Age of Aquarius
I can’t figure out those folks at Rick Dore Kustoms. They have built some of the most beautiful custom cars around, centerpieces at any car show at which they appear, and yet someone (presumably an employee) has either a warped sense of humor or knows nothing about classic, 1930s French coachbuilt cars. First there was the Black Pearl (AKA “inspired by the 1948 Jaguar”). Where they got that God only knows. My personal theory is that some car magazine hack wandered into Dore’s shop, spied the gorgeous black fastback coupe and asked the first person he saw, “What is that?” Unfortunately, the first person he asked was leaning on a broom and (sensing his 15 seconds of recognition as a subject matter expert) replied, “Oh, that’s one of them, uh….1948 Jagwires.” And thus the myth was born. But worse was to come, courtesy of the August issue of your fine magazine. On page 43 (Keels & Wheels, Seabrooke, TX, May 6-7, 2017) you make reference to “1) Chairman’s Choice award went to the 1934 Packard Coach Built of Rick Dore.” Well, at least you got the builder’s name right. The car in question is known (on the show car circuit) as Aquarius and it (like the Black Pearl) is clearly inspired by a late ’30s, coachbuilt Delahaye. Nothing wrong with that. Dore picked a classic brand of automobiles with a known history of being dressed by some of France’s foremost coachbuilders. Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, he could not have done better, right down to crowning both of his creations with a dead on replica of the Delahaye grille. So why call them something they aren’t, thus depriving them of an association with a great heritage, which they only enhance? Copyright infringement? Fear of a pre-emptive strike by the French military? Yeah, right. Time to give Dore’s creations (and their obvious inspiration) their due.