Flame jobs and sunburns.

We spent the holiday weekend at the local fairgrounds here in town mingling with the old car obsessed. The acronym NSRA suggests the show is limited to “street rods” but I decided to enter my massive old car anyway. While I suspect that a lot of mid-to-late 60s Impalas have been converted to lowriders, and the “street rod” crowd may not have a lot of interest in seeing one, I was proud of the fact that it was the only ’68 Impala inside the gates. If anything, it was at least a unique model among the more predictable ’32 & ’40 Fords and the 55, 56 & 57 Chevys. Enough about my car.

The thing about these shows that always gets me are the small details of each creation. While so many folks talk about carburetors, transmissions and posi track rear ends, I’m admiring whitewalls, hub cabs and paint jobs. I can appreciate what’s under the hood, but I’d rather take a picture of the hood itself shining in the afternoon sun. This probably makes me a real pussy among the tried and true, but so far no one’s blown my cover. I choose my conversations carefully and when things get mechanical, I nod my head politely and try not to say anything stupid.

All this brings me to the subject of flame jobs. A somewhat common sight in the world of hot rods, I’ve always admired the look of fake fire bursting from the front end of a badass machine. And when you really start paying attention, you’ll find they’re all unique. As a matter of fact, the range of different approaches to this paint scheme is incredible. I snapped a few pictures yesterday to illustrate my point. As the guy with the reddest neck in Springfield (literally), I feel like I know a thing or two about flames.


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