Back when I was in art school, I'd go to various museums and art galleries for one reason: inspiration.

One of the hobby's oldest arguments that I've had the pleasure to engage centers around "pro-built" hot rods/customs. The issue that many continue to have is with their place in the magazine—moreover, their place versus more "homegrown/real-world" cars. And just as the argument still carries on, so too does my stand: pro-built, homebuilt, you name it—if it's a cool car, it belongs.

In regards to the high-dollar builds that always seem to stir the pot, my stand has never wavered on that, either. To me, it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you or I could ever afford to have the likes of Brizio, Johnson, or Chapouris construct a car, let alone own one they put their hands on. Simply put, it's all about inspiration; ideas that you and I can take and incorporate into our "real-world" hot rods and customs.

Back when I was in art school, I'd go to various museums and art galleries for one reason: inspiration. That inspiration was a pure learning experience. Today, I read magazines and historical books for the very same reasons: inspiration and learning. Just as I always knew I'd never own any of the Picassos I admired so much then, I know now I'll never own a six-figure-plus AMBR-caliber roadster or Barris-survivor kustom. But I can take bits and pieces from those that other, more fortunate folks are able to own, have built, or restored.

To me, R&C is a paperback museum/gallery for hot rods and customs... with additional wings built in for technical advice, parts reference, and outdoor activities!