Yesterday's Young GunsTom Faddis of Los Angeles was 17 years old in 1947, the year he and a friend built this '30 Ford roadster, dropped onto Deuce rails and powered by a '40 Mercury full-race flathead engine. This photo was taken in 1951, after Tom had just returned from boot camp. He says that after being out of the states for two years, he lost interest in the Model A and sold it. The new owner had the car for about six months when it was stolen, never to be seen again. "Now at the age of 74," he writes, "I often remember the good time we had building it, racing it, and cruising with other hot rodders."
If you've got photos of you and your hot rod from the '40s, '50s, or '60s, mail them, along with a brief story, to: Yesterday's Young Guns, ROD & CUSTOM, 2400 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806, or E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Digital images must be jpegs, 300 dpi at 5 inches wide. Please include your address and phone number.
Two Cool New MagsIn the last few years, new hot rod magazines have been popping up like pimples on prom night. We read 'em all and were really impressed by a couple of great new "little-pages" quarterly mags that recently landed on our desk.
Kustoms Illustrated is dedicated exclusively to traditional '40s-, '50s-, and early-'60s-style customs. The first issue is packed with a bunch of beautiful sleds as well as custom event coverage. Editor Luke Karosi says the featured cars will range from mild to wild and may include some modern mechanical components, but he promises to keep it all about traditional-style kemps. Go to the Web site at www.kustomsillustrated.com for the whole story.
Dice, published out of London by Matt Davis and R&C contributor Dean Micetich, has a broader content, covering an equal mix of vintage motorcycles, hot rods, and customs-but all strictly traditional stuff. As Dean put it, "Hot Rods, Kustoms, Gassers, Bobbers, Choppers...etc. No 'dodgey' cars with 'dodgey' paint jobs...you know what I mean?!" Just in case you don't, check out www.dicemagazine.com and see for yourself.
And if we hear about anybody buying these magazines instead of R&C, we're gonna be ticked!
Goodguys Goes for EleganceJohn D'Agostino's '41 Packard was the winner of the Custom d'Elegance award at the Goodguys All-American Get-Together in Pleasanton, California, in March. You saw the original concept drawing in Roddin' Around back in the April issue and a photo of the finished car in our Grand National Roadster Show coverage in July. The Packard, nicknamed Gable, was built by Oz Welch at Oz's Kustoms and is the third one of D'Agostino's custom to win Goodguys' coveted Cd'E award. Good job John.
One week later in Del Mar, California, Caryn Burch was presented with the Goodguys Street Rod d'Elegance trophy for her beautiful '37 Ford coupe. The coupe, which won the Rod category at the GNRS this year, was designed by Chris Ito and Chip Foose and built by Alan Johnson of Johnson's Hot Rod Shop. It features a 502ci Chevy big-block. Unlike other Goodguys awards, there is no prerequisite that Street Rod d'Elegance winners be driven, but Caryn, from Parker, Texas, says she got into street rods in order have fun and drive.
It's Heritage Hot Rods NowAfter more than 18 years of manufacturing high-end fiberglass street rods, Heritage A&F has changed its name to Heritage Hot Rods, LLC. Previous owners David and Vicki Gossett sold the company at the beginning of the year in order to devote more time to creating complete show-competitive vehicles. The Gossetts' new company, Davviki, Ltd. will continue to work closely with Heritage Hot Rods creating classic car body and chassis assemblies, 1/4-scale gas and electric cars known as "Ride-Ons", a line of adult-size Go-Kart bodies, and custom automotive furniture. Look for Heritage Hot Rods and Davviki at major shows this season, or visit them on the Web at www.heritagehotrods.com and www.davviki.com.
MSD Ignition, founded by in 1970 by Jack Priegel and a group of engineers from White Sands, New Mexico, Missile Range, has grown into the largest aftermarket performance ignition manufacturer in the country, and one of the most recognized brands in motorsports. In April, MSD and its parent company, Autotronic Controls Corporation, was acquired by Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm. However, don't worry about the bean counters making crazy changes; MSD says, "Day-to-day operations will continue with the dependable service and support that our customers demand.
Hang on everybody! Our Internet speedster is flipping outta control. Vintage drag race photos. Sky. Cool hot rod movies. Sky. Awesome artwork. Sky..
Old Time Drag Pix
Commercial photographer John Durand has dedicated a portion of his Web site to several galleries of drag racing photos from the early- and mid-'60s, including plenty of Don Garlits in various front-engined versions of the Swamp Rat. These black-and-white images (printed from the original negatives) are available for sale. The site also includes John's links to about 300 automotive and motorsport Web sites.
Top 10 Rod Flicks
Everybody has his own opinion about the best hot rod movie ever. If it's got cool cars, delinquent teen hoodlums, and fast-living party girls, we'll rent it. This page from The Astounding B Monster site ("the world's coolest cult movie chronicle") lists titles and descriptions of somebody's idea of the 10 best movies in this genre, along with 19 honorable mentions, including the number one, all-time best hot rod flick. Guess what it is.
Featured Artist: Chris Froggett
We thought of Chris Froggett's exaggerated airbrush and brush style as traditional '50s with a 21st century edge. He calls it "low brow surrealism alongside historical accuracy." Whatever you call it-it's just awesome. Subjects cover all corners of the traditional rod hobby: lakesters, early drag cars, customs, and "practically every mechanical device known to rumble, buzz, splash, or flutter across this rock." Chris, who has been a rooder his whole life, does commission work and sells prints and limited-edition lithos on this Web site.
William B. O'Rourke, Jr.
"I was 10 years old and I found myself chasing a channeled '32 roadster down a gravel road in Boulder, Colorado, pedaling my bike as hard as I could. I never did catch it but have been in hot pursuit of '32s ever since." Bill O'Rourke provided that self-description in the April issue of R&C. On the cover that month was Bill behind the wheel of his red Deuce highboy. On April 28, Bill passed away at home in Elgin, Illinois, at the age of 64.
Bill was best known in the hot rodding hobby as the owner of The Roadster Shop, which specializes in chassis and suspension components and other performance parts. His interest in hot rods began as a child, when an uncle gave him a copy of the first issue of Hot Rod Magazine. By the time he was old enough to drive, Bill had already built several rods.
In the early '60s, Bill moved from Boulder to Elgin to begin a career in banking. After one successful career, he began a second, based on his life-long "hot pursuit" of hot rods. In 20 years, The Roadster Shop, which will continue to do business, has grown from a garage shop into a three-building operation, attracting rodders from all over the country. They came again on Sunday, May 2, to participate in a memorial rod run and to pay tribute to one of this hobby's greatest enthusiasts.
Famed rod builder Howdy Ledbetter, who won the Builder of the Year prize in Oakland in 1992, has turned his skills to re-creating a couple of favorite cruising spots from the heyday of hot rodding. His pre-fabbed '50s-style diner and nostalgic gas station kits are created to fit into a garage, rec room, or outdoor area.
The diner (16x8 feet) and gas station (12x8 with a 9-foot awning) both feature 7 1/2-foot ceilings (plenty tall enough to stand under) and are constructed from 22-gauge galvanized steel. Videotaped assembly instructions are included with every kit. Howdy also offers optional accessories, such as pumps for the gas station and counters and stools for the diner, plus signs, bottles, cans, coolers. See more at www.hotrodhowdy.com or call Howdy at (510) 657-6683.