As far as we know all Hallock...
As far as we know all Hallock windshield frame copies trace their DNA to the one on Johnny Bean's roadster. It began life in 1936 as either Dick Stuelke's or, more likely, John Collins' frame. World's Fair license plates date the photo to 1939.
Though as few as three of the original examples may have been cast, the boat-type windshield frame that Duke Hallock created for the early Model A roadster endures as probably one of the most recognizable shapes in early hot rod history. Only not that many people know the story behind it. Editor Fortier asked if I could change that.
In one sense I stumbled into an easy gig: Pat Ganahl already researched the history and wrote his account in the November 1990 issue of Rod & Custom. But what makes the job easy also makes it really challenging: Ganahl made it pretty hard to come up with new information.
But the leads started bearing fruit. The late Dick Courtney took it upon himself to document Hallock's windshields. In fact Ganahl referenced a great deal of his information, specifically his correspondence with Duke's younger brother, Jud. Then we got a real gem: Courtney's list of people who owned the windshields that Duke Hallock produced.
We can't vouch for its total accuracy but this list sure sets the records straighter. Considering this downsized format we can't tell the full account here, however, we will in an upcoming issue of the full-sized publication. For now, though, we'll explain how dozens of frames exist from the three originally cast.
Though Bean's engine sported...
Though Bean's engine sported a plank head it still had two Winfield SR carburetors on a homemade log manifold, an adapted ignition, and a split exhaust manifold.
Casting a Star
From what we know Duke cast one frame for himself in 1931 and two more in 1936. We know where at least one of the 1936 batch is. And here's the especially juicy part: as far as we know all copies can trace their origins to that particular frame.
Only which frame of the two is the question. Both Courtney and Ganahl noted they were made for Johnny Collins and Dick Stuelke. Earlier our pal Bernie Couch speculated that the frame on his pal Johnny Bean's car came from that 1936 batch, not from a batch Ed Adams cast later as Ganahl had it. Courtney's list removed all doubt: according to it, Bean bought his car from Stuelke.
We were willing to believe that Bean's windshield started as one of the two cast in 1936 but we're just not sure it started as Stuelke's. On the 11th hour-literally the day before publishing-we found his son, Rich. He confirmed that his dad raced a roadster that bore a unique windshield. He also mentioned that his dad graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1941. Here's the thing: Santa Barbaran Bob Joehnck told me that he built a car before the war with parts from a car that belonged to a college student. If that student was Stuelke-and odds are it was-his frame couldn't have belonged to Bean. We know where that car was during that time frame.
The '33 Olds dash, steering...
The '33 Olds dash, steering wheel, and pedal pads in Bean's car were particularly distinctive even for the times. Unfortunately the dash went missing as Richard Campos shuttled the car from shop to shop. The custom side panels indicate that this was a very nice, finished car.
According to Bernie Couch,...
According to Bernie Couch, the kid sitting on the wheel is John Bean. Couch says Bean was a speed merchant in his own right and was known to throw a sheet over whatever he was working on whenever guests stopped by.
The two exhaust pipes merge...
The two exhaust pipes merge into a muffler at the back of the car. It's a '39 license plate under the factory taillight and a Knight Riders Club plaque under the passenger. The wheels appear to be Model 40.
Instead Bean's car-at least its windshield-likely belonged to John Collins. Whatever the case, 1939 plates on Bean's car prove that his windshield existed before the war, and given the times it's unlikely anyone but Hallock made it.
This photo is a gem. It was...
This photo is a gem. It was taken May 7, 1933, on the hallowed Muroc dry lake. From what we know that's Duke Hallock at the door and Jud in the seat. Their 110-mph speed may seem modest but consider that the engine originally made 40 hp. The car appears to have '32 wheels.
From there the history of Bean's car is smooth sailing. In fact it still exists, although you couldn't tell by looking at it. In a story he wrote about the car in the Oct. '99 STREET RODDER
, present R&C
editor Rob Fortier (who at the time had his '29 A-V8 with a repop Hallock, courtesy of Rob Miller), noted that Bean left the car with his brother, Bud, when his draft papers came in. The accounts from there vary a bit; according to the car's current owner, Richard Campos, Bud sold the car to Jack Tobin in 1942.
It was during Tobin's ownership that the legend that Duke Hallock cast the windshields at Fullerton Union High School took flight. The story is partly true. Courtney, who corresponded with Jud and compiled the lists, cast his own frame at Fullerton High using Tobin's as a pattern. His classmate Frank Currie-as in Currie Enterprises-helped. "We made that windshield in 1946," Currie remembers. "We broke up Liberty engines and took the brass out of the bearings. They're probably worth a fortune now," he laments.