From upstate New York to Bonneville to an august concours show field in Britain

Ever heard of the Rolling Bones? If not, I’m pleased to make the introduction, and to state clearly that we’re talking about a car club here, not the similiar-sounding rock band that’s also firmly rooted in antiquity. The Rolling Bones is a hot rod club founded outside Saratoga Springs, New York, a definitely un-hot rod kind of place, given that snow’s on the ground for about half the year. The Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop, to use the group’s formal name, was founded by Ken Schmidt and Keith Cornell, two guys who revere the hot rod in its most traditional state: As a serious chopped, no-nonsense “gow job,” that’s only just legal enough for street use. From building ultra-traditionalist rods between the Hudson River and the Adirondacks, they’ve branched out to become a full-on rodding revival that’s performed everwhere from the Bonneville Salt Flats to the esteemed outings of The Race of Gentlemen, which is how I got acquainted with the outfit at Hemmings Motor News. People have been seriously paying attention to what the Bones are all about, and not just in upstate New York.

This image by the hot rod artist Peter Vincent shows some of the Rolling Bones fleet in its most apropos setting. The scenery is about to change radically, as the Rolling Bones are getting a star turn at Salon Prive, one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious automotive gatherings, its concours being held September 1st through 5th at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, best known as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. How come? Because a Rolling Bones creation, any of them, is widely accepted as automotive art, given that these guys accept nothing less than minimalist full-race hot rods as the anointed Real Deal. The Rolling Bones are expected to make a proper entrance, rip-snorting their rods along the estate’s lanes en route to the show field. As a former upstate resident, who really appreciated the Bones ripping the hard-packed sand at TROG in Wildwood, New Jersey, this is ultra-rich. Well done, brothers.

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