In 1947 Blackie built a 1926 Ford Roadster he took to the lakes. The car was hit broadside and nearly took Blackie’s life. Like a true hot rodder, he rebuilt it.
Growing up on a grape farm in Fresno, CA, the only real source of entertainment was street racing. Blackie and his friends could be found most nights on the back roads of the farm country. A tragic accident involving three of his friends was a wakeup call that stopped that activity.
Instead, Blackie started building cars for shows. In 1949 he won “best of Show” at Gene Winfield’s Modesto show. That same year he went to the Grand National Roadster Show in Oakland and began what was to become an almost religious obligation to go to every major hot rod show in the country. He also set about building and collecting some of the world’s most well known customs such as the Shishkabob Special which won the 1955 AMBR title in Oakland. In 1958 Blackie opened his own show in Fresno called the Autorama, a show that is still going strong today.
While Blackie’s reputation as a Kustom man precedes him, he has also been a champion NASCAR driver, dirt track champion as well as owner of Fresno’s Raisin City Drag strip. Not to mention promoter at Clovis speedway for over 20 years and Madera Speedway.
There is very little Blackie has not done or seen in the hot rod world. As a young generation of hot rodders, or Rat Rodders, carry the torch and traditions of the past, they look for good reason to one man as their source of inspiration: Blackie Gejeian.
Blackie Gejeian passed away September 2, 2016