Autorama Cleanout: First Love, a Trepanier Masterpiece

Sometimes, on this great journey through life, you witness something so truly breathtaking, so utterly, impossibly perfect, pure and good, it shifts the paradigm of your perception. It is deceptively easy to go right by the "First Love" exhibit in front of Detroit's Cobo hall. A passing glance will reveal nothing out of the ordinary, as slick show cars go. Look closer and you'll bear witness to high-dollar rodding nirvana. Simply put, this is, by a wide margin, the finest example of no-holds-barred custom fabrication work this Jalop has ever seen. Ever.

The details on this '36 Ford are so fine and numerous, the quality of the build so high, the execution so flawless that I cannot imagine a better example of the art. While his contemporaries are going with full chrome inboard Jag E-type suspensions, Troy and his team are giving us inboard drums and hidden discs. While the competition throws out candied colors, he goes for subtle, almost factory finishes that catch the eye like the Mona Lisa. They go with big chrome wheels, he's sporting custom-machined and painted wide fives, with a tasteful throwback hubcap. Even the hubs to match the wheels are works of art. The underbody of this car is better than most of its contemporaries' coachwork; nary a bolt, rivet, or pin is visible. The mesh below the hood has cutouts that match the car's heart shaped logo. Nothing has been overlooked, nothing is flawed. I, and many others, stood mouths agape at the craftsmanship of this car. Bravo sir, bravo.

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