A Couple of Cool Road Cars

Our home town, Puyallup, Washington, is teeming with amazing cars.  It seems like every industrial or business park in the area has a shop full of talented people building and maintaining hot rods, custom cars, or race cars.  On any sunny weekend day you can find all kinds of automotive eye and ear candy on local streets and roads as owners exercise their prized possessions, and there is hardly a vintage sports car race in the US that doesn’t have a transporter  load of cars from at least one of the local prep shops in the paddock.  Here are two examples of local automotive creations I’ve encountered in the last few weeks.

Falcon Sprint rally car tribute

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If you follow motorsports history you may recall Ford’s Total Performance initiative of the early to mid 1960s.  Ford launched itself full-bore into every kind of motorsports, spending unprecedented sums not only to win races and championships but also to stamp indelibly into the minds of car buyers its image as a maker of word-beating high performance automobiles.  Win on Sunday, sell on Monday was the company’s guiding imperative.

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One of the earliest arenas in which Ford competed was European rallying.  With classic events such as the Monte Carlo Rally attracting a vast following in Europe Ford saw a way to expand its presence internationally while adding European glamor to its image at home.  The company’s compact car, the Falcon, became its first weapon of choice.  Though overshadowed by their replacement, the Mustang,  Ford’s rally Falcons gave the company its first experience and initial successes, providing a solid knowledge base on which to build greater successes.  Other Falcons, looking very much like the rally cars, competed in European circuit racing.

The car you see here is one I ran across in an industrial park while looking for possible locations in which to expand Victory Lap’s store space.  It appears to be a tribute car, memorializing those Falcon rally cars that took on Europe’s best in about 1963.  It’s a Falcon Sprint fastback fitted with all the 60s rally/race car visual cues.

Wouldn’t one like this make a great slot car?

Model A pickup street rod

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How’s this for retro cool?  Real vintage tin (well, most of it, according to the owner), a smallblock Chevy, whitewall tires, and lots of chrome.  I discovered this old-school gem parked about 30 feet from our store when I came to work one morning.

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Hot rods aren’t really my thing, but a well-crafted car of any kind deserves to be appreciated, and this was the kind of car build all my friends drooled over when I was in high school (but not me; I was already into sports cars).  This is what hot rodding used to be like back when people built hot rods and actually drove them regularly instead of storing them in climate-controlled garages and trailering them to car shows where they may or may not be started up and driven out of the trailer and back in.  This one’s owner had driven it that day as simple transportation to his daily appointments, but with added enjoyment of a kind no modern car with all its sophistication can offer.  Oh, and as he drove away it sounded really mean, too.

It’s one-of-a-kind cars like these that make the world of the car enthusiast so rich and varied.  Ain’t it grand?

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