By the time Gary Cole graduated from O'Dea High School in Seattle, he was already driving his third car. This Flathead-powered '41 Ford coupe was number two, traded for his '49 Olds during his junior year in 1959.
"I pulled the hood and threw on some porta-walls ('50s-era adhesive whitewalls)," he says. "A few spray cans of primer, some red for the firewall and rims, and I had one of the original rusto rods." He's not kidding about that; the floor was completely rusted and the whole car needed metalwork that was beyond his 16-year-old ability or budget. After one winter, he sold the '41 and bought a '49 Ford convertible that he completely rebuilt. As for the coupe, "A lot of guys probably played with it after that," he tells us. "Or maybe it ended up at a junk dealer."
After a lifetime working as a mechanic and bodyman, Gary has stopped working on customers' cars and is now back to building projects for himself. His '62 Pontiac and '52 Chevy, both mild customs, are about halfway done.
Gary's rust-bucket '41 may not have been around for long, but he's never forgotten it. This photo has been hanging on the wall of his shop for many years, and was only removed so we could show it to you.
Americruise Out Of TexasMore details are coming in for Rod & Custom's 2007 Americruise being held in Lincoln, Nebraska, from June 29 to July 1. Painless Performance Products has signed on to lead a tour out of Fort Worth, Texas. We're still planning the route and start date. There has been some discussion around the office about the West Coast tour, but nothing is nailed down just yet. However, some of the staff will most likely be leaving from SoCal and possibly heading north to take a different route than last year. An East Coast tour is also being kicked around, so don't feel left out just yet. Stay tuned right here or visit www.rodandcustommagazine.com for more details as they become available.
Three Goodguys Events AddedIn its ongoing effort to schedule a rod and custom event every single weekend of the year, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has announced three new shows for 2007. The season now starts on March 10-11 with the Orange County Get-Together at the Orange County Fair & Expo Center in Costa Mesa, California. This event is open to all years, makes, and models of American cars and trucks.
Rods, customs, classics, musclecars, and trucks through '72 are invited to the Napa Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 15-17, and marks Goodguys' return to the state of Georgia. A track cruise and NASCAR rides around the high-bank speedway are added bonuses for this show.
The Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, will host the Peak Chicagoland Nationals on September 21-23. This show is also open to cars and trucks through '72.
In addition to the show 'n' shine with plenty of awards, each of these new events will include the vendor exhibits, car corrals, cruising, swap meets, entertainment, and other activities that make Goodguys events so successful.
For more information about these or any of the 23 Goodguys events for 2007, go to www.good-guys.com.
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 email@example.com. We are unable to return any submitted material.