It's strange that while hot rodding has grown from a backyard hobby involving a handful of young speed demons into a $25 billion a year industry with its own lobby in Washington, there is still a sense of community in which everyone seems to know each other. If a person has been involved in the scene for many years, and if he's been driving an easily recognizable car the whole time, he can slowly become a sort of quasi celebrity, similar to Norm on the Cheers television show, who was always met with a chorus of greetings as he walked through the door. John Good is just such a person. Originally born and raised in Ohio, John relocated to the Golden State a few decades ago and has been enjoying year-round cruising weather in some sort of hot rod or another ever since.
While he has owned a bevy of different, interesting rides, from Model A Tudors to fat-fendered convertibles and sleek Corvette Stingrays, the two cars John is known best for are his '48 Ford Explorer, which was hand-built based on a concept illustration he saw right here in the pages of R&C, and his old standby, the orange '29 roadster you see pictured before you. Graced with perfect proportions and classic early-'60s style, this A-V8 has been in vogue since the day it was built over 20 yeas ago. The Goodguys have named it a Righteous Roadster a number of times, and luminaries such as Wally Parks and Tom Medley have stopped to admire the car and reminisce about their own similar rides from decades past. The roadster is truly a testament to good taste, which never goes out of style.
Based on an early fiberglass '29 roadster body mated to a highly modified OEM '32 frame, this car was originally built by a fellow named Garth Bowie in Phoenix, Arizona. Considering the fact that it was built in the earliest years of aftermarket fiberglass body development, this body is quite a nice piece, featuring a stock steel cowl, fuel tank, and dash. Bill Knight did the paint and striping, and the bright orange lacquer still stands out in a crowd. The roadster was eventually sold, and three or four owners later, it ended up in John's hands in 1986. Starting from the front and working his way towards the tail, he began the slow process of going through his ride one system at a time, rebuilding things as they needed it, including the front suspension, motor, interior, wiring, etc.
Although the mechanicals have been periodically freshened up over the years, the basic car has remained the same, a rolling testament to original street rod style. Somewhere along the line John managed to pick up a set of Kelsey Hayes bent-spoke wire wheels and stock '29 Ford headlights, which he swaps onto the car once a year or so just for a different look. Other than that the little A-V8 has remained the same for over 30 years, and it is still driven thousands of miles annually hitting all the big shows out West. Has John ever gotten tired of driving the same old roadster year after year? Not hardly. In fact, he's not planning on changing a thing, because as long as he's behind the wheel of this classic little cruiser, everybody knows his name.