Thom Metz 1933 Ford Cabriolet

THOM METZ 1933 FORD

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Thom Metz has created a 1933 Ford Cabriolet Hot Rod influenced by it original Hot Rod heritage and inspired by Custom legend Harry Westergard.

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“It was always the intent to preserve the hot rod as it was originally built…”

Just like reading a novel of a different time and wanting to recreate it, Thom Metz’s middle school friends brother worked for a magazine printing company & had access to a free newsstand… Rod & Custom had him hooked, but to everyone in his area a hot rod was a 57 Chevy and mild customs were being restored to their factory glory… Thom’s true quest was a chopped 32-34 Ford like the ones in R&C… but good ones had been used for parts and restorable ones were being built into Resto Rods…

When Thom finally found the 33 Cabriolet in 1973, that was rust free but hacked up beyond easily going back to stock he couldn’t afford it… After parts were sold off, he was finally able to trade his finished 51 Ford for it… He could envision his new Purple Metalflake Rod racing across the pages of Henry Gregor Felton’s novels in black primer and It didn’t matter if no one else understood – the car would go back to the way it had originally been built.

A Cabriolet was a want-a-be roadster in the late forties/fifties… to save embarrassment of a baby carriage top plus weight- the previous owner had discarded the windows and capped and leaded the doors & tossed the top… Repro & original assembly were way out of my price range… So Thom bought a 33/34 Sedan for $50 just to be able to create a new removable top from it…  Thom melted out all the lead that had been used to make the body look more like a roadster. During the stripped the body Thom found out that the car had been purple metalflake and it was painted red, yellow, blue, & black (they didn’t strip the jams)… Plus it had a black roll & pleat interior with padded dash.

Just two of the many sections cut from the 33 Sedan top that would end up creating the Harry Westergard inspired removable hard-top.

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Clamping and tack welding all the parts together and shaping it till the effect was what was needed for the Westergard Style top.

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When the parts were roughly fitted, shaped and cut to fit for the top the paint was removed for final welding.

When Thom removed all the chassis components he noticed that whole frame was twisted, the torque side was three inches higher than the other side. To fix this problem he located stock ’33 cross members and a stock rear end, ’39 toploader with Zephyr gears. These parts were taken to Bill’s Rod & Custom and combined with reproduction Worthington rails on their jig.

The channeling of the body had been done rather crude back in the day, so when the chassis came back the raised floor was cut out completely and the body was positioned over the frame centering the rear wheel wells to the rear tires. Thom had acquired a NOS painted ’33 Ford grille, that had been chrome plated, for a case of beer. And when the frame was away he had found a stock hood, with hood sides. All this was lined up with the body to make sure the new position of the channeled body would fit perfectly, the hood cleared the frame rails and the whole unit had the proper rake

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The front of the Sedan top was heavily reshaped to fit with the new Hard-Top.

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When the cowl position was set and marked a sub-frame was created to support the body. Then a new 12 gauge floor was created and welded in place. While doing this Thom found out why the vertical ’32 Ford grille with no hood (which this Hot Rod originally was) were so popular on channelled ’33/’34 Fords. To be able to use the angled 33 Ford grille, radiator and hood Thom learned that the engine needed to move back 2 inches. Which meant that the torque tube had to be shortened, and that he needed to make new motor and transmission mounts. Originally the car was set up for a flathead but no one had a good Hot Rod motor or wanted to help a kid build one at the time, so an early ‘57 Corvette motor complete with 9 fin valve covers (mold repair changed all covers after April of 57 to 7 fin) filled the bill… The Headman tri-Y headers dump into a van side-pipe mufflers (cone over the front and dump at the rear so it appears as open header pipes…)

The initial build was done by 78 but Thom and his friends who had helped him out, lacked the talent to do the custom metalwork required for the rest of Thom’s plans… After not finding anyone up to the challenge by the mid 80’s, Thom decided to trade or sell the project and just move on… The first person to look at the For Sale project was Harold Duffey… when I showed him the sedan roof I had found during the hunt for ’33 Ford parts, he stated he always wanted to do a Westergard Style removable hardtop… So the project started its second phase..

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Metal top is all welded and ready to be fine tuned. The top of the door line, above the belt-line was slightly angled forward to match the new forward rake of the B-pillar of the Hard-Top.

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Ohio’s fender law/ enforcement led to 55 gallon drums being re-purposed as rear fenders when the car was originally built. Thom kept them on the car. The deck lid originally had 49 Ford hinges when Thom acquired the car, they were retained.

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Taking the project outdoor for an overall look, and see if all the proportions were as intended… Yes.

Harold was influential to maintaining early custom touches, he added the sunken license plate, filled the cowl vent, shortened & flipped the 36 commercial rear bumper, redid the quarter panel lines, and adding a 2” lip to the firewall to allow it to be inset back further in the cowl to clear the motor setback while appearing stock-ish. The Sedan roof was cut up to create the base for the new Westergard style Hard Top. In the mock up stage it became evident that to create more attractive Coupe proportions the windshield would have to be chopped to be able to create side window openings that had similar proportions as the framed frames on a Coupe.

1.5 inches were removed with the windshield posts, and the rear portion of the sedan top was cut down until it fitted the windshield perfect. The sedan reveal and contour of the rear side window opening remained, but were laid forward to create a more elegant feel. The rear window of the Sedan was also used, but was chopped and narrowed to more of the ’32 Ford proportions. With an additional thirty pieces of metal and four 57 Bird latches – Thom now had rain protection.

