Lynn acquired this roadster from Doane Spencer in 1956 for $300, saving it from being part
In Rod & Custom's 50-year span, only nine motor-oil-for-blood fanatics have sat behind the editor's desk. As the second, Lynn Wineland had few traditions to work from, but Lynn, an artist, a writer, and a rodder, had all the makings for the job.
Lynn got involved in rodding as a youngster living in Long Beach, California, during the late '30s. A teenaged family friend, five years older than Lynn, raced his '32 Ford roadster at the dry lakes, and Lynn and his dad, an auto mechanic for Shell Oil Company, got involved in running the roadster at Muroc.
Lynn was a teenager when he acquired his first car, a '29 roadster. His dad made him strip it completely apart and rebuild it. Money was hard to come by, and Lynn's only sources of income were sneaking dimes from his lunch money and his paper route. When he found a cracked Winfield head for five bucks, his dad welded it. Lynn couldn't afford popular '39 Ford taillights, so he used clearance marker lights from junked Shell Oil trucks, which were free.
In February 1945, 17-year-old Lynn enlisted in the Air Corps and passed all the tests for pilot/bombardier/navigator training. Three days after graduating from high school, he sold his roadster and reported for duty. Lynn was qualified for pilot training, but the war had ended and the schools had closed, so he ended up in Aircraft and Engine Mechanic School.
This is Lynn's first hot rod in the California oil fields in 1946. The teardrop taillights
Lynn eventually attended a school for jet-fighter mechanics, and ended up as crewchief on the FP-80 photo chase plane at Muroc Flight Test Center, arriving in time to hear the boom as Chuck Yeager broke the sonic barrier in 1947. Lynn, a capable artist, designed an emblem to commemorate the achievement. He was also involved with the YB Flying Wing project. After co-pilot Glenn Edwards was killed when the experimental plane crashed, Muroc was renamed Edwards Air Force Base in his honor.
At Muroc, Lynn kept in touch with friends from his dry lakes racing days and met Alex Xydias and Dean Batchelor at So-Cal Speed Shop. At the first Hot Rod Show at the L.A. Armory in 1948, he met Doane Spencer, who became a lifelong friend. He was totally taken by Spencer's black roadster. "I went to the show every day and kept going back to that roadster," says Lynn. "It was different from anything else!" Lynn began work on a roadster of his own-a unique one-door Deuce with a speedboat windshield resembling the DuVall on Doane's '32. Spencer and Lynn would cross paths again at the '51 Indianapolis Hot Rod Show, where they were both showing their roadsters. "Doane parked his roadster right next to mine," Lynn recalls. "Little did I realize that someday I'd own that car."
A chance meeting at the '51 Indianapolis Hot Rod Show started an enduring friendship betwe
While stationed in Ohio, Lynn started looking under the hoods of local rods, usually finding stock engines. He began to sell So-Cal speed equipment to Midwest rodders, who called him "that damned hood-lifter." In 1948, he and his friends started a club called Hoodlifters. When the club sponsored a reliability run in 1950, Lynn wrote an article about the event for Hot Rod magazine.
After leaving the service, Lynn graduated from the Dayton Art Institute and worked for six months in the styling department at Ford Motor Company in Detroit. He continued to submit freelance stories to automotive magazines in California. His stories for Motor Trend announced Ford styling trends without revealing specifics.
One day, Lynn looked out his studio window at his '32 five-window coupe sitting in the snow-covered parking lot and covered with salt from a passing 10-wheeler. This is not the place for a California boy, he thought. He resigned, got in the coupe with his wife and six-month-old daughter, and headed to California, where he attended Art Center in Los Angeles.
Doane Spencer, now a neighbor, helped Lynn get a job as a flight line mechanic for Flying Tigers. After a week on the job, he felt that his training and experience were wasted working on piston engines. He walked across the runway to Lockheed and was hired to work on a top-secret 1950 spy-plane project called U-2.
Lynn went to Bonneville with his '34 three-window coupe in 1951 and ran 117 mph. The engin
Lynn created a brochure for his friend Duffy Livingstone, who was manufacturing "little ca
Lynn wrote a series of articles titled "Fit a Feathered Ford to your Forty Freighter," on
Lynn liked sleepers. He was doing creative work for Shelby in 1963 when this "Cobra in Ran
Lynn thought up mini-bike as a name for the pocket-cycle. R&C held its first Tiny Bear Run
Lynn never missed a chance to lift a hood to see what was hot-thus he and his friends beca
Bruce Meyers (not Bruce Meyer the collector) designed his innovative Manx for off-road dri
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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.
Shadow of the Devil, Lynn's historical-fiction action-adventure novel, is a tale only a ho
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.
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.