Hot rodding is getting old in age, and so are most people who consider themselves hot rodders by trade. Don’t take our word for it, just go to your local rod and kustom show and see how many 20-somethings are hanging around. Sure, they’re there, but almost exclusively as spectators. How many Art History majors can turn chop a roof or weld a perfect seam? These are arts in their own right, and unless the next generation takes these skills up, they’ll become lost arts.
In this episode of “Depth of Speed”, the focus is on the young owner the the Salt Flats Speed Shop, Chris Davenport, who talks about what it is like hanging around hot rodders old enough to be his grandfather.
The hot rodding community is partly to blame. Hot rod and kustoms have become something of a rich-mans game, and while the internet has made it easier to find like-minded people, it has also led some groups to close off and isolate themselves. It’s hard to attract fresh recruits when its the same hundred dudes at every car show.
Kids these days can also be blamed for a lack of interest in the cars and building techniques that their grandfather’s pioneered, though that didn’t stop Davenport from starting his own shop. As always, this is a beautifully-produced video that really gets to the core of hot rodding as an art. There is a certain feel to making something from scratch, and you can’t teach that in any tech school.
Davenport makes a great argument for why hot rodding really is an art. If you want to see what him and his shop, Salt Flats Speed Shop is up to, check out their blog for the latest project updates.