HOT RODS IN THE ROCKIES

Let’s go from old news to new news…about old-time stuff. You’re probably not going to read about it in the now-outmoded (so they keep telling me) print media, but if you’re a hot rodder tuned into the inter-waves, you’ve undoubtedly seen coverage of the recent Hot Rod Hill Climb in the picturesque old gold-mining town of Central City, Colorado, nestled in the Rocky Mountains about 30 miles west of Denver.

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

There’s plenty of good coverage on sites like the H.A.M.B., not to mention some great action video–as only the internet can offer–of these vintage rods blasting and squeeling up the paved 2-lane road winding out of town, further up into the Rockies.

But my good friend and former video partner, Robert Kittila, is also one of the best

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018
Robert’s roadster

photographers I know, who moved to the Denver area some years ago, and has been not only cajoling me to come out to attend this spectacle, but also has been emailing me excellent “snippet” photos to further whet my appetite. Robert, of course, is the one who built and owned that black-primered ’32 roadster with the 6-pot Chrysler Hemi seen being driven by young Bill across El Mirage in the opening of my one-time video.

Here’s the brief message Robert sent with this year’s small sample of photos: “Just got back from the Hill Climb. Another colorful and fun event. Flatheads everywhere, and Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018hardly a smallblock Chevy to be found. More old Fords coming out of the woodwork every year. Great rockabilly live music and food as well. You need to come to this event.”

As a matter of fact, that’s what I fully intend to do as soon as my Spalding Bros. repro project roadster gets done–or at least drivable. In the meantime, just enjoy some of Robert’s artful photography, and imagine the sounds, smells, and action of this unique hot rod event.

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

 

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018
Patina maxima

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018
A tavern for a sponsor, a horseshoe for good luck, and a rock for a parking brake.

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

This dash was of particular interest to Robert, since he voraciously collected early curved-glass, smooth-bezel, winged Stewart-Warner gauges, and of course had a dash full of them in his own roadster. Most of these are even earlier, pre-wings.

 

 

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

Yes, this is a real Oldsmobile engine, not just valve covers. The extra pistons keep big rocks out of the carbs.

 

 

Some of the participants had patina similar to the cars.

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

Yes, you can attend in your painted car, too.

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2018

So I’ll close with this, probably my favorite photo. It consists of a #metoo emergency kit for the passenger, the always-necessary bottle opener, nicer-than-you-might -expect upholstery, and some rather iffy welds of indeterminate origin.

See you there, hopefully soon.