By: Mr. Slide
Snacks are the most important part of a tailgate. You can have the best spot; you can have the coolest set up (with a tent), and you can even be rooting for the best team — however the snacks will always be the most important item.
That said, it’s fall, and football is in full swing for both the NFL and the NCAA. It is officially tailgate time. The team over here at The Powerslide recently got together for a game and set up shop for a parking lot party. The day was filled with lawn games, music, good friends, and a devastating blowout loss for our favorite FCS Division 1 Double A football team. It was a wonderful day for our first tailgate. However, it could have gone a lot better.
As first-time-tailgate-hosts Mr. Power and I made several mistakes. We ignored our wise parking lot party mentors’ advice that tailgates revolve around the food. Instead of whipping up some wings and nachos, the first thing Mr. Power and I did to prepare was hit the garage. We needed the perfect vehicle to serve as the nucleus for our tailgate.
“Tailgate (n.) a gate at the rear of a vehicle; can be lowered for loading. Synonyms: station waggon. wagon. station wagon. estate car. beach wagon. truck. tailboard. beach waggon. motortruck. gate. wagon.”
Obviously, tailgates are synonymous with pick-up trucks. They’re American, they’re big, they’re loud, and they’re fun. We thought of all this…and immediately threw it out. Pick-ups are over done at tailgates, too often they become the center of attention simply because people can sit in the bed and jump around. At a tailgate you need a car that attracts attention because it deserves it, not just because it’s there and is big.
SUV’s are also great parking lot party warriors. The trunks can hold a lot of snacks and the retractable gates allow people to sit and lean. Further, many of today’s models have killer speaker systems in the boot — allowing you to bump your tunes. Unfortunately utility vehicles are just too common at these gatherings. No matter how amazing your Jaguar F-Pace is or how beautiful it looks, folks are always going to gloss over SUVs. At a tailgate you need a car to set the tone.
After much deliberation we finally agreed that a customized camper or a jacked up 18-wheeler/monster truck would be great for a tailgate. These vehicles have loads of space and definitely signify a serious tailgate. The problem was we had only rented one parking space…At a tailgate you need a car that can fit in the designated parking spot.
Finally, after days of profound thought, Mr. Power and I agreed upon the best car for a tailgate: a 1948 Ford Super Deluxe Woody Wagon. We believed that its wood paneling, wood grained dash, dark green pain job, whilewall tires, and drop down tailgate would be perfect. Under the hood the wagon has a flathead V-8 that pairs with a 3-speed manual transmission. It represented fun and marginal practicality while effectively setting the tone for the party.
Pack the old woody full of lawn games and other fun tailgate accessories and you’re ready to go. People won’t jump on it, but they will come up to it. So, if you do end up deciding to bring a Super Deluxe Woody Wagon to a tailgate, make sure you have plenty of snacks to share.