Ray and George Bowers joined the Philadelphia Modifiers Street Rod Club shortly after the club was formed in 1955. The Bowers Boys were well known at eastern Pennsylvania dragstrips. Their rear-engine '34 coupe got them banned from the eighth-mile track in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, in 1958 because it was too radical. George (on the left in the black and white photo) and Ray (on the right) had better luck with this Fiat-bodied dragster, which ran a 346ci Olds with a crank-driven blower, and had rear slicks stuffed inside the body. The Twistmobile still holds the record for the defunct Altered C Class (10.56/155.6), set in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1961. The brothers retired from drag racing, but are still hot rodders and very active members of the Modifiers to this day. Ray's current ride is a 350-powered '50 Ford convertible he built from scratch. George drives a chopped '40 Chevy, built by Ray.
Thanks to Modifiers member Tom Hover for sending us these pictures and the info on the Bowers Boys.
Mail your vintage photos of you and your hot rod, along with a brief story, to Tim Bernsau, Rod & Custom, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870, or e-mail them (3x5 inches at 300 dpi) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are unable to return any submitted material.
Way To Go, Kid!It covered 14 states and spanned two weeks, and when the 2006 Great Race was over, driver Dave Reeder and navigator Sawyer Stone were the winners. Not only did this grandfather/grandson team-competing in a 1916 Hudson-win the $100,000 top prize, but 13-year-old Sawyer became the youngest Grand Champion in the 98-year history of this world-class rally race. The Great Race will celebrate its centennial in 2008 with a 35,000km, New York to Paris "Great Race World," with a prize purse worth $1.5 million. The Reeder & Stone team is already making plans to compete in that event. By then, Sawyer will be almost old enough for a driver's license.
A Cool MillVintage treasures are still out there. Brian Benzing from SO-CAL Arizona sent us a notice about a cool engine that ended up in their shop. This Ardun converted Flathead was found neglected in an old trailer park not far from the Phoenix-area store. Rumor has it that this old Flattie-with homebuilt headers, and twin magnetos, and the remains of the original intake-has been asleep since the '50s, when it powered an old circle track or drag car. It went on display in the SO-CAL showroom, where it got more attention than a Martian baby or a crying statue, and is now part of a private collection in Wisconsin. Will it ever haul a race car again? Hope so.
Hot Rod Heroes Build For CharityWhen 10 of the best-known hot rod builders start working on a project, you figure it's got to be something big. Turns out, it's something small. Chip Foose, Bobby Alloway, Roy Brizio, Boyd Coddington, Pete Chapouris, Jesse Greening, Steve Moal, Rolling Bones, Thom Taylor, and Troy Trepanier are creating custom pedal cars to raise money for charity. The Hot Rod Heroes charity pedal car program is part of the Ford Motor Company's celebration of the 75th anniversary of the '32 Ford. Each builder will customize a miniature, stamped-steel, pedal-powered version of a Deuce, donated by Warehouse 36. The finished cars will be displayed all over the country during the coming year. At the end of 2007, the 10 custom cars will be auctioned, with proceeds split between the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and charities chosen by the builders. Look for these 10 tiny '32s when they show up in your area.
Chip In to Help Out ChipFor years, automotive designer Chip Foose has been very active in the battle against progeria, a childhood disease that speeds up the aging process, giving children the phyical characteristics of elderly men and women. There is no cure and most children with this disease don't live beyond their early teens. Amy Foose, Chip's sister, died from progeria disease in 1985 at the age of 16. The Foose family recently helped establish a new chapter of The Progeria Research Foundation, dedicated to raising funds and finding a cure. You can help by participating in car shows supporting this cause (such as the recent Year One Braselton Bash car show in Georgia) or by visiting www. progeriaresearch.org on the Internet and making a donation.
Read All About It"Deuce: 75 Years of the '32 Ford"
In case you hadn't heard, the '32 Ford will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2007. As part of the party, CarTech has published a 192-page tribute to the car that has become a hot rodding icon.
Automotive writer and photographer Robert Genat is the author of "Deuce: 75 Years of the '32 Ford," and has filled those pages with a thorough history of the Deuce. Genat goes way back to how these amazing cars first came to be designed, developed, and manufactured by the Ford Motor Company, and proceeds with the ongoing story of how they have continued to be designed and built by an uncountable number of hot rodders and racers from the earliest days until today. The book concludes with a look into the future (raise your hand if you're building one right now).
After the initial chapters on history, Genat divides the book up by body styles, with separate chapters on open cars, coupes, and sedans and commercial vehicles. He also dedicates a separate chapter to the history and development of the groundbreaking Ford V-8 engine, which shares its anniversary with the Deuce. The text is illustrated with more than 300 photographs of some of the most beautiful and significant Deuces ever built, including some amazing old photos from the Ford archives.
Get your copy of "Deuce: 75 Years of the '32 Ford" for $39.95 at any decent bookstore or Internet bookseller or fresh from CarTech. Call (800) 551-4754 or go to www.cartechbooks.com.