There’s A World-Famous Hot Rod & Car Museum In Oklahoma
Technically, it's called Darryl Starbird's Rod & Custom Car National Hall of Fame, but most people know it simply as Darryl Starbird's... I know it's a mouthful but it's the most unique collection of wildly modified cars you won't find anywhere else in the world.
Normally, most people get exposure to hot rods and true custom cars through the annual car show they used to host at the OKC fairgrounds. I remember always asking my pops to take me to see it when I was younger, then again asking my buddies to go when we were legal drivers.
Amazingly, nobody ever wanted to go because beatnik bubble-top cars weren't mini-trucks - AKA - the pre-Fast & Furious automotive fashion at the time.
Perhaps it was the generational gap between what Boomers and Millennials considered to be "custom" cars. Darryl Starbird's collection seems to parallel that of the wild beatnik side of car builders like Big Daddy Ed Roth and the hundreds of talents that were influenced by his incredible imagination for motorsports.
While they were show-stoppers in the 60s and 70s, those designs were seen as cliche and kitsch by the time we all came of age. Incredibly cool when we were ten, but it became the trendy thing to think they were lame by the time we hit sixteen. Typical stupid kid mentality.
Skip forward to today, I'm just now learning that Darryl Starbird has an actual museum filled with these cars in Northeast Oklahoma and it's open to the public during the warmer months of the year.
The Starbird crew still hosts their car show, it's in Tulsa this year, but it's also a percentage of the collection you could be seeing at the Rod & Custom Car National Hall of Fame.
If you can make a pilgrimage to the home of the wildest cars of yesteryear, it might be worth the risk of being trapped out that way.