The light box was one of my favorite parts about working at a The Rodder’s Journal. Even though I grew up with film photography, there was something special about digging up slides and studying them on that big, illuminated sheet of plastic. Lights off. Light box on. Monocle-like magnifier (also known as a loupe) in hand. With that, we had a direct ticket to another place and time.
Through the years, I’ve sifted through thousands of vintage photos. Each and every one of them tells a story. So what’s up with these images? The answer is a little more complex than you might think.
These shots are from the Danny Eichstedt collection, and they’re part of a much larger article that’s been in the works since 2018. I took these photos of photos on their light box four years ago. Today, I’d like to share them with you.
There’s a lot to take in. NieKamp in brown. The “Leg Show T” carving up the Streetkahana course in Memphis. Roadside repairs. Ron Week’s blown ’34 Tudor. Paul Braga’s Model A. Andy Brizio riding shotgun in a T-bucket. Minibike madness. The So-Cal Coupe in blue. And, my personal favorite, a group shot of the NieKamp roadster, Bud Bryan’s “Project ’29” and the “Highland Plating Special” on the same day as the legendary Street Rod Quarterly cover. Hearing Steve Coonan and Geoff Miles’ stories about these cars and brought each slide to life like never before.
This is just a small fraction of the collection. I can’t guarantee when you’ll be able to see more, but with any luck it’ll be in a future issue of the magazine. This is one of my favorite eras of hot rod history, and I think its best viewed in the most traditional way possible—on the light box.
Photos from the Danny Eichstedt collection. Look for more in TRJ very soon.