Invented for life rat rods and vette hack

We always get the most reader feedback from doing different, zany, or controversial stories, and the Nov. '10 issue featured two such stories. We knewthe rat rod cover story would elicit opinions on both sides of the fence and figured the "Vette Hack" story would likewise generate some mail, but oh man, we had no idea. Here are some of the reactions to both. —Rob Kinnan

I loved the article on rat rods, thanks in no small part to the lack of sideways ball caps and iron crosses (which were only mentioned once). What could have been the auto mag equivalent of Rolling Stone writingup underground death metal was instead a pleasure to read.

Abe Souza Modesto, CA

Anyone who builds a vehicle should use their highest levels of engineering and workmanship. That should be a universal goal of any build. Those who intentionally incorporate bad ideas or workmanship into a vehicle garner little respect from me and all other car builders I know. Common parts thrown together in a haphazard fashion does not a rat rod make. Instead, it's just a poorly built hot rod. When most of these builders know better, or should, I have trouble swallowing the idea of building junk.

Brian Massie Radford, VA

Junk is junk, even if it rolls. And safety, well, let's just say a few advancements have been made since the'50s.

Tom Bolticoff Via email

With the exception of the comments pertaining to the questionable front end engineering on the cover car, who cares what anyone else thinks. I say build it like you want to, then drive it like you stole it. And unless the owner asks your opinion, keep it to yourself.

Terence Ringwood Landing, NJ

Amen to Brad Roorda—it's just a hot rod!

Larry Martin Dennard.AR

Good grief! When did hot rodding become all about rat rods or not, retro/no retro, billet/no billet, period correct or not, rust/no rust, patina/no patina, and so on? Forget all that poo! In my opinion, hot rodding is about just picking your iron and changing it to suit your taste/budget—hopefully, driving it as soon as possible and watching it morph into something neat along the way. A real hot rod requires only two things: 1) It's gotta look fast and 2) It's gotta be fast!

Bill Shaffer Okeechobee, FL

In the Nov. '10 issue, you did an article titled "Order Rodentia," and it featured a photo of my dad Frank Reed's '28 Model A HotLopy. His dream was to see his car end up in a magazine. Sadly, he did not live long enough to see his dream come true. We started working on ourcarin 2005. In May 2008 at the age of 44, my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer and had to retire from his job as a firefighter. During the next two years, we worked on the car anytime his health allowed. Although he wanted to do all the work himself, it became apparent that we would need help with the interior. Our friends at the Road House completed it two weeks before he passed away. I know my dad is smiling now. Thank you very much for the kind review you gave his car.

Corbin Reed Visalia, CA

Observe all speed limits and other laws and operate vehicle in a suitably safe environment. ©2010 Robert Bosch LLC USA. All rights reserved.

Putting the thrill of winning into words isn't easy. Unless you do it more than anyone else.

It was awesome to find the Corvette Dream Giveaway sweepstakes entry smack dab in the middle of the "Vette Hack" article. Pure genius!

Stewart Henderson Via email

When you were looking over my 79 Vette at the Holley LS Fest (see the story next month —Ed.), you asked if I saw the "Vette Hack" article. I had seen a few web comments, but my Nov.' 10 issue was waiting for me when I got home. Wow. As a Vette owner, I should say, "You should be ashamed." But as a car guy, all I can say is, "I wish I was on the hack team." I can't think of anything, with clothes on, that would be more fun.

David Knight Kalamazoo, Ml

I wholehea rtedly enjoyed your extremely entertaining article about cuttingup a Corvette and tearing it up on a closed track. If all those whiners had the same quality of build in their cars as their whining, you guys wouldn't have any shortage of magazine-worthy cars. And just to piss offthe purists; that's the best-looking C4 I've ever seen.

Matthew Bridges Amarillo.TX

You totally missed the boat on this one. It should've been called "Carv-ette"!

Eric Kramp Hoffman Estates, IL

These guys are getting awfully worked up considering you just finished the job that Mother Nature started 20 years ago. You would think it was a '57 fuelie signed by Duntov himself. Unless you upset a few people along the way, I don't think you're doing it right.

Tyler Schwarzkopf Road Devils C.C.

Utah Chapter

Hot rodders need to grow some balls. When did it become fashionable to be like everybody else? Who cares if you cut up a Vette that has been rotting away in the desert? Obviously some car guy didn't care or he would have kept it and taken care of it. So I say go ahead chop it up and make it into some sort of open-wheel modified that is nimble and quick. Keep it low buck, say under five grand, and enjoy the hell out of it.

Matthew Stafford Via email

That's our plan exactly, Matthew. Stay tuned.

It's wonderfully refreshing to see such normally eggshell-trodden ground obliterated with such tire-squealingantics as the "Vette Hack" story. Don't get me wrong, as car guys, an innate appreciation of cool rigs should be a given, but at the end of the day, we should remember that these idols of obsession are merely a means to an end to go as fast as possible. The finger-wagging list of unacceptable ways to go fast has escalated for far too long with the financial boom of muscle and classic iron. A shot of reality from the most formidable of our community's voices is exactly what we needed.

Jon Crowder Brownington, MO

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