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Bill Taylor's 2013 memories Hot rods and hot times

Our automotive writers look back on the year's highlights

  • Tattoo Rock

My year had two automotive highlights: one urban, one rural, and both hot-rodded to the max.

I was driving north on Highway 10 through Caledon when I came across what looked like a small cruise event – half a dozen rods, customs and muscle cars parked just off the road.

Instead, it was a speed and custom shop, Hot Night’s Hot Rods, run by long-time car-builder Doug O’Brien. As I wrote at the time, most places like this are on the backside of obscure strip malls. To find one on a well-traveled highway was a pleasure.

It remains so. I drive by regularly and there’s usually something tasty parked out front. Easy, too, to swing in for a closer look. I wish there were more places like this.

The fall days were getting shorter when a bunch of the wildest rods you can imagine came snorting and snarling along Queen West through the gathering dusk to pull up outside Tattoo Rock Parlour.

I was eating dinner at a bistro across the street and left my steak-frites to get cold while I went to shoot pictures.

It was the annual Dames and Dice rods and rockabilly night at Tattoo Rock, with almost as much action on the street as inside.

The really neat thing was that, as raucous and in-your-face as these cars are, everything was totally cool. No one was making noise just for the sake of it and, while not everyone was parked strictly legally, the couple of cops I saw were more interested in checking out the machinery than putting tickets on it.

And the people passing by all had smiles on their faces.

As someone once said, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Yes. Yes, we can.

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