PEOPLE ARE PLAYING WITH ALL SORTS OF OFF BRANDS AND FORGOTTEN MODELS!
Now, let me say this: These are beautiful vehicles! In fact each of these photos came from my collection on Pinterest. But you can’t argue that things like a 32 Roadster, a 49 Mercury, or a 56 Ford F100 are some of the most common staples of any car show.
Got to a car show today and while yes you will continue to see beautiful examples of the vehicles above, any of which I would gladly own, but you will see vintage station wagons, Cab Over Engines, VW trucks, customized classic Mercedes diesel powered 240D’s!
This isn’t totally a result of ratrods, of course the elusive all steal 32 is harder and harder to find and so its natural to explore other brands and odd ball models. But I think that the ratrodders have spurred something from their use of just about anything they can find. We are now willing to consider that you can build a sick vehicle from a classic Dodge, International Harvester, or Studebaker (‘Stupid-Beggar’ if you ask my Grandpa) truck and have just as much fun with it as that beautiful 56 Ford above.
Interestingly enough I don’t feel like I see this mentality spilling over to the motorcycle world quite yet. Sure there are guys building Excelsiors or Royal Enfields but that seems to be less about building them and more about rebuilding them for preservation. The return of the Cafe Racer world has brought some brands back to life and breathed new life into their respective custom markets but again, this isn’t exploring new territory when it comes to brands. That might have to do with the size of the motorcycle market vs the auto market and it might also have to do with how people think of some brands. By that I mean you don’t see someone willing to cut up a Ducati very often in the same way people use to view American Muscle cars prior to the Pro-Touring trend or how people view Porsches still today.
Regardless, while brand loyalty is fine, and there is room for that even in the context of this article, but why not let your imagination run a bit wild and for your next project why don’t you pick something a little off the wall and see what that does for you! Something like this maybe:
Header Photo Credit: Jake Durig
I claim no ownership over any of the images used here.