Spring is just around the corner, which means car covers come off and air goes into the tires as we prepare for the driving season ahead.
Like countless other publications, we’re paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. Unlike most books, however, we flew one Mustang and restored another. Yep, our colleague and former naval aviator Eric Okerstrom flew in the Ford Mustang’s namesake, the all-conquering North American P-51 Mustang fighter plane. Sharing the experience was his 92-year-old dad Ted, a WWII veteran and former Mustang flight instructor. We also began work on our project 1964½ Mustang coupe, which you’ll be seeing everywhere during the year. Finally, Cobra in the Barn author Tom Cotter was a car-crazed kid when the Mustang made its debut at the New York World’s Fair. He saw it there, and his memories are priceless.
Over the years, we’ve given some attention to historic hot rods and their place in automotive culture, but we’ve never done a piece on the rat rod phenomenon and the rockabilly culture that embraces it. Turns out it’s a heckuva lot of fun and as usual, the incubator seems to be on the West Coast. So along with our own Tara Hurlin (a Midwesterner who totally gets it), we gathered some rat rods in L.A. to see what it’s all about. Enjoy the pictures and her observations; I bet you’ll recognize the locations from the big and small screen.
Continuing what has become an engrossing series on the psychology of car collecting, our resident automotive scholar and historian Jonathan A. Stein explores what drives some people’s devotion to one make and one make only. Anyone who has ever had a “Mopar or No Car” bumper sticker may see something familiar in this piece.
Finally, Publisher Rob Sass takes a look back at 2013 and what may be remembered as a high-water mark for years to come in the collector car world.