I got into SEMA 2019 with Toyo Tires and felt that towing the car to Vegas would inherently put the car at risk, so before heading out I asked Jens Lucking to photograph it. While the Ruffian was nearly complete, it had never been road tested. I grabbed a fire extinguisher and we headed out on a Saturday morning.
People ask what it's like driving a car you built for the first time. They assume it must be the best feeling in the world. For me, it's pretty terrifying and largely overwhelming! I hand-assembled hundreds of components, tightened thousands of screws and bolts. Every part in the car is new. I'm listening for weird sounds, watching the temps, sniffing for hot antifreeze or burning oil. There are so many opportunities for something to go wrong. It takes time and miles to build trust in a fresh build.
To my surprise, we put 43 miles on the car with no drama and lots of beautiful pictures to commemorate the maiden voyage.