Category: Hot Rods And Jalopies

“Little Eve” | A 1932 Ford Hot Rod Build – @FourSpeedFilms

“Little Eve” | A 1932 Ford Hot Rod Build – @FourSpeedFilms

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Another great film from Ben Kahan

I had a lot of fun shooting and editing this one! I wanted to creatively challenge myself by making a short documentary on Simon’s 1932 Ford FIve Window coupe. Let me know if you enjoyed the video!

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/benkahan/

Follow Simon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luckyglucky/

Special thanks to Aaron Kahan for helping out with the rollers!

Hemi Powered 1932 Fords!!! – Garage Full Of New York Drag Racing History – @IronTrapGarage

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One of our viewers Ed emailed us many months ago about the 1932 Fords that were owned by his father, both with New York drag racing history. Ray Stillwall purchased the 1932 Ford Roadster in 1948 and built the car in stages over the next 10 years. The roadster was raced at many local tracks, and even at the Allentown Fairgrounds back in 1955! Ed’s father was able to purchase the car back in 1970 and after a few other owners it ended back in the hands of Ed. The blue 1932 Ford Tudor was owned by Ed’s father and was also raced all over. This one stayed in the family and Ed continues to drive and race the car today. We enjoyed spending time with Ed and hearing all of the stories of the two 1932 Ford’s in his shop. Thanks for watching

Massive 1934 Ford Collection Buyout – 5 Cars and Tons Of Parts!!! – @IrontrapGarage

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It is not everyday that you receive an email asking if you would be interested in buying a barn full of 1934 Fords, but if you do respond immediately. At first we thought the barn was going to be full of rusty and rotten 34s, the pictures we received told a different story. At that point we knew we had to try to buy it all. We won’t spoil to much in the description so be sure to watch the entire video!!

Heartbeat of American motorsports displayed in the country’s heartland – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Among the many galleries in Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed is one that focuses on all the companies that produced parts to enhance the performance of Henry Ford’s Model T engine. Frontenac was the Chevrolet brothers company after they sold the rights to their family name to Chevrolet | Larry Edsall photos

In the early 1940s, a policeman showed up at the Smith family home in Lincoln, Nebraska, with 12-year-old D. William Smith in tow. Like other youngsters, he had used an old gas-powered Maytag washing machine engine to power a go-kart. Problem was, he’d been driving it down one of the town’s main streets.

From an early age, D. William Smith, to become better known as “Speedy” Bill, had a need for speed. He tinkered with cars, raced them and motorcycles as well, yet went to Nebraska Wesleyan University and graduated with a degree in education. 

But instead of teaching, he borrowed $300 from his fiancé, Joyce — who later would insist that he never officially repaid that loan — and opened a speed shop called Speedway Motors in a 20×20-foot building on Lincoln’s main street, US Route 6/O Street. 

The museum is about preserving American racing history, When the Smiths acquired the garage in which A.J. Watson built his Indy cars, they wanted its display to be so accurate that they used an overhead camera to record all the oil stains on the floor of Watson’s garage so they could be copied in the museum’s display

Fast forward a few decades and the Smiths with their four sons grew Speedway Motors into a major supplier of automotive speed equipment that occupies a half-million square-foot warehouse and headquarters on a 46-acre Lincoln campus just off O Street that since 1992 has included the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed.

The museum is a separate building just across the parking lot that fills three stores while preserving race cars, engines and historic performance accessories. For example, there’s a large area devoted to Henry Ford’s Model T, and to the parts from Frontenac, Rajo, Riley, Roof and others that, shall we say, accelerated the car’s capabilities. 

Ditto the Flathead Ford V8, with one wall covered by every cylinder head ever created to enhance that engine’s performance, including some experimental models that Ford sold to the museum by mistake and then asked for their return, which Speedway Motors politely declined.

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ONE OLD PROOF SHEET – Pat Ganahl’s Rod and Custom

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I think it’s time for something old. Really old. Like 1930s and pre-War ’40s old. We’re talking Muroc dry lake and the birth of hot rodding–though not by that name, yet. The Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), the first “umbrella” organization gathering dozens of already existing roadster clubs, was formed in early 1938.

Also, for me, it’s time for something a little simpler. It just is. So what I decided to do was another “one proof sheet” column. That is, all the photos you see here today came from one roll of 35mm film, in this case 35 exposures, contact-printed (actual film size) on one 8 x 10 sheet of photo paper. These are analogous to thumbnails on your computer. They’re about an inch wide, and you really need a loupe magnifier to see them clearly.

So I went to my files, opened a drawer marked B&W Negs, and then selected a file marked “Early Lakes.” There were about 100 proof sheets in it. But I know what most of them are, and what I was looking for–an old one with notes written on the back. I’m really not into doing research this week.

I found it quickly, and the first note on the back said, “All photos ’39-’40.”

