Freaks make life more fun.
One of the most enjoyable things for me about the car scene is watching those people that are truly on the edge, pushing the envelope, thinking outside the ball...you know, the folks that are really "different". On the upper end of the scale it might be the extreme sportsmen, the ones that push to break records and do what no man has done before. Land speed record racers, the crazy on the edge drivers like Ken Block who has carefully crafted the skill of driving on the edge of a razor blade with wheels spinning in a cloud of smoke. In the car building sector there are the extreme builders that create rolling works of art and incredible customs that battle for the top awards. It is always inspiring to see the barriers constantly pushed, there is nothing man cant accomplish if they focus hard enough and devote 110%.
The majority of the people in the scene drive in the middle of the road and quest to fulfill their own personal dream. Building that 911 Porsche, or hot rod Mustang that in the collective of automotive existence blends in with the landscape is totally fine. The "popular" path is popular for a reason...these cars are all awesome. For myself though, I tend to hug the road closer to the edge and occasionally drive off of it a little bit in search of a different experience.
I love seeing people that push their own personal barriers and despite the struggles of lack of skill or finances, manage to do build something that has never been done. In many cases it seems folks question if these things "should" be done in the first place, but in my eyes, I think it is all awesome. If you have a vision in your mind and the drive to make it a reality, I enjoy seeing the results...even if it is horrible.
Back when I was promoting and running the VW Freak Show at the big VW Classic event in California, I was always on the lookout for freaky VW's to rope in and be a part of the event. I came across an ad for a Beetle online that said nothing of it being "special", just "64 VW For Sale" with a number and a price, but the photos depicted something quite different.
I first suggested that the seller bring the car down for the event, but after a few moments it was obvious that he wanted nothing to do with that. He simply wanted to sell the car, had no information on who built it or why, he just wanted it gone. Im sure you can see where this is leading, I ended up making a deal with him and the crazy creation made its way down to the "lab" for analysis and of course to attend that year's event. The more we looked, the more we saw and the less that any of it made sense. Mod ofter mod after mod...in fact we named it "Maude" for lack of any better explanation. The crazy thing about it is that I don't think any of it was done with a welder, just cutting and screwing, pop rivets and copious amounts of filler. It seemed to be holding together fairly well and it drove nice, and it certainly got a fair bit of attention...most of it in the form of puzzled looks. To this day I still have no clue who built it or why and I don't recall where it ended up after we were finished playing with it, but I will never forget her...she was someone's attempt at pushing the envelope...and I applaud and appreciate that.