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Something that isn’t apparent when looking at the car – firewall is inset 2” into the cowl to utilize stock hood… early channeled cars (like Thom’s) typically ran a ’32 vertical shell.

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Mocking up parts including the recessed cowl that had already been painted Washington Blue before the rest of the body was. NOS painted 33 grill that was chromed for a case of beer was considerably cheaper than a rusty ’34!

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Unfortunately, Harold’s health deteriorated and he could not continue to help out on the project. Thom then got the helping hand of Frank Borowicz who ended up hand-forming the lower hood support to frame panels. One item on Thom’s bucket list was having the ’33 in LARS… well the no primer requirement forced him into actually painting the car to meet the criteria for the show. Thom chose a beautiful Washington Blue for the paint, a color that suited the car perfect and gave the car a even more classic appearance.

The 1×2” sub frame is insulated sandwiched between floor and louvered lower panels… Thom also mentioned that the car is pretty roomy inside – Thom is 6’ and he can stretch out his legs… plus the black leather vintage style upholstered seat can be lowered..

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Comparing the finished chopped and narrowed rear window opening with the stock ’33-34 Ford rear window.

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The aftermarket “Hot Rod” headlights were introduced in 58 and didn’t sell well because junkyard one were a lot cheaper… they are smaller than Guide’s and production units. The hood sides were modified and part hand made by Frank Borowicz.

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Attention to detail and fit-finish is immaculate.

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During the course of the build Thom stopped by Butch Tucker’s shop in AZ many times. He kept mentioning that he wanted a “Von Dutch” stripe job when his ’33 was done… He thought it was a simple request since he had Dutch’s original flying eyeball sign in his shop- he must know his work… Thom mentioned it to someone and told me that was an insult to an artist to ask them to copy another artists style (especially since Butch was well know for his own style)… He never mentioned it again… a couple of years later Thom brought the Washington Blue finished ’33 into Butch’s shop for some striping… as Thom started telling Butch what he wanted done – Butch abruptly stopped him & asked “didn’t you want a Von Dutch stripe job?” Thom nodded yes and Butch explained that he could watch if he kept his mouth shut or he had a perfectly good waiting room… then to Thom’s dismay he signed it Von Butchr!

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When Thom bought the car it had a padded dash. He replicated it with a stainless insert with 1882 swirls. This is an old photo but later George Barris Gene Winfield and Jimmy Shine put their signature on it.

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The bright blue Kelsey-Hayes wires were added in the early 90’s when Coker announced the re-manufacture of the Firestone dirt track tire… “K-H well has to have each end of the adjustable spokes welded, lathe cut off the outer rim, roll and weld a band to widen them, lathe cut outer rim from a diner wheel, weld and balance… bet ya didn’t notice the difference from the original wires in the build shots.”

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The rear bumper is a shortened & flipped the 36 commercial rear bumper, taillights are 48 Chevy units.

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Close up of some of Butch Tucker’s beautiful Von Dutch style striping and the recessed license plate created by Harold Duffey.

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Influences…
“late 60’s Rod & Custom Editor Jake Jacobs restoration of the NieKamp roadster & article on chopping the top on his 34 coupe… Sam Foose’s metal work on the 48 Ford full custom… they were the revivalists of trends that were out of vogue – in the early 70’s when I started to resurrect my 33 the Resto Rod movement was the acceptable way to build a car… discarded vintage hot rod parts were cheap and finding support to build the flathead was near impressive – hence the 57 Corvette motor.”

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Made it to LARS, and looking good.

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“I went to Pleasanton, Ca with photos of the car in paint (not finished) and I recognized Jake from Pete & Jakes… he was with a group of friends and I asked him if he would look at the photos since he inspired the direction of the build… I still remember the look, but he said yes as his body language said no… he started shuffling through them, then going back and forth… I started to point and explain a feature and he said “Son – I know what I’m looking at” and shuffled some more… then ask has P-wood seen these? No clue who he was talking about but since no one had seen them – I said no… he told his friends he had to go and abruptly left (with my photos)… I’m dumbfounded and followed… he finally caught up with Pete Eastwood and he shuffles through them and asked if Ron had seen them… thus began my day of seeing faces and meeting my magazine hero’s…

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Pete of Pete & Jakes with Thom’s Ford at the Pleasanton show. Pete & Jake had inspired Thom to build the car as it was found and not build it as a Resto Rod which was the mainstream trend at that time Thom created it.

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Sam Foose was always an idol to Thom… “Sam was with Chip at a show and I stopped and went over to say Hi… we chatted for a few minutes and he seemed distracted… I cut the conversation short and as I went to step away he asked “what do you have in it”… to my dismay my motor idling was the distraction.. so, he followed me back to the car & I opened the hood… I asked if he would mind a photo & his response cracked me up!”
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Tom driving the car topless in the Football HOF parade.

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Thom’s Ford was invited to be part of a select number of  significant ’33-34 Ford Hot Rods at The 2009 Glenmoor Gathering.

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Ken Gross’s description of Thom’s For for the 2009 Glenmoor Gathering event.

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Thom Metz on the left and Harold Duffey on the right with the ’33 Ford at the Gilmore Museum where the car sat for three years as part of the Hot Rod and Custom Car exhibition. Harold traveled from Phoenix to see the car after 25 years

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Looking good at the Gilmore Museum.

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The Ford is now on load to the Canton Classics Car Museum… where it has been for almost three years already.

