Custom Car Chronicle
hot rods

Dick Read’s T-era Show Rod




In the late 1960’s Dick Read from Hoopeston, Illinois designed and constructed his dream Show Rod. after showing it for two years Dick sold it and has never seen it again. Where is it now?

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-01-WThe T-era was super detailed with a wonderful Buick Nailhead engine.

Dick Read contacted the Custom Car Chronicle to see if we knew of the current whereabouts of his old Show Rod and if not if we could help him find his old car. Dick would very much like to know what happened to his car after 1970, or if it is perhaps still around today. In that case Dick would love to be able to get a chance to see if he can get his old car back home. So if any of our readers knows anything about Dick’s old car, please let us know.

[box_light]UPDATE November 26, 2013.
With the help of Mark Moriarity the current owner of Dick’s old Show Rod was located in Parma, Michigan. Dick was able to talk to the current owner Rick and they talked for quite some time on the phone. Dick was extremely happy to learn his old T was still with us, and in perfect condition. And even better that he soon will be able to see it again for the first time since 1970. Now this it the kind of stories we love to tell and be part of![/box_light]

The car was built in Hoopeston, Illinois at the Buick Pontiac dealership operated by Dick’s father. Dick constructed a full size plaster/wood model first. From that he created a fiberglass mold, and then layed the body up inside the mold.
After working on the car for several month the car was debuted at the prestigious 1969 Oakland Roadster show. The car finished 1st in the roadster class, but Art Himsel’s car took the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award with his “The Alien” fiberglass dune buggy inspired Hot Rod.

After being showed in California Dick took the the car back to the midwest. There he showed it at Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and a few other places in 1969/70. The car always took best in show. The car’s name was the T-Era, (like tiara). Dick sold the car in 1970 to someone in the Detroit, Mi area who said they were creating a car museum. After that Dick never saw it back nor heard anything about it.

This article shows some of the many photos Dick has of his finished Show Rod. Next time we will show you how Dick created the T-era.


CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-010-WThe car parked in front of dick’s father’s Buick-Pontiac dealership.








CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-07-WThe car at one of the mid west Custom Car shows.

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-011-WThe car in winter time at Dick’s home.

Read how Dick Read’s T-era Show Rod was created in the second article.






Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

4 thoughts on “Dick Read’s T-era Show Rod

  • Nice article on the T-Era.
    In the second to last photo, check out car on the far right.
    Is that the Alexander Brothers’ Golden Indian?

  • Although I’m not into “regular hot rods” so much, I really love stuff like this. That is awesome, I have never seen this car before. I love it!

  • Mark Ridl

    Awesome read
    I have never seen the car For it was built when I was only 5 But some many years Dick became a very good friend of mine
    I owned a machine shop just 2 doors down from the dealership In the late 90s his hobby was some road racing needing some tig welding done I helped him out and he practiced and practiced until he could tug weld pretty well
    I always teased him that I thought him how to weld He is a great guy and helped me out of a jam a couple of times I would love to see the car for real one time I have heard a lot about it

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