Words and photos by Kirk Gerbracht
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The car culture continues to thrive, and one of the biggest reasons is that our hobby offers something for everyone. No matter what your personal taste in cars, — classics, sports, hot rods, exotics, customs, muscle, tuner, American, Asian, or European — there is space in the Autosphere for all of us. And nowhere is the personality and individuality of the automobile owner more visible than at a rod and custom show.
Medford, Oregon recently hosted its 42nd Rod and Custom Show at the local Expo Center. Over 250 cars and dozens of vendors were on hand. As always, there were automotive products and demonstrations, parts suppliers, fabricators, paint and upholstery shops represented. Of equal importance, the event raised over $16,000 for the local Skills USA chapter.
A little of both; this fabulous ’35 Ford, even though a comprehensive hot rod build, would look at home at nearly any more formal concours
A Rod and Custom Show is as far from a Concours d’Elegance as noon is from midnight when it comes to expressing car owners’ tastes and style. The cost and quality of a paint job may be the same at either type of show, but at a rod and custom show its relevance to the original color (or rolling stock, or engine, or body originality) are of no consequence. Likewise, interior quality and detail is about personal taste and not about how accurate the materials used and stitching are to the original manufacture. At a rod and custom show, chrome is an accepted and appreciated condiment almost anywhere on a car and engine swaps are the norm.
Not surprisingly, the Ford footprint was substantial, perhaps making up half the show entrants, from the somewhat obvious ’66 Mustang to the F-100 or the ’56 T-bird. Two cars that really stood out (as somewhat unexpected) were a rodded ’40 Lincoln and a ’60 Edsel. There were plenty of T’s, coupes, sedans, and convertibles from every era. Also, some of the Ford engines, from flatheads to V-8s were great and they were everywhere.
On every level this Show was a success. The quality and diversity of cars was exceptional. Some of us are omnivores when it comes to cars, we like everything, but clearly have our favorites. It’s like art or music, something may not be your favorite, but you have to appreciate the talent, effort and investment that goes into making it. This show had enough other “something for everyone” (ever seen a Maserati Mistral?) to please the tastes of every other attendee as well.
Oh please don’t leave, more photos just below…