You hardly notice them. No fighting over main hall entrance parking, no posing for the cameras, no glitzy glamour or magazine covers. Just your run of the mill down home do-it-their-own-way sure nuff hot rodders. We’re talking about those drive-‘em rodders who seem to be all over the map in hot rodding. The ones who avoid too much attention, and even go out of their way to escape detection. The Back Fence Boys. And gals.
They are everywhere in life, and they go largely unnoticed in a high-profile world of wanna-be’s and look at me’s. My kind of guys and gals, the ones who know who they are, what they can do, and when to do it. They are the real heros of hot rodding. I find them at every kind of activity. At the ball games, at the surf, at the rodeos! I find them extremely refreshing wherever they appear.
In street rodding, I even find them staying away from the must-do activities. I wish I could extend to each of them my heartfelt thanks, and award them all Top Ten letter jackets, but they would probably never wear them!
The first thing I do when I go to a modern street rod “run” is to do the registration thing. Get that out of the way, then I go in search of the background bunch. As ever, they will be way over there somewhere, away from the registration entrance, away from the commercial exhibits, away from all the adoring glances. They find really good places to park, under an unappealing building overhang, maybe in the recently vacated (and smelling like it) horse shed, maybe around a great ancient shade tree…doesn’t matter much what the environs, for them they seek out a quiet spot out of the heavy pedestrian flow and stake their acreage. And, as the weekend unfolds, they will follow the same routine throughout the surrounding communities.
These are the people who get out and locate the really neat haunts of the towns, those little old denizens where you find the good (but not five-star) eating places, the local and area parks and roadsides, the ramshackle sales emporiums so far away from the main street crowds. These are the hot rodders who have discovered back road America and all the sheer pleasures that lay hidden off the interstate.
You might think that the Back Fence Mob parks well away from the TV presenters and unwashed magazine fops as a recognition that they do not own or drive cars worthy of consideration of Top Ten picks. Not so, McGee. Nope, by getting away from the rush to solicit Atta Boy’s from spectators and trophy judges, this group of fringe dwellers is focusing their attention on the difference between a Rod Run and a Car Show. In short, this is the rag-tag element in hot rodding who already know that trophies are meaningless, and that the general public haven’t the faintest idea of a sure nuff long legged highway leaper and a trailered and pampered buy-in that too often clogs the main artery of upscale street rodding. You looking for me at a major rod trot, I’ll be over by the back gate.