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Within the winter of 2013, I wrote considered one of my most controversial diary banger columns The subject? Humorous Automobiles “Match Bash”. I used to be nonetheless comparatively new to my Friday slot and I bear in mind writing and rewriting the piece to verify it had the fitting voice. I needed to seize the jagged, out-of-control nature of these fire-breathing door holders. I needed to carry the unbridled, unhinged thrill of head-to-head racing onto the web page in a method that I had by no means completed earlier than. Just like the automobiles themselves, the publish was an experiment. Right here is an excerpt.

“Match Bash. A phrase that sounds higher when shouted. You see, Match Bash was not for the rule-followers. It wasn’t for tape measure jockeys in white overalls, and it actually wasn’t for the faint of coronary heart. Consider flimsy, cobbled metallic shells held collectively by threads of hope and phantasm. Corrugated fiberglass doorways and trunk lids interlock with frames dipped in acid to create collages very similar to an AMT package constructed by a child who received a bit of heavy on the glue. Moon tanks, beam axles, magnesium wheels, and meaty slicks. Match Bash is what the youngsters dreamed of and the mother and father denounced.”

What was it that made the article so controversial? Terminology. Someplace within the feedback, a reader talked about that the automobiles weren’t referred to as “Match Bash” within the Sixties. He mentioned it was a contemporary nickname used to explain AWB tribute automobiles. Earlier than posting, I researched and he knew Match Bash was right.

Earlier than I may return hearth, HAMB’s highly effective historians got here to my protection. My buddy Kip Hansberry, whom I met at Meltdown Drags a lifetime in the past, went as far as to unearth {a magazine} article from the mid-’60s that talked about Match Bash by title. That meant so much to me then, and it nonetheless means practically a decade later.

Wanting again, that merchandise is an artifact from one other place in time. In these days, my automotive pursuits revolved round altered wheelbase automobiles, Gassers, and absolutely anything with a straight axle and pie crust. He dreamed of constructing an AWB road automobile, although he had no cash, no storage and no talking abilities. That did not matter. I knew what I needed and I wasn’t going to let something cease me.

Regardless of the years, I’ve moved away from my altered wheelbase desires. I am a bit of older now, and like a lot of you, I am fascinated by early Fords. It is a testomony to our interest, and HAMB particularly, that all the pieces from flathead-engined roadsters to nitro-burning Humorous Automobiles fall below the standard umbrella. It’s a tremendous place to be. I am undecided of a greater method to say it.


Final month, the swap meet in Petaluma was winding down. It had been an extended day and I used to be mentally making ready to load up the truck and head dwelling. As I used to be planning my subsequent transfer, our buddy Gus came to visit and advised me that he had one thing for me. “I’ve a bunch of magazines I needed to present you,” he mentioned. “It is largely later, and lots of it’s based mostly on the East Coast.” My reply? Sure!

Flipping by the magazines was a visit again to 2013. Gassers, Altereds, dragsters, wheelstanders – they had been all there in greyscale and vivid shade. Since then, I’ve been slowly going by every situation and savoring every web page. I am nonetheless close to the highest of the stack, however I did pull up a featured situation to share right here: widespread scorching rods, October 1966.

This drawback has an important influence. It is filled with high-performance perfection. The quilt is considered one of my all-time favorites. It’s so easy and says a lot. Oh, and that Falcon is ideal. Inside, you may discover articles on some heavy responsibility automobiles. You realize, large title stuff. “The Flying Dutchman”, “King Fish”, “UFO”, “Hemi-a-Go-Go”. As neat as they’re, I am drawn to the Falcon cowl automobile and the purple AWB Chevy II. Each are homegrown midwestern machines that had been on the innovative.

The very best half? The shortage of lettering and loopy proportions, which make them look extra like mannequin automobile field artwork reasonably than precise automobiles. They’re wild. They’re uncommon, and I respect them for what they’re.

Lengthy dwell Match Bash!

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Photographs of widespread scorching roding, October 1966. Drop by to learn Tom McMullen focus on “Discotheque” music, amongst different issues. For extra Humorous Automotive enjoyable, you should definitely take a look at the picture thread right here.

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