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Thom has had the ’33 Ford for forty-five years & it was in the Gilmore Museum for three years & was transferred to the Canton Classics Car Museum… where it is now for almost three as well. So for Thom it’s been an “out-of-site out-of-mind” situation… the CCCM is close to Thom’s home and he can take it out at any time… The car is sitting perfectly fine in the museum, but that is not really why he has created the car in the first place. While the ’33 was on loan to the Musea Thom has been created another roadster so now Thom is looking for a new caretaker of his ’33 Ford. If you are interested, get in touch with Thom for more info and get all the details we could not fit into this article. Email Thom Metz



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1948 Giveaway Teardrop Trailer

 

1948 GIVEAWAY TRAILER

 

Besides being able to win a FREE Hot Rod at the very first Hot Rod Show in Los Angeles. You could also win a cool Teardrop Trailer in 1948.



Last night I was browsing a couple of books that I had not looked at for quite some time. One was about Trailer Travel in the US from the early days to the 1960’s. Interesting book with some nice pictures. Towards the end of the book my eyes spot the word “Hot Rod” in one of the pictures. I stopped flipping the pages and took a good look at the picture. I recognized the trailer to be rather similar to one my good friend Tim Kirkegaard uses behind his full Custom 1939 Mercury. And the sign taped to the trailer reads  Free! Win this Kenskill Kamper at the Hot Rod Show at the LA National Guard Armory Jan 23-24-25.

I guess the owner of the Kenskill company is on the right, handing over the papers for ownership of the Kustom Kamper to the new lucky owner on the left. The photo caption in the book reads: The proud new owner of a teardrop. Courtesy of Delmar Watson.


[divider]Close up of the sign taped on the trailer (Photo courtesy of Delmar Watson.)
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I knew that Tim’s trailer originated in 1947, so this photo must be from about the same time. I do not know the dates from all the early shows first hand, but I was thinking. Perhaps this photo was taken at the very first Hot Rod Show in 1948, the one where George Barris took his ’41 Buick Convertible to be the only Custom Car attending. I looked up the dates in my files, and yep, there was an ad for the 1948 Southern California Timing Association Hot Rod Exposition with the same dates as on the sign. I had never heard about this Teardrop Trailer being given away at this first show. I knew about the Hot Rod that was assembled at the show and at the end given away to a lucky ticket holder.

The Hot Rod magazine ad for the Hot Rod Exposition showed the same dates as on the trailer poster.
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I tried to find out more about this Giveaway Kenskill trailer, but so far no luck. Would be interesting to find out where it went to, if the lucky new owner was a Hot Rodder, or perhaps a Custom Car guy. Perhaps this Giveaway trailer might be the very same trailer my friend Tim bought many decades later. How neat would that be?

Kenskill magazine ad for the Kustom Kamper.
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Hot Rod Exposition 1948

The first annual Hot Rod Exposition was held in 1948 at the National Guard Armory in Los Angeles, California. The show was held on January 23, 24 and 25 in 1948. Around 55 000 people visited the show during the three days it was held. The photos we have seen from the event show a huge crowd, visualizing the HUGE success of the show. The show was organized by Wally Parks and the SCTA, and promoted by Robert E. Petersen. The very first Hot Rod Magazine was created as the program for the show, selling ads to whoever wanted to display as a vendor and hawking copies on the steps outside the Armory by its co-founder Robert E. Petersen.

The show featured the best designed and engineered cars belonging to members of SCTA. The show was originally called the SCTA Automotive Equipment Display and Hot Rod Exposition. The whole show was the idea of Robert E. Petersen, he wanted to arrange the show in order to raise money to build a dragstrip. The actual dragstrip was never built. During the three-day event a 1932 Ford was built and given away at the end of the show making it the very first Hot Rod door Prize. The first Hot Rod magazine does not mention anywhere that the Teardrop Trailer was also given away. So more than likely this was an initiative from the Kenskill company alone.

Huge crowds at the very first Hot Rod Show, the 1948 Hot Rod Exposition in the National Guard Armory at the Exposition Park in Los Angeles. The Show program is shown on the left.
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Celebrity Colleen Townsend poses with the giveaway 1932 Ford at the 1948 Hot Rod Exposition.
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Tim Kerkegaard’s 1939 Mercury with his Kenskill Kustom Kamper teardrop trailer. What a fine combination.
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Teardrop trailers are popular among traditional Hot Rodders and Custom Car enthusiasts all around the world.
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Close up of Tim’s Trailer. (the vertical tubs at the top are added to the trailer later and allow a seperate tent to be attached to the trailer)
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Hudson Joe Collection Part 4

 

HUSDON JOE COLLECTION Part 4

 

Hudson Joe has been collecting old Hot Rod and Custom Car photos for many year. Great material from the 40’s and 50’s. The Hudson Joe Collection Part 4.



Hudson Joe from California has a passion for old things and historic photos of Hot Rods and Custom Cars. He has been collecting these photos for many years. Finding them at estate sales, swapmeets and just finding them in the trash. In the second part of sharing Joe’s Collection we show you some more photos from the Harlan Frazier, aka Mac Frazier collection. Harlan is an old Hotrodder from Burbank, California. He had some cool Hot Rods and Custom Cars in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and he became good friend with Joe. Mac will be 90 this year (2016) and he gave his collection of photos to Joe, because he knew Joe would appreciate them much more than anybody else he knew. Harlan is still looking for more material in his collection. He keeps saying he has many more… so hopefully he will find them sooner or later. Lets take a look at some of the material Joe has shared with us this time.

