It was the craziness, the extremes of hot rod design and form, and the fine art meets coach detailing meets signwriting/decorative/highlight elements that these two guys brought to the table that can't be underestimated, Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth and Kenny 'Von Dutch' Howard were the punks, the outlaws, in their respective fields . . . . they weren't just pushing the envelope, they were tearing the fucker to shreds in front of all the early elder statesmen and peers, and they didn't give a shit, it was their way or their way, no middle ground, accept no phonies . . . .
Precedents and parameters set then that still hold true today, just ask the current crop of genius builders and pinstriping/lettering maestros, they are still the fountainhead, the high priests of all we love and admire about this 'thing' that is bigger and better than all of us . . . . the essence, the magical invisible glue that binds 'us' and brings 'us' to a shared and mutually understood passion that you simply 'get' or will be forever lost on you . . . .