One of the challenges the hot rodding establishment has faced as the form enters its 80th + year (don't forget those lakes guys who began kicking up the dust at places like Muroc, Rosamond and El Mirage in the late '20s and early '30s), is new perspectives from young designer-builders who will carry the torch forward.
If the future is in the hands, mind and spirit of young Zane Cullen and his Cotati Speed Shop in Santa Rosa, CA, then the future is bright.
The 30-ish conceptualist and builder continues to meld forms and functions from past racers and racing styles - everything pre-war Indy racers, Midwest dirt track chargers and sleek board track roadsters, even Euro grand prix machines - into modern road machines that by their unique styling and engineering embrace distinctive verve and design.
He grew up around cars and picked up some early skills as a painter in his dad's auto body shop. Working in another shop, he expanded his proficiencies to include body work and final assembly operations.
Actually, the groundwork was set much earlier, when he used to read and re-read all kinds of automotive magazines.
"There are so many little micro-cultures in the automotive world," he says in "Art of the Hot Rod," written by Ken Gross and on display in the Brizio display area during this event,"that anytime you find out about one you don't know, it's intriguing. . . When I look back I was always passionate about cars."