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Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

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  • Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

    http://www.bangshift.com/blog/Book-R...ingerelli.html

  • #2
    Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

    Sounds like an interesting read.

    Kind of ironic though that the '32 at the top of the cover looks ridiculous with those wheels that it has been sporting since the '70s or early '80s. That car, the Emperor, was the AMBR winner in 1960 and looked much better with the wheels and tires it was originally built with.

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    • #3
      Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

      "Our only gripe with this book is that the author Gingerelli seems to go to lengths to point out just how unenlightened the masses are . . . ."

      Wait a second!

      Isn't that almost the same metamessage of that 101-Things-to-Do-Before-You-Die article in the September '09 issue of Hot Rod? In other words, all you ordinary, paycheck-to-paycheck mopes can spend all of your time and money on local gearhead activities, but if you haven't participated in enough unlimited-expense-account-magazine-scribe major "events," you're just a bumpkin Prius driver in the grand scheme of automobility.

      Automotive books and magazines since before the days of Pete Petersen have often advised their readers (the masses) on aesthetic judgments and best practices. Such "in and out" commentary is nothing new. Fashions change and opinion leaders have often opined on these trends. For example, "High Jackers" and tires hanging out of the fenders on negative offset wheels went out of style in the early 1980s, in part, as a result of the car magazines' relentless campaigning against the style. Plenty of other fads have met the same winnowing fire from the self-perpetuating hot rodding press. (And all too often as a result of ad spending affecting editorial content)

      Moreover, virtually all automotive niches and genres have conventions or tropes based on functionality, sanctioning body rules, or traditions. Pointing out that many inexperienced, "unenlightened," "bolt-on" "catalog crafters" with more money than taste often mix metaphors and are otherwise clueless with their undiciplined builds is valuable training that helps convey the essentials of the various grassroots motorsports to successive generations.

      Would it be better just to let the "unenlightened masses" flail about, creating the aesthetic equivalents of a Pontiac Aztek accessorized by Jackson Pollock (or more commonly, the automotive equivalent to a flea-market Fat Elvis-on-black-velvet painting)?

      As with any art form -- from the human female, to literature, to sculpture, to hot rods -- true excellence is usually a rare and often fleeting event. Yet it is such excellence which informs the our judgments about the ordinary. But we cannot appreciate and learn from excellence if we are unwilling to acknowledge ordinariness and failure.

      Thus, the criticism of Gingerelli seems both unwarranted and a bit hypocritical.

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      • #4
        Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

        Wow! Now THAT was an interesting post.

        Book sounds like a good read.
        1967 Chevelle 300 2 Door Post. No factory options. 250 ci inline six with lump-ported head, big valves, Offy intake and 500cfm Edelbrock carb.

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        • #5
          Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

          Originally posted by Speedzzter.blogspot
          Thus, the criticism of Gingerelli seems both unwarranted and a bit hypocritical.
          seriously? sounds to me like you're stretching things a lot to get in a jab at Mr Lohnes. I don't see the correlation between the "100 things to do" article and the VERY ACCURATE statement about snobbery in hotrodding (when hardly any of the participants in the 'violation game' crowd knows a thing about Hot Rodding as it originally was, which was simply "going faster")

          no offense dude, but you missed the mark bigtime in your commentary.
          www.realtuners.com - catch the RealTuners Radio Podcast on Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and anywhere else podcasts are distributed!

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          • #6
            Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

            No offense taken.

            Nor was it really intended to be a jab at Mr. Lohnes (who is doing an exemplary job here, and is apparently "living the dream" better than about 99% of us).

            However, it does seem somewhat snobbish to elevate the 100 mostly big-ticket events highlighted in the HRM "things to do" article over ordinary local "grassroots" hot rodding pursuits -- to the extent that lifetime hot rodders who have attended but not raced at Bonneville or haven't done enough other "dream trip" things (like jet-setting to Goodwood, long hauling the Hot Rod Power Tour (tm), or driving a fueler) are categorically equated to Prius drivers (even in jest).

            The tendency for such "snobbery" is as old as humanity. It exists in nearly every human activity. The elites, whether scoring high on the expensive HRM "things to do" list or throwing billet at a six-figure street rod or "power parking" at the "Nats", always invent ways to differentiate and distinguish themselves from the "masses."

            In fact, much of what motivates "hot rodding" is an effort to distinguish oneself from the "unenlightened masses." Thus it shouldn't be a shock that further such distinctions within the hot rodding subculture regularly seem to occur.

            Because this is apparently inherent to human behavior, we should try to make the best of it and learn all we can from the elites. Perhaps we should take both Gingerelli's book and the "things to do" article in this same vein.

            In short, I just found the juxtaposition of these two forms of "snobbery" mildly ironic.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

              ok I think I am seeing your point a little more.

              over lunch I pulled out the 100 things to do article and, I can sorta see where you are coming from as I add up the cost of just the first few things on the list.

              But, knowing Brian as I do, I am quite sure that it wasn't his or his boss's intentions to come across that way. I think they could maybe have changed the title to "100 things that are great if you can do any of them" (you get what I mean).

              some of the things on that list don't cost anything too.. so I give them more credit than the guy in the above article for suggesting things that are within the reach of the "bucks down" crowd.

              www.realtuners.com - catch the RealTuners Radio Podcast on Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and anywhere else podcasts are distributed!

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              • #8
                Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

                Here I thought no one was reading the book reviews!

                The Hot Rod Story is a bucket list of things to shoot for, dream about, or plan to achieve. I've not done barely 1/5th of the things on that list and the 1/5th I have done fall into the poverty level of experiences. Driving a funny car is something a lot of guys have dreamed about and if you pinch pennies for a year or three you can enroll in the Frank Hawley school and do it. I will someday.

