Tom Medley, creator of the "Stroker McGurk" cartoon character that appeared in Hot Rod magazine in the 1950s, once joked he would have liked to own a flamed '40 Coupe.

But this isn't what he had in mind.

In mid-October, Medley suffered a hot rodder's most feared nightmare - a fire that destroyed nearly all the contents of his garage - tools, welders, sewing machines, car parts, memorabilia, etc.

Medley escaped injury but his beloved 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe wasn't so lucky. It was heavily damaged, a near total loss. In response, Medley's friends and family have joined together to rebuild the car and get the 91-year-old hot rod legend behind the wheel again.

News of Medley's misfortune quickly spread through the hot rod community, triggering an outpouring of support that has been remarkable. Currently, the car is being rebuilt by car-builder Randy Clark and his talented staff at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff in Escondido, Calif.

Considering the resources required to complete the project, help is needed. For those hot rodders interested in helping Stroker rebuild his '40, a fund has been established to donate additional support. Regardless of the amount, everyone who pitches in will receive a gift from Medley himself.

Interested in helping? If so, please visit one of two websites, www.vintageair.com/medley.asp, or www.hotrodscustomstuff.com. A click on the DONATE button will lead to PayPal, where a debit or credit card can be used to pledge support. Being a PayPal member is NOT required. Checks can also be sent to the The Stroker McGurk 40 Ford Trust, 2710 Vista Crest Road, Orange, CA 92867.

If you are not familiar with Medley's involvement in the sport of hot rodding, see the January 2011 issue of Rod & Custom (http://tinyurl.com/6uohbtf). A photo essay in The Rodder's Journal, Issue 7, also detailed Medley's career with Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazines.

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