This month our choice for the spotlight was a no-brainer. After all, how often do you get to raise a toast and wish a Happy 101 to a fellow hot rodder? Yes, it is true. Our hero, friend, and platinum-level hot rod pioneer, Ed “Isky” Iskenderian (sometimes known as the “Camfather”), turned 101 on the 10th of July.
Although much has been written and much is known about Ed, we want to make a point of outing him as one of the most dedicated keepers of hot rod history. Having Ed as one of our very first AHRF Advisory Board members has proven to be as much fun as it is invaluable. He is simply priceless. Of course, the fact that he, himself, is walking history is plenty. But, Ed is one of our favorite go-to’s for answering questions having to do with the “early days.” His incredible memory never lets us down , and any historic image or name that we send across his desk always has us pulling up a whole lot more in our net than we bargained for. One of our favorite little bonuses that we always seem to get from Ed is when we ask him if he remembers someone , and he lights up and not only begins reporting on the person but will oftentimes mention the person’s address at that time … along with what their parents did for a living. No joke! His ability to store away this kind of data and report it back with great excitement is one of our favorite things about the Camfather and should be a lesson to us all. At 101 years of age, he continues to be just as curious as he has always been , and we believe this to be his secret. He is curious about everything; mechanical creations, racing of all types, the never-ending development of the internal combustion engine, etc. etc. But, what he’s most curious about is other people. Who are they? How do they spell their name? What is their nationality? Where are they from? What do they do? He asks these questions and nods with great anticipation while waiting for the answers. He loves to learn and to learn about anyone he meets. Is this not the secret to a long and energized life? We sure think so.
Well, if you ask him, he’ll say that it’s really about “having as much hot sauce and spicy food as possible,” but we will go out on a limb and say that it’s probably a combination!
We wish our friend and hot rod hero the greatest of birthday months , and we see no reason not to believe that he’ll outlast every last one of us. After all, there is still so much to learn and discover … and with plenty of hot sauce on the side.
Happy Birthday, Ed Iskenderian!
If you’d like to learn more about Ed, you can also check out his story in our Gallery of Pioneers & Legends: https://ahrf.com/ed-iskenderian/