Photos taken at the dry lakes in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Most of these shots of the Muroc and El mirage dry lakes were taken by Harlan himself. If any of you recognize locations, or cars in the pictures, please let us know so we can add some more names to the pictures.  Enjoy….

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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-03Eddie Miller Lakester.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-05This Modified might be one driven by Ed Harding, not sure… Notice the chopped padded topped GM car parked in the background.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-02Chuck Quesnel’s 1927 Ford Model T lakester with track nose and belly pan. Notice the DeSoto bumper on the ’37 Ford on the far left.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-24That is most likely Chuck Quesnel with his 1927 Ford Model T lakester with track nose.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-07The Floyd Clymer’s Motorbook Special arriving at the lakes.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-27Kenz and Leslie 777 Floyd Clymer’s Motorbook Special with the fender skirts removed.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-28The Hill-Davis (City of Burbank sponsored) streamliner.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-06Mickey Thompson’s Bantam coupe.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-15Lee Chapel The Tornado Streamliner.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-08Unidentified 27 T with full belly pan and streamlined nose.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-20Same car now with the nose in place.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-09Alex Xydias’s So-Cal Special based on a 315 gallon P-38 wing tank.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-10Bill Waddill’s Crosley-bodies C-Competition Coupe all the way from Flint Michigan.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-11This mild Shoebox was Harlan drive to the dry lakes…
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-14Ok here is a priceless picture of Stuart Hilborn racing his streamline injected dream.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-22Looks to be the Rob Rufi Lake Racer on the trailer.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-29Ed Iskenderian ’24 Model T.
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CCC-hudson-joe-collection-p4-31Karl Orr brought his circle track racer to the lakes, and it looks to be George Rubsch’s “Skip-it” in the background.
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Thank you Joe and Harlan for sharing these great pictures.


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Hudson Joe Collection Part 3

 

HUDSON JOE COLLECTION Part 3

 

Harlan Frazier owned some pretty nice rides in his life. For this article we concentrate on his Model A Pick Up. Thanks to Hudson Joe for sharing his collection. The Hudson Joe Collection Part 3.



Hudson Joe from California has a passion for old things and historic photos of Hot Rods and Custom Cars. He has been collecting these photos for many years. Fining them at estate sales, swapmeets and just finding them in the trash. Joe also got a series of photos from some of the old Hot Rodders he knows. One of them is Harlan Frazier, aka Mac Frazier, an old Hotrodder from Burbank, California. Harlan owned some cool Hot Rods and Custom Cars in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and he became good friend with Joe. Harlan will be 90 this year (2016) and he gave his collection of photos to Joe, because he knew Joe would appreciate them much more than anybody else he knew.

For this third article on the Joe Hudson Collection we concentrate on some really great photos of Harlan’s Hot Rod Pick Up he owned in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. An 1928-29 Model A pick Up truck Hot Rod that changed quite a bit over a period of several years. From a wild fender less and hood less Hot Rod with wire wheels in the early 1940’s to a more subtile, very well proportioned full fendered Hot Rod in the later parts of the 1940’s. At first an older rear portion of the pick-up boy was used with the more sweeping back. Later a ’29 Model A squire type back was added to the car. Harlan loved to take photos and experimented with his Hot Rod and Custom Car photos for several school projects. We are very glad he took so many photos back then, to give us a great look at the cars from the Burbank California area in the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-17Harlan and his future wife in the roadster. Even though the fenders were removed the side panels remained on the car.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-11Harlan on the left and his brother behind the wheel.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-07Harlan chopped the windshield and added a ’32 Ford grille. Notice how this photo was mirrored by mistake. 
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-09The same negative was used for this print, another school experiment.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-03Only one, very much faded color photo is left of Harlan’s Pick-Up.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-10Dual carb intake.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-20This pic of the roadster pick up with a black background was another of Harlan’s photography class project. He took a ton of pics and added funny stuff in the back ground.
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Fendered Pick Up

CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-06Full fendered and a stock hood and a fresh coat of primer. Harlan also replaced the wire wheels with 1940 Ford steelies with 40 Ford hubcaps and beauty rings. The three guys in the roadster are Harlan his brother and good friend.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-05Harlan’d pick up os now mostly painted, except for the hood, which he planned to modify. A friends mild ’36 Ford sedan is parked next to it.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-04Harlan’s pick up with to of his friends cars in the late 1940’s. 
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-08Side mounted spare tire also has the ’40 Ford Deluxe hubcaps. The engine has been nicely detailed and some chrome goodies have been added.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-121949 photo show the car when work was done on the hood and after Harlan added the license plate to the front.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-13Harlan’d Pick Up in good company.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-01The Pick Up was completed later in 1949 with a one pice hood top, and modified sides. The pick up looked really stunning. 
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-02The big & little black wall tires and a dropped front axle gave the car a perfect stance.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-16Harlan mounted the license plate on the tailgate, and on each side he added 38-39 Ford teardrop taillights. He did not use a bumper on the rear.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p3-15Harlan also took a picture of this good looking very similar pick up as his own. This one has a differnt flathead engine with some nice chrome goodies.
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Hudson Joe Collection Part 2

 

HUDSON JOE COLLECTION Part 2

 

Hudson Joe has been collecting old Hot Rod and Custom Car photos for many year. Great material from the 40’s and 50’s. The Hudson Joe Collection Part 2.



