by Eric Kavanagh & Robin Bloor

The legendary Johnny Cash once sang of assembling a first-class automobile one piece at a time. He fantasized about working at General Motors, incrementally sneaking away the nuts and bolts to create a masterpiece of machinery. In true country-rock form, he immortalized the concept of building the perfect beast, all while cleverly circumventing rules of the road.

Oh, the best-laid plans! Somewhere along the way, life threw a few wrenches into the works. The transmission dated its motor by two decades, creating an impedance mismatch of epic proportions. The bolt holes disappeared at some point, requiring a loose coupling of critical components. Even the headlight architecture changed, altering visibility in fundamental ways.

Complicating matters further, to quote the Cash man himself: “The back end looked kinda funny too,” apparently referencing the mainframe that still holds an image of the original fishtail design. Of course, in the fairytale land of song, everything worked out just fine: the wife came out, saw the car, and said, “Honey, take me for a spin.”