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Bench Build - Photo Phluff

June 2014

In the magazine business, we can use photography to make a car look brighter, cleaner, and better than it actually is. I'm not saying we do it all the time, and I'm not suggesting the cars aren't worthy of magazine attention. Sometimes a car with a good reason for being in the magazine will have a flaw or two that can be overlooked because the story is there—it's fast, it's inventive, it's creative. In short, the car has life. We can fluff a car like that to get the average guy interested.

Once in a while, I find myself in front of a car that has big-time energy. It goes beyond having life, to almost being alive. It gathers people and talks. And in turn, people take a little piece of that energy for themselves to share. This is something way beyond a trophy car; it's something everyone has to see. Those cars are rare.

Because the object transcends any individual or shop, I know there is no way a photo of the car captures the light it projects, or hope to capture the energy ribbon passing through the machine and connecting all the car guys. The camera simply captures reflections of light, a copy of the source. Look at it like a cover band: it can recreate, but it cannot capture what it is that makes the original song great. Heard a really good Led Zeppelin or Tom Petty cover? Not going to happen.

When we bought home the Demon project car, I knew that once it was on the ground, wheels in place, it was going to be impossible to shoot a photo for this column that would get you as amped as it did each and every guy who walked into the shop that day. We got it low, put as many parts on the car as we could, and just stared. Soon it had other guys sitting and staring, pacing and staring, drinking beer and staring. Everyone had their favorite angle, and it held them there. My personal angle was the play between the freak dots, the blues and the gold from the deep rims in the rear. I soaked it in.

It is this energy and vision that feeds the building frenzy, makes us stay up all night for weeks to get the car together, warm up the spender and order everything off Summit Racing at red-label prices, and stop at nothing to get the car together and making noise while cursing the snow, the rain, dinnertime, and any obligations that serve to wash away the focus driving you like the whip of the devil himself. It's contagious.

In the end, I am convinced we are doing good. All of the people involved in building a car are creating an object that makes people smile, makes the dog bark and wag, and makes little kids laugh and girls giggle. Project cars represent all that is good and fun in life.

Try to remember that when yours is leaking oil.

- Douglas R. Glad


CarCraft@CarCraft.com
www.Facebook.com/douglas.r.glad
www.Facebook.com/carcraftmag

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El Segundo, CA 90245

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