Hudson Joe from California has a passion for old things and historic photos of Hot Rods and Custom Cars. He has been collecting these photos for many years. Finding them at estate sales, swapmeets and just finding them in the trash. In the second part of sharing Joe’s Collection we show you some more photos from the Harlan Frazier, aka Mac Frazier collection. Harlan is an old Hotrodder from Burbank, California. He had some cool Hot Rods and Custom Cars in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and he became good friend with Joe. Mac will be 90 this year (2016) and he gave his collection of photos to Joe, because he knew Joe would appreciate them much more than anybody else he knew. Harlan is still looking for more material in his collection. He keeps saying he has many more… so hopefully he will find them sooner or later. Lets take a look at some of the material Joe has shared with us this time.

CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-02Harlan owned this 1938 Ford Custom Convertible in 1941, when this photo was taken. The car was restyled in a very typical for the time way. Mild, but very classy. Ned smooth and extended hood sides which create a smaller oval shaped grille opening. ’37 DeSoto ribbed bumpers front and rear, fender skits and ripple disk flipper hubcaps and beauty rings wrapped with black wall tires.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-03Better look at the oval shaped grille. Not sure is if the hood sides were early aftermarket products, or if Harlan custom made those. The windshield and soft top remained stock height. 
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-05Harlan later owned this even milder ’40 Ford convertible. The hood and trunk were shaved, and the side trim was shortened on the hood. The car was mildly lowered and this version of the car shows he added teardrop fender skirts.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-04This photo shows the ’40 Ford with Calnevar chrome Dress-Up beauty rings and smooth moon hubcaps and no skirts on the rear fenders.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-06This is Harlan with his Mild Shoebox. He was not sure if this photo was taken at Muroc or El mirage, he went to both places regularly.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-011941 mild custom Ford converible. Dual Spotlights, DeSoto ribbed bumpers, skirts, rock shields and custom hubcaps… a cool cruiser.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-10Harlan’s brother owned this full fendered ’32 Ford Coupe.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-14A cool sunset shot at the lake with yet another Frazier family owned Hot Rod. This time another car owned by Harlan’s brother.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-15A friend of Harlan had this great looking, and well detailed, ’29 Model A with ’32 Ford frame and grille. He owned this car right out of High School.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-07Model A Sedan Hot Rod.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-09A very young Harlan was already interested in car… pedal cars.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-08Harlan Frazier a little older in his makeshift race car during his growing up years in Santa Monica.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-11Harlan’s brother also owned and raced some midget racers in the 1940’s.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-22Harlan’s late 40’s BSA bike in the early 1950’s, already modified a bit to more race specs.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-18Harlan BSA bike how it looked a little later.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-19By now the bike had been modified much more and repainted pale yellow.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p2-20Harlan loved to race his bikes.
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Go back to PART ONE of the Hudson Joe Photo Collection






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Hudson Joe Collection part 1

 

HUSDON JOE COLLECTION Part 1

 

Hudson Joe has been collecting old Hot Rod and Custom Car photos for many year. Great material from the 40’s and 50’s. The Hudson Joe Collection Part 1.



Hudson Joe from California has a passion for old things and historic photos of Hot Rods and Custom Cars. He has been collecting these photos for many years. Finding them at estate sales, swapmeets and just finding them in the trash. Joe also got a series of photos from some of the old Hot Rodders he knows. One of them is Harlan Frazier, aka Mac Frazier, an old Hotrodder from Burbank, California. Mac had some cool Hot Rods and Custom Cars in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and he became good friend with Joe. Mac will be 90 this year (2016) and he gave his collection of photos to Joe, because he knew Joe would appreciate them much more than anybody else he knew.


Joe will be sharing some of the photos from his collection with us at the Custom Car Chronicle. In this first article on the series on Hudson Joe’s collection we show you some of the photos of the Harlan Frazier Collection. Jim Harber, his brother Bill Harber and friend Dick Price‘s cars back in the late 1940’s and 1950.

CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-02Dick Price also had a nice mildly restyled ’39 Ford 4-door Sedan, the picture of the ’39 was taken on June 4, 1950. Notice the 1951 Hudson sign in the background.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-04This is Bill Harber’s ’29 Roadster, December 18, 1945. Dick Price is wearing the two tone jacket, some guy named Paul is sitting on the running board. Bill might have been in the car. According to Jim Harber, the roadster was bought from a neighbor that had kept it running during the war until he could buy a new car.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-09This photo shows that same roadster after Bill was done with it. Jim said the neighbor almost had a heart attack when he saw what Bill had done to his roadster.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-11This photo, and those below are all Bill Harber’s roadster taken at the San Bernardino Roadster club house.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-05They later added the two side mounted exhausts.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-06Bill’s ’29 roadster next to Dick Price’s ’32 roadster.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-14The engine in Bill’s Roadster looked really great with plenty of chrome plated hop up parts. And it ran pretty fast as well.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-03Dick Price’s ’32 roadster and Bill Harber’s ’23 model A parked in front of the Hudson Dealership in San Bernardino, which was owned by Dick’s father.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-08Dick Price’s ’32 roadster at El Mirage. They used the Hudson shop truck for a push vehicle. The same truck is supposed to be someplace up in Devore in a backyard.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-13This photo was taken in 1948 when Bill belonged to the Redlands Hornets. The speed was 124.35 m.p.h.
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CCC-hudson-joe-colletion-p1-12This side shot of the ’32 roadster in front of the Hudson service bay was taken on March 29, 1949.
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Go to PART TWO of the Hudson Joe Photo Collection







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Low Profile Deuce

 

LOW PROFILE DEUCE

 

Thirty-two Fords have always been at the forefront of the “hotrod movement” which began in the 1940’s. Here is an example of one of the more nicely modified three-window coupes built in the late fifties in Oregon.


