America, Fuck Yeah! 2009 Syracuse Nationals
As far as car shows go, this weekend's Syracuse Nationals offer a distinctly different experience from June's Victor outing. For one thing, it genuinely is huge, with six thousand-plus cars (in non-numerical terms: more than one can realistically see in a day) arrayed upon the sprawling New York State Fairgrounds. For another, this is a hot rod show. Which means, one, you won't find a lotta furrin' autos here (I counted one exceptionally maintained P1800ES and two horrifyingly modded '70s Rollers on display and that was it), and two, you will find a whole lot of really, really, really bad taste.
The way it plays out, in fact, is that for every lovingly preserved example of American awesomeness on view you will find roughly one corresponding example of utterly worthless and contemptible automotive ineptitude that should've been carted off to the crusher decades ago. And for every tasteful and appealing application of contemporary technology and aesthetics to an older vehicle, you will find roughly two such applications so misguided and grotesque that you instinctively start looking around for the nearest bucket (yes, those are Prowler headlights; yes, on a '38 Chevy; no, God will not answer your cries of why? why?!?).
Contemporary custom coachbuilt Packard inspired by a period illustration the guy described to me in detail of a Packard streamliner racing a "Lionel standard gauge train" (I think he might have meant something else). Proportions a little stubby from the side, but interesting and well-executed.
Mammoth Buick seemed even bigger and more terrifying riding on massive blackwall tires; an absolute behemoth.
Most persuasive argument in defense of the screaming chicken I've ever seen.
Hey look! Another Amphicar! Er, scratch that ... AMPFICar. Kinda makes that Quattroporte look like a sweet deal.
Jury prize winner, Car Most Likely to Be Driven by Someone Who Will Rape You category. Actually this was my friend Herman's best in show: he plans to buy it and restore it to mechanical perfection while leaving the exterior untouched. Clearly the only thing to do here.
More ridiculously inappropriate wire wheels. Why do people do this?
Guy was asking $2200 for this straight six Suburban, claimed to be "mechanically 100%" (no indication whether that includes the canoe). How is this not sold in five minutes?
Seventies Olds Starfire. Astonishing that even one of these still exists, let alone in this kind of condition.
Conventional wisdom has it that the new Challenger "corrects" the original car's design flaws, that its proportions, overhangs, and overall stance are objectively superior to those of its predecessor. I call bullshit on this, and while I'm not crazy about the actual choice of wheels here or the particular paint treatment, this otherwise artfully presented example of the latter makes my case pretty forcefully I think.
"As always, some of the coolest cars on view were to be found in the parking lot." What?