On Friday, we all flew into Denver, Colorado. Some of us had to dodge some nasty weather by taking the scenic route to avoid golf-ball hail and a top off of almost empty fuel tanks up in Cheyenne, Wyoming before headed south again for Denver. Safely on the ground, a rental car took us North an hour or so to the not so sleepy little city of Loveland.
Twenty years ago our bud Dave Crouse started a little hot rod shop in Loveland called Custom Auto and has built and restored many award-winning rides at his shop there. Last year he decided it was time to start doing some project for himself and passed on the thriving company to Mike Detwiler and its staff of incredible craftststalked them into having a car show in the center of town with the shop as the promoter. We’re glad to report that the first of what we hope as many more shows to come was a big success. Naturally, we took a few shots so let’s have a look.
First up is a shot of the Forge booth with men Josh Allison, Lance Baily, Fred Frank, Jason James, Dustin Nere, and Rex Rogers. A name change followed and now operates as the “Forge”.
Not too long ago Mike had the brainstorm of approaching the city fathers of Loveland and talked them into having a car show in the center of town with the shop as the promoter. We’re glad to report that the first of what we hope as many more shows to come was a big success. Naturally, we took a few shots so let’s have a look.
First up is a shot of the Forge booth with Josh, on the left, and Fred mugging for us (JMC_5459). Note on the right in the background the AHRF’s booth with founder Steve, Angie, and David waiting for a special guest that will be revealed in a few shots.
If you’re like me and tons of the show goers, the one ride that did it for us is a wicked looking yellow T-Racer see in our next shot (JMC_5455). Nestled between pinch in the rear T frame rails is a Model B banger that displays external copper tubing that tells us it has a pressure oiling system. It’s running a single updraft as of now but the two holes in the hood scream to us that it was once fitted with dual Windfields. What’s really cool in the back turtle deck is missing about six inches. The whole thing was slid forward and screwed to the body with flathead screws many moons ago. Also of interest is the steel rock deflector also screwed to the cowl. If you’re into details like we are the deflector was edged with a 1’8” rod and the edges rolled over it towards the front. Under the crazed paint till under the hood. Scott parked his ride under the AHRF tent.
We took a couple of laps around the show and snapped a few shots as usual. One ride that caught our eye was this chopped ‘34 5-window with a wild flame job and supercharge monster motor (JMC_5457). It had Squiggly painted on the doors and most likely refers to what happens to the rear end when the driver stomps on the loud pedal.
Across from our booth was Mike Nicholas and his Nick’s Garage booth. He’s the promoter of the Hot Rod Hill Climb that takes place in Georgetown, Colorado. He brought his recreation of the famous Chevy-6 powered Wayne T-33 Special seen in our next shot (JMC_5456). After re-discovering the original Hill Climb that was featured in the April ‘55 issue of Hot Rod he tracked down the original War engine and body from the car for the build. As luck would have it he also found the T-33’s original builder and driver in the form of one Cal Kennedy. Cal was at the show and we had a great chat. Mike told me that the Chevy in the caryne 12-Port headed engine and body from the car for the build. As luck would have it he also found the T-33’s original builder and driver in the form of one Cal Kennedy. Cal was at the show and we had a great chat. Mike told me that the Chevy in the car and rust was some excellent period craftsmanship. To the T’s left is Mike’s cool Deuce roadster that’s fitted with one of Henry’s V8 flat-motor.
Next up is the AHRF booth still being set up and some customers that have already handed over some greenbacks for some mugs and T-shirts (JMC_5458). They were members of the Crossthreaders Car Club. Not how cool their repurposed Champion Spark Plug logo looks.
About that surprise guest we mentioned. Scott McCann who owns the DeLuxe Speed Shop drove up from the Denver area with this relic from the past (JMC_5460) The car had sat unmolested in a warehouse in Denver for decades before Scott found it. After being rescued Scott discovered that the doors had been repainted and while returning them back to their original state discovered the numbers 570c. That’s when he realized that the Deuce had a Salt Flat history. Back in 1952 Debra Kay out of Arvada, Colorado had entered the ‘32 in Class C Non-fendered Roadster. It was powered by a 268” ‘41 Merc flattie that’s stt was dis-assembled looked over and put back together with all the original parts, including the cracked pistons. Between Mike and Cal, the thing runs like a champ. The fuel of choice these days is gas, but we bet Cal will be pushing for the 70% Nitro he uses to run in the old days.
So much for what we did over the weekend. Let’s continue with some shots we have acquired over the last few months. While cruising the pits at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals back on February 6, 2015, we spotted John Hale and his crew warming up their Jim Dunn Racing/Moon Equipment 2014 Dodge bodied Funnycar that was entered as the Alo Drink Charger (JMC_5417). They had just switched over to a load of Nitro and popped the thing into gear to make sure everything worked OK. It ran great and about two seconds after I shot the pix it was adios time and ran for some breathable air. In the first round of qualifying John was in the first pairing and ran a lap at 224.02 mph in 4.400 seconds to grab first but that didn’t last long, At the eut his wife in it with a vintage looking face mask while it was lit off and made great music for us spectators. Jack is leaning on the fin telling some lies to his buddies.
In our constant search for early hot rods we just ran across this 1934 shot courtesy of Chet Knox that shows Lawerence Welsh’s almost new 1930 Chevrolet Roadster decked out in race trim (CKC_1927). Lawerence was a member of the MPH Club of San Mateo as can be seen on his spare tire cover. When new, a stock 194″ OHV Chevy-6 powered roadster put out 50 hp and cost $495. By the looks of the dual intake manifold fitted with Winfields and the lack of fenders, we bet this puppy was a lot faster than stock and put out more than 50 ponies. Note the added friction shock added to the front dumb-irons.