By Tom Nielsen


One of the more famous customs to be built in the great Pacific Northwest was Ron Courtney’s sectioned X-51 Ford coupe. The Rod and Custom cover car (March 1958) caused quite a lot of excitement when it was first completed by Ron Courtney. Restored to its early custom condition it is still making an impact today.


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CCC-low-profile-deuce-Ron-Courtney-x51Courtney’s sectioned ’51 coupe used many original and tasteful modifications to give it a very “modern” appeal for 1958.
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Porter’s body shop in Mc Minnville, Oregon where Ron Courtney’s X-51 was built had a reputation as a top quality custom shop. There were other fine customs that Ron had a hand in completing that most people aren’t aware of.




Delane Smith’s 1951 Ford

A very nice custom ’51 Ford four door sedan owned by DeLane Smith of Mc Minnville was built about the same time as the X-51. His’51 four door was featured in three small pages magazines.


CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-07Delane Smith’s 1951 Ford sedan built at Porter’s showcases Ron Courtney’s design and metalworking skills.
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I was researching information about Delane’s car and received some pictures of a very sleek looking Deuce coupe.
This unique three-window coupe owned by Delane’s friend, Scott Hamilton. The car also emerged from Porter’s Body Shop about the time that Delane was customizing his ’51 Ford. Scott’s coupe also received the “magic touch” of Ron Courtney.

Being a fan of ’32 three window coupes myself, I was struck by the profile of this remarkable thirty-two. I really liked that the low look was achieved by chopping and channeling, but at the same time keeping the full fenders on it.



Scott Hamilton 32 Ford

Here is Scott’s story of this great looking ’32 3 window coupe that he owned as a young “car guy” living in McMinnville, Oregon in the late fifties.
In the bginning……
“I originally bought the car from a guy who was up here from California and was in need of cash…can’t recall what I paid for it but it was relatively little. It had a fairly stock body with a mildly dropped axle, hopped up flathead and big rubber on the rear. It also had a really nice metal flaked green paint job and nicely done rolled and pleated interior. What possessed me to tear into it, only a sixteen year old might understand. I don’t want to think about all the stages of dumb things I did to a perfectly good car.

CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-05Front profile shows off the lowered grille shell and small headlights on a dropped bar to keep everything in perspective.
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I kicked up the rear of the frame about three inches and channeled the body and raised the rear wheel wells and fenders accordingly. I had raised the rear of the engine to level out the driveline. This necessitated putting a driveline tunnel in the floorboards and re-doing the firewall.
As you’ve probably guessed, Ron Courtney was responsible for much of the good bodywork, like chopping the top and saving me from making a mess of the rear wheel wells. As I recall he made one of the front fenders out of pieces of three really ugly ones….. The bad part was that it was full fendered when I bought the car, of course I sold all the fenders when I decided to channel it. After running it with motorcycle fenders for a while (they were prone to falling off) I decided to put them back on for phase two.

CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-03Scotts checks out the “hot” ’46-’48 flathead mill.
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CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-08Custom made one-piece hood hides some of the “chrome bling” underneath.  The hood had yet to be painted to match the rest of the car.
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CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-04Wonderful looking interior with a custom dash insert and very nice small pleats done in all white.  This is a “look” that is still popular in traditional rods today.
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Phase two came about from my “horse trading” for a partially built Model A roadster. The guy had been meticulously collecting components when a divorce forced him to get rid of it.(Not sure if the it had anything to do with the divorce) Anyway, that is where I got the chrome front end and all kinds of goodies.
The upholstery was done by a local shop and I probably did the rest.
I don’t think that I talked Delane into doing very much sanding but he may remember it differently. There were a bunch of us that spent way too much time at Porter’s Body Shop, where Ron worked. It’s amazing that he got anything done at all.

CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-01Profile view of Scott’s coupe is especially appealing.  Notice the raised rear wheel wells to match the channeled body.
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CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-02It doesn’t get any better than this picture of Scott’s deuce parked by a “new” 1957 Olds! It also illustrates how low the ’32 was after the chop and channeling.
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My car was never in any shows or magazines. I went in the Army before it was truly finished. All the shows and the magazine activity occurred while I was in the service. We were involved in building sports racers later on, that’s a whole other story.”

CCC-low-profile-deuce-tom-nielsen-06Three-window coupes were the only ’32 Ford offered with “suicide doors”.  Scott stands proudly by his “cool coupe”!
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In a letter from Scott he told me that he sold the coupe in 1959-60 with a blown up engine and the next owner put a Dodge or a Chrysler in it. Then it was torn apart and left in boxes for many years.
About twelve years ago Scott heard that the current owners were in the process of removing the channel, installing a new frame, but keeping it chopped. We don’t know much beyond that report.

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THREE MILE movie

 

BRIAN DARWAS MOVIE

How often do you get to see a hot rod movie in a movie theater? If NEVER popped into your head, then your life is about to change. THREE MILE a Hot Rod film by Brian Darwas

 
 

Press Release

NEW YORK, NEW YORK —

 
Award winning film maker Brian Darwas has just completed his sixth documentary film, THREE MILE. The film is premiering in Long Beach and will be touring the South West, as well as the festival circuit before embarking on its East Coast tour.
 
