(from the book) The year was 1978 and I was sitting in the back booth of the Pizza Hut in Mulvane, Kansas, splitting a deep pan with my good friend, Darryl Starbird. Our friendship was close, and I had always respected his opinion on just about anything to do with the automobile, and especially the "kustom" vehicle. Not only is Darryl a champ at building kustom creations, he is also one of the top auto show producers in the U.S. For some 21 years I had been in the shadow of this high-energy, often unbelievable, man helping him build cars and produce car shows-a schooling that isn't available in any six-month course or college anywhere. I had cruised with him on the high roads, and crashed with him on the low shoulders. Believe me, auto show producing is not for the weak or conservative. But my interest was up, boosted by a recent writeup on `49-'51 Mercs, and front cover spread of a chopped `51 Mercury, by Street Rodder magazine, which at the time was predominantly a "pre-'48" street rod magazine. Someone shared an interest I felt I might be the"