Somehow, when you pick your favorite classic or hot rod at a car show, you want it to belong to a person who works nights sweeping sawdust off the floor and who built the car on his or her coffee breaks in a small garage using borrowed tools. In other words, you want the underdog to get recognition for a hidden talent. And that works sometimes. . . but not always.
Our favorite hot rod at the Milwaukee World of Wheels last Friday night was a custom 1940 Mercury coupe owned by Willie G. Davidson of Harley-Davidson fame. This car was customized like the ones you saw on the cover of Hot Rod in the ‘50s. It was done just right with its ground-hugging stance, huge fender skirts shielding the rear wheel openings and Cadillac “sombrero” hubaps.
We fell in love with the Merc and certainly other people at the show did, too. We don’t know if Davidson just ran out and bought the car, whether he paid someone to build it for him or whether he put the pieces together himself as a hobby endeavor. All we know is that it was a great car and you can’t take that away from him. We appreciated the opportunity to see it.
Although we made a “world-win” visit the first night only, the World of Wheels ran the whole weekend thru Sunday the 23rd. There was plenty to see with Batmobiles on special display for the kids and super stars from wrestling, Disney and American Pickers signing autographs. Airbrush artists were demo-ing their talents in the Pinstriping Legends area and the Ridler cars were spinning on turntables with mirrors below reflecting their flawless undercarriages.
The things that really make the Milwaukee World of Wheels different are the many racing cars, the boys from Wisconsin Hot Rod Radio, the Losers (think shiny) and Cheaters (think old school) hot rod clubs, the motorcycle show that the Badger Heritage Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club puts on and those tasty Wisconsin brats that warm your insides when you come in from the cold.