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Screening dates include:

  • Friday, August 14th, Long Beach CA – The Art Theatre – 2025 E. 4th St. – 11:00pm
  • Thursday, August 20th, Phoenix, AZ – The FilmBar – 812 N. 2nd St. – 7:00pm and 8:30pm
  • Friday, August 21st, Albuquerque, NM – 3011-3015 Monte Vista Blvd N.E. – 8:00pm
  • Sunday, August 23rd, Denver, CO – 2510 E. Colfax Ave. – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, August 25th, St. Louis Area – 950 Des Peres Ave, Webster Groves, MO – 7:00pm

(More dates to be announced – check AtomicHotRods.com for updates)
For some theater’s the tickets can be booked online.

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Synopsis: Join Brian Darwas and the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop on across country trip full of roadside breakdowns, shop tours, parking lot parties and plenty of racing at what most people consider the birthplace of hot rodding, the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats.

All thirteen hot rods embark on a life time adventure from New York to Utah, where Keith Cornell breaks the world record for the fastest Ford Y-block. With enough salt pit rebuilds, tech inspections, and race runs to keep even the most jaded gearhead one the edge of their seat.

Be there to experience the sun on your face and salt in the air when it all comes down to that THREE MILE pass.
 
 

 
 
– For interviews with the film’s director please send a message to: Email Atomic Hot Rods

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FILM MAKER’S BIO
Brian Darwas
is considered the worldwide authority on automotive documentaries. Unlike many contemporaries, Brian delves into the worlds and underworlds of his subjects to expose what makes them tick, move and live. His ability to develop the true individual in front of the lens is what makes him a master at telling stories on film.

Raised in New York City, Brian was exposed to art in all of its forms from a young age. When he was old enough to take off on the subways alone, he began to explore the bustling and sometimes dangerous terrains of underground film, music and street art. Realizing his need to create and express himself, Brian has toured the world in punk bands, embellished the streets of New York with raw artwork, and studied the most exploitative forms of film the world has to offer.

His captivating documentaries have won awards, as well as toured theatres from Los Angeles to New York and Asia to Australia. His ability to gain the trust and respect of the artists in his work have brought him places others would not be allowed; whether it be traveling along side the Motorcycle Cannon Ball cross-country for 4 weeks or entering the private home studios of painters Robert Williams and Keith Wesner or inside the South Central Los Angeles and Long Beach garages of The Cavaliers. They all know Brian will capture their true essence and deliver their stories the way they must be told.

Brian Darwas’ films include: This is Long Beach, White Knuckle, The Road to Bonneville, The Sweet Sickness, and The Devil at Your Feet, and hiis latest film Three Mile. His films have won best documentary awards at The Berkeley Film Festival (California), Motorcycle Film Festival (New York and India), Kingston Film Festival (New York), and Hotrods & Monsters Film Festival (Seattle). In addition, Brian has been interviewed and featured as a filmmaker in The Rodder’s Journal, Jalopy Journal, Street Rodder, Rod and Custom, Rod and Kulture Illustrated, Hot Rod Magazine, Hemmings Motor News, Rolls and Pleats, Kustoms Illustrated, Hot Rods Illustrated, Old School Rods, and Custom Car (UK).

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Dry lake Greetings

 

DRY LAKE GREETINGS

 

Some time ago I came across this really neat snapshot on ebay. Two cars with a plane parked on the Salt Flats in 1949.

 
When I was browsing ebay for some old photos, like I do from time to time, I came across this really nice looking snapshot. Two cars and a plane sitting on a dry lake. I noticed that the two cars were mildly customized, or perhaps a better term in this case would be dressed up. It was a nice photo… giving a very nice feel of the late 1940’s. I saved the ad and went on browsing. Then I came across a photo of this girl standing next to a 1941 Chevy with single bar flipper hubcaps. I immediately recognized it from the snapshot with the 1946-48 Mercury and the plane.  So I looked at the seller and what else he had to offer.

 

CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-01This is the one photo I bought from the collection. I just love everything about this one, it is such a nice photo. A couple of mild custom and plane parked on the salt and the owners getting ready to watch the the cars at full speed.
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There were 21 photos that looked to be taken at the same time, by the same people, coming from the same collection. I saved the ebay photos and did not really think about it for a couple of days. Until I was looking for something on my computer and came across the photo with the two cars and the plane again. I just could not stop looking at it. I had seen some photos in the Wally Welch Photo Album where Wally was flying an small airplane similar to the one in this photo. Wally Welch was very much into Custom Cars, but also in Hot Rods, and I knew he could fly, so With this photo I could imagine how people like Wally Welch, with a passion for cars and the ability to fly a plane would go out, rent a plane and fly it out to Bonneville to watch the cars race the salt lake. This photo, and the others offered on ebay have nothing to do with Wally Welch, at least not as far as I know, but it just inspired me enough to make an offer on the one photo. I was the only one who bid on it, and ten days later I received it in my mailbox. Its a really nice snapshot.
 
CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-02Cropped section of the photo shows the dressed up 1946-48 Mercury coupe with Californian plates and the 1941 Chevy that has been dropped in the back a bit with single bar flipper hubcaps. Nothing really special, just every day drivers from some car loving guys.
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I then started to look a little better at the other photo I had downloaded to my computer, the once I did not bid on. I have no idea if they sold, or not. All I have from them are the digital photos that were used for the ebay ads. There was no information about the photos when they were listed on ebay… but to me it looks like perhaps two guys and a girl friend made a trip out to Bonneville to see the Hot Rod’s race at the lakes. I cannot make out from which state the 1941 Chevy come. There is no state indication on the license plate. One other photo in the series shows a 1949 License plate, so most likely this trip was made in 1949. And possibly the guys and girl had been dreaming about this trip for some time, hence all the snapshots that were taken during the trip.

CCC-Member Jimmy Barter corrected me on this writing. He let me know that there where a lot more than 21 photos in this collection. And that the trip was not made to Bonneville alone. He was able to buy 60 photos from this collection and he was able to recognize a few other locations as well. The airplane photo and the Woman next to the ’40 Chev plus the coupe speed runs and the 2 roadsters (sepia coloured) are from El Mirage. The photo of the trophy presentation is from Saugus drag strip. Thank you Jimmy for the extra info.
 
CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-03Another photo shows the girl friend with the 1941 Chevy. If somebody recognizes the license plate, please let me know. Typical snapshot with the horizon on an angle, vertical photos when a horizontal would have been a better choice… but still I love the idea of the photo taken to show the friends at home the Chevy and the girl made it out to Bonneville.
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-04Slight speedboat stance with single bar flipper hubcaps… and a tough looking girl…
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The one photo I was able to buy started this story. To me it gives a very good image of how it was back in the 1940’s. The rest of the photos from the ebay auctions made up the rest of the story in my head. It made me wonder how it must have been to make a special trip like that back then. These snapshots might have been part of a personal collection for many decades. Inside a photo-album, the one from the 1949 Bonneville trip. An album that perhaps was taken out from time to time, to re-live that wonderful trip again. Perhaps the album was found in an estate sale in recent years and each photo sold off individually… greeting new stories with the new owners.
 
CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-05The road to the lakes… a whole lot of “nothing”.
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-09Another proof to show back home that they made it to the Salt Flats.
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-10Possibly the owner of the 1941 Chevy and his girlfriend close the the Salt Flats.
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-11The two guys brushing their teeth… 
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-06Distant speeding Hot Rod on the salt.
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-07’36 Ford at full speed… a little closer to the track.
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-08Full speed Hot Rod…
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-12They also hung out in the pits, looking at the cars, taking some snapshots and watching the award ceremony.
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CCC-49-bonneville-greetings-13A few more snapshots from the pits era with the Pierson Bros cars in one of the photos.
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Hot Rod Coupe Prints by Jimmy

HOT ROD COUPE PRINTS BY JIMMY

CCC-Hot Rod contributer and Hot Rod illustrator Jimmy B has released a set of ten Hot Rod Coupe Illustrations. Lets take a look at closer look at Jimmy’s work.

 
The set of 10 Hot Rod Coupe illustrations are limited to 200 sets. All will be hand numbered and signed by Jimmy. The set comes in a great looking matt celloglazed die-cut folder. The folder opens from the back side which shows each of the included coupe illustrations.
The 10 Illustrations are printed on heavy 300 gsm card and are neatly stored inside this folder.

The prints are on 300 gsm card. The dimensions are 11.69″ x 8.25″ (A4, 297mm x 210mm).
 
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Coupes include in the set

  • Lynn Yakel ’32
  • Frank ‘Ike’ Iacono ’33
  • Chrisman bros. ’30
  • Bill Phy ’33
  • Fran Hernandez ’32
  • Harold Casaurang ’34
  • Chopped & Channelled ’32
  • Alex Xydias ’34
  • Pierson Bros ’34
  • Doug Hartelt ’34

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CCC-jimmy-hot-rod-coupe-prints-048 of the 10 illustrations are shown above.
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Pricing

The price is $14.- + postage (email Jimmy for actual postage cost)

Email Jimmy to order.
 
 

A little more info about Jimmy.

G’day, my name is Jimmy Barter I am a 32 year old graphic designer and illustrator from Australia, most people know me as Jimmy B on various message boards. I have worked as graphic designer and illustrator for 12 years.

As some of you know I am passionate about the early days of Hot Rodding which includes Customs. I have always been interested in history but when I was 13 I was diagnosed with Osgood–Schlatter’s, basically the ligaments in my knees pulled away from the tibia in both legs while I was running. This forced me to spend the Summer of ’95 on the couch resting my legs. This is when I dug thru my Dads magazine collection which included Australian Hot Rod, Australian Hot Rodding Review, Custom Rodder (oz) all from the mid 60s to late 70s. Reading those mags done two things, cemented my desire to research the early days as much as possible and when I started drawing cars, the latest of which are included in my Hot Rod Coupe print set.

Knowledge without sharing is a pointless endeavour so I always try to share what I learn as it can help someone with a project or identify a old forgotten hot rod, this sharing has lead some people to call me a historian, personally I see myself as an enthusiast. Researching those early days helps keep that period alive as those that lived it are slowly passing.

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Project wise I have been building a 1925 Chev roadster for 8 years, inspired by the Spurgin-Giovanine roadster. I have two more ’25 Chevs to build later on, A 1941 Ford ute & slowly collecting parts for a full fended ’28 A roadster.

To see and read more about Jimmy’s passion for early days Hot Rodding,
check out his blog Hot Rods of the dry lakes era or his Jimmy Barter blog.

 
Email Jimmy to order.
 

 
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