When I was working on Hot Rod Model Kits, I wanted a cover photo that had that kind of Southern California vibe that you saw in Hot Rod and Rod & Custom in the '60s. A lot of those photos were taken by Andy Southard. One of the things I noticed was that some of the photos had this kind of golden tinge to them. A friend of mine told that was probably caused by smog, but I still liked it.
I took a lot of photos for possible cover shots, most of which were rejected for being the wrong shape or something. The photo on the back cover was originally one of those that was "too horizontal." The idea behind the photo was of a bunch of hot rods parked in front of a drive-in or diner. We had a local diner at the time that fit the bill. A friend of mine had done some model photos in the past where he set up the models across the street from a building and took the photo on a small table. The distance made the photo look like the car was actually sitting right in front of the building. So I decided to try that.
Across the street from the diner was a bank that had a small lawn on the diner side. I checked with the bank to explain what I was doing and they were cool with it.
So just at sunrise a few days later, I set up a card table and a piece of concrete wall-board on the lawn and waited for the right light. While I was waiting, a couple of local police officers cruised by and watched. One of them parked in front of the diner, so I went over, explained what I was doing, and asked if he could move. Then I invited them over to see what the camera was seeing. That was fun.
Anyway, that's how I got the photo. MBI decided that the photo would work for that back cover, and that's the story.