It felt like a fresh start—an all-new show on the same weekend that wrenching season officially opened. It was the beginning of daylight saving time in California, and we were at the Goodguys’ first Del Mar Nationals. The show brimmed with cars we’d never seen in our farther-north lingerings, and there were some novel ideas that got us thinking.

Many rodders have been looking at slightly newer cars for building fodder, and our advertisers tell us that early-’60s cars are the next big venue for the peddling of parts. Springing forward past a stifling ’48-and-older cutoff, Goodguys often welcomes cars as new as ’72. Not only that, but our trade organization—the Street Rod Manufacturers Association—has recently changed the bylaws to include companies that specialize in cars through ’72. The definition of street rod hasn’t changed, but the age of acceptable coolness is becoming younger.

Taking the hint, we prowled the Del Mar show with the cameras set on the ’60s, hoping to get your take on the newer cars. We’re not talking about resto musclecars or ’64 409 Impalas with a set of Cragars, but about early-’60s American iron with a true Rod & Custom treatment. Here are 10 examples of what we mean. What do you think? Is this the next level, or is it a waste of space in R&C? Tell us your opinion by e-mailing rodcustom@emapusa.com or calling the voice-mail line at 323/782-2156. You can also write to Rod & Custom , 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.

Check out the sidebars below to see what we discovered.