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Pat Ganahl passed away

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    Rik Hoving

    I woke up this morning with the incredibly sad news that Pat Ganahl had passed away. This hurts a lot.⁣

    Pat Ganahl died Friday August 19, 2022 in an incident at Riverdale Raceway in his Ike Iacono dragster that he restored years ago.

    Pat Ganahl is one of the main reasons why I started loving Custom Cars, got interested in Custom Car history, started to write about Custom Cars. I remember reading the name Pat Ganahl for the first time in a late 80’s Rod & Custom magazine. And I kept finding his name attached to everything Custom Car related I found since then. He has been so important for the current state of the Custom Car. ⁣
    I owe his a lot for all the inspiration, and knowledge he shared with the world.⁣

    I met Pat several times, and we helped each other out on a few different project, it was always a great pleasure. And I was so delighted that Pat would write the foreword in my Jack Stewart Ford book. ⁣

    I have two copies of his The American Custom Car book, the first one is worn out completely, and the second one is getting there. My wife said numerous times… “That book again, I thought you know every word of it by now” Yes that book again! And it will be on my desk today, and stay there for a long time.⁣

    I remember looking at Pat for some time during the 2011 GNRS Customs Then & Now. Pat was at work, he had been shooting photos the night before, and was taking to the owners of the cars, taking notes, and writing down details on the cars. Every 5 min or so, somebody would walk up to him to say hello, or shake his hand. And he always stopped what he was doing, talked back, not just one word, but he took the time to really talk, and to listen. Then he said good-bye, and went back to what he was doing. Over and over again. And I remember that I was thinking how special that was, and that this was one of the secrets why his articles and books are always SO good. He absorbed everything about the subject, and knew even the tiniest detail of a story would matter, and that is why he always took time to listen, and talk. And that was the reason why everybody loved him, and what he was doing so much. ⁣

    My sincere condolences to his family and friends. ⁣

    Thank you Pat.⁣



    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing

    Larry Pointer

    Our hearts go out to Pat’s family.  He has a World of fans and friends, and all of us at Custom Car Chronicle will miss him.  A whole generation of enthusiasts today stand upon his shoulders.  And an older generation knows their deep debt of gratitude for Pat Ganahl keeping the torch lit.

    Pat Ganahl generously gave us his passion and knowledge of this truly unique artform.  For each life he touched along the way, that is a gift most priceless.

    Tender mercies





    This news is truly sad.. and so sudden.  I enjoyed each of my conversations with Mr. Ganahl and, as have thousands of others, sought out each and every word I could find written by him.  He seemed to have this magic sort of way of feeding us info., data and history related to our hobby as though he were personally speaking directly to the reader.  The best sort of historian and teacher – like a personal friend. I will take some solace in the fact that he passed while enjoying his hobby.

    ..R.I.P. Pat.



    Jus' creepin' along..

    Rik Hoving

    In 2007 I was hired by a client to do an colorised photo of and early 1950’s Hirohata Mercury photo. The first task was to find a nice photo of the Hirohata Mercury and see if I could get my hands on the actual photo, or a good quality scan to use for the Digital Colorizing. After some digging I found two nice photos, that I knew were part of the Pat Ganahl Collection. I had been in contact with Pat a few times and I knew he had been scanning some material from his collection for others. So I contacted Pat and asked if he could create a poster size scan of one of the Hirohata Mercury photos I had suggested. Yes of course he could do that, the fee for that scan was handled by my client, and Pat would make sure to scan the photo, put it on a disk and mail it out to me. A week or two later I got it in the mail. Pat had included two scans of the Hirohata Mercury. The talked about front 3/4 and also one from a bit lower point of view, which I had not seen before. Pat thought that the lower angle photo actually looked better so he had included that as a high res scan as well. I ended up using Pat’s suggested photo.

    Pat also included a short not, written on old R&C stationary and a vintage large Rod & Custom window decal.  After I had finished the colorising I send Pat a version of it, and he really loved it.






    And this is the colorised photo based on the scan that Pat made.


    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing

    Bert Gustafsson

    Really sad news!


    A door to the custom car world for many of us.




    We were at Pebble Beach last weekend for the concours….went with Flat Top Bob to show the Ian Cusey Roadster for the 32 Ford Hot Rod class they had this year. We were all together and Bob ran down the stairs having just gotten a call from Rod Powell that Pat had passed. We were all stunned. Like Rik, and most of us I suspect, Pat was a huge influence on me being a custom guy, and beyond that, a drive it like a car everyday custom guy. So grateful for his efforts, writing, building, sharing over the years and right up to the week before he passed. I will truly miss his blog in my mailbox. My prayers continue to his wife, son and extended family.

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