Letters Issue 4

Dear SM,
Wasn’t the Buster Lang hot rod show pretty good? My wife and I had a great day out, and not only were we lucky enough to meet and chat to Welderup’s Steve Darnell and Justin Kramer, we bumped into you, too! My wife Anna wondered what was going on when I shouted “Oi… Dave, alright!”  It was good to meet you! Steve and Justin were great too, very down to earth. I built a model hot rod and presented it to Steve, he seemed quite chuffed! Anyway, must go before someone catches me (I’m currently at work) and I have to say, great mag. Good to see it back, even better with you at the helm…
Andy ‘stonechip’ Grady

It was good to meet you both too, Andy, and that’s a top model… though I wonder what Customs had to say about it?! – DS

Dear SM,
With reference to issue #2, page 101, I just thought I would send you another couple of snaps of Steve’s Fordson in yet more different colours. They’re not perfect pictures but still a good bit of history. The all-red flameless pic is internet sourced and from the NASC Nats at Knebworth in 1982; the black pictures are from the NASC Nats in Essex in ’92 and are Steve Bundy’s, cheers Steve. The question is, how many rods can you think of that have been more colours than Steve’s and still survive? Rubellion would certainly be a close contender…
Mark Blows, CDSRC Historian

Dear SM,
What a great re-launch of one of my all-time favourite mags. I bought the first issue the first time around and just carried on buying it pretty much until the last. I thought it was great then and your ‘version 2’ is certainly on the money – a good mix of articles and very much something for everyone who can reasonably claim to be a living, breathing petrol-head.

So, assuming that there would indeed be a second issue and excited by the thought of it being on the shelves from July 27th, I returned from the Silverstone Classic and bounded (ok, maybe not quite bounded) into my local newsagent here in Faversham, Kent. Nothing! Other outlets in town? Same thing. Supermarkets? Not a sausage. OK. Try WH Smith in Canterbury, then. It’s where I spotted and leapt upon issue #1, so surely they will satisfy my yearning? Nope. It’s a big, student city, surely someone will stock it, won’t they? Well, not so far. I’m guessing there may be a newsagent somewhere in the city that does stock it, but I haven’t found it yet.

How can I put this? Help! On a serious note, I can’t see how a title can be a roaring success in the already crowded ‘special interest’ automotive magazine sector if an entire town doesn’t seem to know of its existence. I reckon that’s a crying shame.
Ian Farmer

Ah, welcome to the arcane and esoteric world of magazine publishing, wholesale and distribution! It’s the old Catch 22 situation – retailers don’t want to take a gamble on a ‘new’ magazine, but how is the ‘new’ magazine going to be a roaring sales success if no retailers stock it? You should certainly be able to find it in WH Smiths, and any newsagent can order it in for you if you ask, though they may ask you to pre-pay. You won’t find it in any supermarkets yet, although, ironically, you should be perfectly well catered-for in terms of sausages.

However, stay tuned, we may have an announcement to make about supermarkets very soon. In the meantime, you could go on our website (www.street-machine.co.uk) and use the store locator – just type in your postcode, remembering to leave the space in the middle, and it’ll show you your nearest stockist. The best way around it is to subscribe – you get it through your door, no searching, you save money and get a free T-shirt! See page 106. DS, SM

Dear SM,
First off, absolutely brilliant to see Street Machine back, I have already read the first issue from back to front – great reading. Now to Jon Hill’s write up about whether we should open the doors to all modified cars (Scene & Heard, issue #2 – SM). I think we need to be very careful about this as once they are open we would find it hard to close them again.

A local pub by us tried to get a custom/rod event going on a Thursday night; unfortunately, it had to be stopped because of young (and I am going to say it) boy racers tearing around the car park so I feel that these young lads need to get that nonsense – and most of us have done it at some time or another – out of their system before we should allow them to partake in custom/rod shows.
However, saying that, there is an elitism going on and I have spoken about this many times at car shows with different opinions being thrown at me. This subject, of course, is “Pre-1949”. We all know that back in the day, long, long ago, this is where it all started but times have moved on and I think we should start to encompass a wider field than we have at the moment. Let’s face it – and this is what really rubs people up – how many supposed hot rods out there are truly pre-1949? Admit it most of them are ‘glass bodies, and I have nothing against ‘glass bodies (Amen, no rust issues) but don’t call them what they ain’t. Trouble is, the pre-49ers always come back with the excuse of “it’s a pre-49 body style.”

My own outlook on this – and I must admit that this idea is shared among a lot of people I have talked to at different shows over the years – is let’s put a cut-off period at probably 1975 or 1977. The cost of these older cars these days would probably exclude the boy racers and keep the scene the way we have always enjoyed it. What I am saying is no pre-49 or rod or custom, just a new genre of people enjoying driving, showing and racing their cars.
Patrick Matthews

Funny you should mention fibreglass bodies, Pat – Jon’s talking about that very subject on page 18 this month! As for the cut-off date, I think this is an argument you could have until any number of cows come home and never settle on a correct answer. I’ve gone further into the subject in the editorial on page 13. DS, SM