Wisdom from Cars

Cars really can – and do – talk. One of the intricacies that fascinated me early on about specialty cars and their culture was the cool messages – sometimes funny, sometimes profound, sometimes revealing – lettered on them. Often these would be in the back as a final message to a vanquished foe, such as “Sayonara” or the terse “You Lose.” This seemed to develop into an artform with ornate lettering, colors, and designs, giving this genre an added dimension over more mundane media like t-shirts or personalized license plates. Some of my all-time favorites are: From Italian supercharged drag racing hero Jim Oddy, whose Indy winning BB/GS Opel GT was finished with a hand-lettered “Veni Vidi Vici.” Or the legendary Chi-Town Hustler

Funny Car. On the back, it said, “Hustle Town Chister,” just to show they didn’t take themselves too seriously. Austin Coil is a really funny guy, by the way. At the 2021 Maxmotive World of Wheels I discovered, to my delight, that this “artform” is still very much alive, and that it crosses over from race cars to customs, to tuners, and to all generations of builders with widely varying personalities.

So, let’s take a walk around the show floor and see what the cars are saying.

I’ll be on the lookout all season for these. If you have a favorite, and/or if your car conveys a special message to the world, please share it with us here!

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