                The malaise that lots of people are living in right now is nothing more than withdrawl from instant gratification. NOTHING on that list is unachievable by an average guy with an average job if he skimps, scropunges, begs, borrows, and steals whatever he can for as long as it takes to do. Kind of like the guys who were running at Bonneville, San Berdoo, and the other lost hunting grounds of hot rodding's young years did. Want a set of Edelbrock heads for your flattie...work 5 jobs until you have enough money to buy them, not take a home equity line out.

                It was an exercise in dreaming and scheming. It was more than fun to put it together and if I could have done 200 items I would have.

                The only expense account I have ever had is overseen by my wife. I have slept in my truck, rental cars, the woods, and on the floors of places some people are afraid to walk to see and do most of the stuff I have done. That's why I treasure all the experiences. Hell, I essentially lived in the tower of a drag strip for two summers about 10 years ago. I used to sleep in the control room from Friday to Sunday.

                I honestly hope more people took it as a list they can pin on the shop wall and tick a few boxes off of than see it as a list of things only "elites" (Tell the Drag Week racers they are elites when they're lying in puddles of tranny fluid in some gas station parking lot trying to figure out how to get their junk to a strip 200 miles away when their trailer is 500 miles away) can do.

                My issue with the intro of the book was the tone used, which was completely 100% counter to the HRM story in the sense that it was essentially, "Ok guy, stick with us and we'll show you what you're doing wrong." It was not, "If you're building a rod and want to see what seems to work well for others, use these examples."

                Either way, I'm glad you're reading both stories and I certainly do not take offense to any criticism, it always helps to see things from more than one side, even if I don't agree with what you're seeing.

                Brian
                That which you manifest is before you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

                  Speedzzter,

                  Welcome to the club. I have to say, I am surprised and excited about the articulate nature of your post. I hope you have a great time hanging out with, and becoming one of, the car junkies here at BangShift.

                  As for the violation game, the book, or the 101 list, I know that Brian would never want the list to seem elitist, and the violation game is fun for kids of all ages. If you don't want to play, don't. As for the book, I haven't read it, but will.



                  "A cross thread is better than a lock washer." Earl Lanning...My Grandpa

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

                    My personal take on this is, Brian's article was a wish list. 101 of the coolest things you can do if you're into cars or the hobby. I didn't get the sense at all that if you didn't do x amount on the list you were a piece of crap. Hell, even with my modest means I've got 17.
                    I R Bob
                    You can't drink all day unless you start in the morning!
                    2007 LH, 2008 LH, 2009 LH, 2010 LH, 2011 LH, 2012 DNF/BLOW'D UP, 2013 LH, 2014 LH

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

                      Originally posted by BluLightning
                      My personal take on this is, Brian's article was a wish list. 101 of the coolest things you can do if you're into cars or the hobby. I didn't get the sense at all that if you didn't do x amount on the list you were a piece of crap. Hell, even with my modest means I've got 17.
                      Bob's said it well. It is a wish list for me too. Some of the odd stuff like ice races and demo derby I have done and will get to some of the others as my life and finances allow. I actually scored 12.
                      Hauling ass & sucking gas are the best uses for a truck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

                        I could be wrong.

                        Brian, of course, is right to the extent that many gearheads do sacrifice in other areas of their lives to buy that $3,500 garage lift or jet-trip to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix of Monaco. . . .

                        And its true that a little less than a quarter of the "things to do" didn't cost too much on the surface (excluding unintended consequences such as jail time, pregnancy, carnage, Shelby ruining your pet car name by using it on a cheesy V6 blingmobile, etc.)

                        Still, the vast majority of Hot Rod readers would be hard pressed to match Brian's 20 percent. They're the folks who sacrifice for their families year in and year out. They're the ones who scrimp and save for that new carburetor or set of tires, instead of taking off 10 days for the Power Tour (tm). They're the ones who fight to keep that tired bracket racer or muddy factory stock on the track, or that mild custom in the local show -- even when the "elites" take all the wins and grab most of the ink. They're the ones who wrench under shade trees and in small, drafty garages, not Garage Mahals. The closest they ever get to "Leno" is the tv remote.

                        Of course it was a creative and entertaining story, even if it did seem to describe Freiburger's minor "rock star" life better than the lives of ordinary, cash-strapped heartland hot rodders (Or even Mr. Lohnes).

                        "Dreaming and scheming" are fun. There probably wasn't one of the 600,000 or so who read the story in HRM who didn't do a little "what if" daydreaming. Besides, HRM sells a whole lot more on "dreams" than on reality (How many rodders are really going to weld up a tube-frame street buggy or snooze in puddles of transmission fluid during Drag Week (tm)? Less than one percent).

                        But it was a story that was elitist at its core (even if Brian is not). Perhaps at times a blue color/greasy t-shirt/self-help "elitism," but exclusivity nonetheless.

                        And there's nothing wrong with that. Elites lead because they can do what others only seem to dream about.

                        Thus the only real difference between Gingerelli's intro and the HRM "bucket list" story (other than topic) is apparently tone. Both are predicated upon enlightening the "masses." Gingerelli had the temerity to say "you're doing it wrong" whereas the "bucket list" story only implies this through silence (e.g. Darlington or Talledega aren't as good as Daytona because they didn't make the cut) and that infamous Prius joke.

                        I seem to be the only one who finds all of this ironic.

                        And much like I would appreciate honest feedback telling me "I'm doing it wrong" when building a car (in between mortgage payments and other family emergencies, of course), I appreciate the questioning of my linking Gingerelli's tome and the HRM "bucket list" stories together.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Book Review: Ideas Book Hot Rods by Dain Gingerelli

                          We need to hang out...I'm buying the first round.

                          Brian
                          That which you manifest is before you.

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