We also found this close-up of the Chevy-6 in Lawerence Welsh’s Roadster. Note the fancy engine-turning on the valve cover and side plate that was most likely done with a hand drill, some lapping compound and possibly a cork (CKC_1934). We think it’s end of the round he was down in 13th and not qualified. In round two he screws up and runs 83.39 mph and drops to 16th in the 18 car field. At the end of round three, he’s sitting in 13th with a run at 195.34 mph in 4.193 seconds. In the first elimination round, he faced off with old boss Cruz Pedregon and ekes out a win when the Cruzer smokes it. In round 2 eliminations John loses to Matt Hagan as he red lights and causes Matt to do the same. Adios John Hale in his first drive for the team.
Let’s continue with one of the wildest looking slot-cars running in the Funny Car Class at the Winternationals (JMC_5414). It’s the Ford with Chevy stickers on it that was driven by Courtney Force. For power, it used a John Force Racing (JFR) 500’er and was sponsored by Traxxas Radio Control Cars. At the end of Round One qualifying our gal was solidly in ninth spot with a speed of 302.75 mph in 4.132 seconds. In round two she cut a slower lap at 293.35 mph in 4.097 seconds to stay in ninth. In Round Three, she zoomed iii into first spot with a speed of 322.65 mph in 3.995 seconds. In Round One of Eliminations, she faced off with Gary Densham and lead all the way after Gary smoked the tires. In Round Two of Eliminations, she faced off with Del Worsham. After beating him off the line by .001 seconds she lost traction and motored home at 87.42 mph in 7.289 seconds. She headed for the trailer and parked it.
In March, keeping with the drag race theme, it was off to Don Prieto’s Food and Gas Championship Party down in Torrance, California. All the usual Drag Racers were there and also some cool guests. Among them was Paul Gommi who brought this fantastic-looking retro-deuce for all to ogle over (JMC_4051). When you’re finished with it Paul, maybe you’d let me have it for a few years.
Our next shot shows a few of the “Cacklers” that showed up at the 2015 edition of Prieto’s party (JMC_5455). Our pal Jack Gillett has gotten the old Jack Chrisman driven Joe Mallard Sidewinder (center) back together and running for the event. Jack time for some Ray-Ban’s. Note that this shot shows the engine sporting only one Winfield carb.
Yes, they did race the roadsters. We see Art Armstrong’s modified ’23-’26 Chevrolet Superior Roadster having a little duel with the Welsh’s ’30 Chevy Roadster before it lost its windshield and headlights (CKC_1928). It looks like their dicing on a horse track so let’s hope they keep away from the guard rails. We tried to find some info on the RPM Club racing activities but have hit a dead end for now.
Last week we showed you some of the new Joe Henning Indy Car shots that we had just scanned. Mixed in with them were a bunch of other cool shots taken at different venues. By the early ’50s rodders were entrenched in almost every other form of motorsports and Joe had some taken at Torey Pines in the early ’50s. Our next shot shows what some rodders did to an MG to make it go a little faster (JHC_270). First off they got rid of the under-powered 4-banger plus fantastic shots of pre-war motorcycles doing their thing at hill-climbs. If you think today’s youngster get “Big Air” at the X-Games, wait till you get a load of the monster Harley’s and Indians in flight. We’ll try and have a few scanned for you by next week’s story.
Last week we showed you some of the new Joe Henning Indy Car shots that we had just scanned. Mixed in with them were a bunch of other cool shots taken at different venue’s. By the early ’50s rodders were entrenched in almost every other form of motorsports and Joe had some taken at Torey Pines in the early ’50s. Our next shot shows what some rodders did to an MG to make it go a little faster (JHC_270). First off they got rid of the underpowered 4-banger that was under the hood and put a Ford V8-60 in its place. And yes it was tweaked. They also put the car on a diet and dumped the steel fenders and hood and replaced them with aluminum. They also downsized the wheel diameter and made the wider for better traction. John Cramer owned the car which became famous and the dude behind the wheel is a “Tea Bagger” from Santa Monica by the name of Phil Hill.
As a side note, a bunch of these Bagger-types showed up at a Russetta Timing Association meet around ‘47 and ran through the clocks. Again the Hill guy was one of them.
Sorry folks, the hottest form of racing in Los Angeles (and across the country) right after WWII wasn’t at the lakes. The events took place at places like the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Rose Bowl and Gilmore Stadium between seasonal Football games. Our next image shows some hot-dogs dicing at the Los Angeles Coliseum back in 1946 (JHC_792). Up front, we have Dennis “Duke” Nalon in the number 76 Kurtis followed by Perry Grimm in the number 2 John Balch car followed by Sam Hanks in his own number 5. We think that’s Ed Haddad spinning. In the background, you can see the same steps and peristyles that first motorcycles and later trucks ran up and down and through when they race there decades ago.
Another side note you may find interesting, Sam Hanks and Ed Haddad both ran hot rods at Muroc in the early-mid ’30s.
Last up for today is young Sprint Car shoe Don Davis. He was tapped to do do the driving for Bob Philips’ J. H. “Eb” Rose Truck Line Special at Indy for the ’62 500. We see him in the car on pit row during practice. Don qualified in 12th starting spot and brought the car home in fourth. The black and rose colored number 27 car was built in ’59 by Lujie Lesovsky and qualified on the pole that year driven by Johnny Thompson. Rocky Philipp was the crew chief for the car’s 4-year runs at the speedway. John Posey (no relation to Sam) took the shot.
Next Weekend (June 13,14) is El Mirage time. It’s gonna be a two day meet since last month’s ent event was rained out. The weekend after that is the Fathers Day L.A. Roadster Show at Pomona so we’ll be on the prowl to get you some shots and new dirt.