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Neil Emory's Valley Custom Shop was a block from Lockheed. One day during lunch, Lynn walked in and asked if he could take some photos of the cars in the shop. After hearing Lynn's background, Emory hired him to do freelance design work. Dean Batchelor at So-Cal was involved with a little magazine called Hop Up (R&C was a spinoff of Hop Up) and hired Lynn to do layouts and drawings.

Around this time, Doane Spencer started selling parts of his roadster to help pay for a house. Lynn feared that the parted-out roadster would quickly disappear, and bought the body, frame, cowl-mounted Schroeder steering, top, modified firewall, and grille shell for $300, the cost of drapes for Spencer's house.

In 1956, R&C's editor Spencer Murray hired Lynn as an art director, allowing him to continue his freelance writing under the pen name Parker Hunt. Lynn hadn't a clue as to what his new job entailed. When Murray left on a three-month car-show tour, Lynn worked all night long every night. "Murray would send photos back," remembers Lynn. "I'd do the layouts and write the captions. I was virtually doing the whole magazine!"

After a general manager at Petersen Publishing learned Lynn was doing double duty and noticed that sales had increased under his direction, Lynn became R&C's second editor.Lynn left his editor position at Rod & Custom in 1961. "I was told to clear out my desk. I replied, 'I can't...I own the desk!'" He was quickly hired back as managing editor for R&C's sister mag, Car Craft. From there, he transferred to Petersen's book division, where he helped create CarToons magazine. Lynn left Petersen in 1964.

Letting Go
In 1968, Lynn, in the middle of a divorce, parted with the Spencer roadster. Neal East, a fellow R&C staff member, took possession of it. "I couldn't bring myself to sell the car," says Lynn. "I could stay involved with the car if I made it a gift-with stipulations. It must stay all black, all Ford, and Neal could never sell or trade it," Lynn explains. "Neal did not get a basket-case, as has been reported numerous times."

East sold the car to collector Bruce Meyer in 1995, around the time of Spencer's death. Lynn's attitude is that "There are those of us who have been custodians of the car. I never thought that it was my car; it was Doane Spencer's. It's in another custodian's hands now." Meyer, who restored the car and drives it regularly, recognizes his custodial role. "Doane would've approved," smiles Lynn.

Looking Back
The little pages of the original Hop Up and R&C were easy to sneak into a classroom. Some of us would have flunked otherwise. We took an interest in reading from those magazines. We learned math by calculating rearend gearing and compression ratios. We learned skills and trades from how-to articles. Hot rodders may have been considered ruffians, but Lynn and his counterparts quietly cultivated us. We may have been looked at with suspicion, but over the years, with the guidance of pioneering editors like Lynn, the wariness turned into respect.