But a quick scan through them showed me that wasn’t quite correct, since the photo above was listed as “Strokers club from Whittier/La Habra at Irvine Park ’47(?). All cars raced lakes, too.” That’s probably correct. You’ll note all are A and ’32 Ford roadsters. There were more in other shots. And I’m pretty sure this was Frank Currie’s club, and also pretty sure that’s who had all these photos and let me copy them with my camera. Besides building 9-inch Ford rearends, Frank was a consummate hot rodder all his life.

I should also explain that (a) I shot this roll of film, developed it, printed the proof sheet, and wrote the notes on the back 45 years ago. Wish I had a loupe that would sharpen my memory. And (b) not only are some of the notes hard to read, but some photos don’t have any. But given those caveats, let’s just dive in. This will be primarily a picture show, and I’ll relate what I know (or don’t) as we go.

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THE ONCE-REVERED ANTIQUE NATIONALS – Pat Ganahl’s Rod and Custom

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I only did a tiny rant last time. I held most of it in, so to speak. My plan was to let ‘er rip this week. But you know what? We’ve had enough negativity this past year, and I don’t really want to add to that.  My beef, as reflected in the title, is that the Antique Nationals–i.e., nostalgia–aint’ what it used to be. If it weren’t so personally painful, it’d actually be funny. They, and similar current nostalgia drag events, won’t let my historic vintage dragster run down the track because it’s too vintage, too antique! How ironic. If it were obviously unsafe like the dragsters I showed last time, I’d understand. But it’s not. Neither was Chrisman’s Hustler I. But once I calmed down, I realized that the two tracks that most rudely ejected and banned me, Famoso and “Fontana,” are both sponsored by AAA, an insurance company. So more rules, more cost, more hassle, far fewer participants.

This year would have been the 50th Annual Antique Nationals, of course cancelled by Covid. I have to admit I didn’t miss it, and haven’t been the last couple of years. But this used to be one of those once-a-year car events nobody missed, especially if you were into hot rod history–like the L.A. Roadster Show, Old Timers’ Night in Boston, Vintage Night at Ascot, or the first Hot Rod Reunions at Bakersfield and Bowling Green. My memory seems to differ a bit from the official website, but the Antique Nats has definitely outlived four tracks here in SoCal. It started as the Bonnie & Clyde–or “999”–Drags at Lions. Then a small club (about 20 members) dedicated to Model T, A, B, and C Ford engines, Four-Ever-Four, founded the Antique Nationals at Irwindale (I think), in 1970. This was open to ’34 and earlier vehicles only. But soon they included pre-’49 models as long as they ran ’48 and earlier-style engines. This included any Ford flathead V8s, and Chevy/GMC sixes through ’62, so my old ’48 Chevy bomb qualified, and I raced it every year, starting in Irwindale ’til it closed in ’77, then to Orange County (OCIR) ’til it closed in ’83, then to Palmdale until it closed in ’07, thence to “Auto Club Raceway” in Fontana. I am very proud to say I won my class (Inliners) four times, with a special trophy shelf for my four engraved mugs. But perhaps even more prestigious are the special T-shirts with “WINNER” and the year in big letters under the usual logo. You can’t get one unless you win.  I’m saving the three I have left because I wore one completely out.

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6 hot rod body styles you need to know – Phillip Thomas @Hagerty

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In many ways, the terms used to describe the myriad body styles of hot rods read like scientific names for chemical compounds. Take dihydrogen monoxide, for instance: two atoms of hydrogen with one atom of oxygen. While it sounds like some complicated chemical jargon, it’s really just water, H2O.

When you’re equipped with the nuts and bolts of hot-rodding vocabulary, you can easily decipher the plethora of terms used to denote different body styles. Similar to chemical nomenclature, the different names are highly specific—and useful to know. Today we’re going to break down the terms used to describe the exact molecular chain of automotive features that comprise some of our favorite custom rides.

Gow job

Strange name, right? Before the term “hot rod” was in vogue (many early gearheads actually found the term derogatory), the preferred nomenclature was “gow job” or simply “gow.”

Most people consider the genesis of hot rodding to take place after WWII,  when soldiers returned to the U.S. fascinated by mechanized transportation and eager to use their newfound mechanical skills. However, these pre-war gow jobs were the true pioneers. (At the time, the term “hot rod” was reserved for the retro equivalent of a vape-smoking dude-bro in his straight-piped 350Z.) Gows were machines of function over form and often sported a somewhat ragged appearance, thanks to their builders’ penchant for removing “unnecessary” body panels to save weight in early land speed and beach racing.

While the term is usually applied to hopped-up Model-Ts, the etymology of the word “gow” goes back to the 1800s and the Cantonese word for opium, “yao-kao.” The term was used in horse racing to describe drugged-up or “gowwed-up” horses, and the phrase made a short leap to early hot rods that were similarly hopped up for performance. It wasn’t until the post-war era that “hot” evolved to describe something cool, hip, or fast and “hot rod” became the universal term for a modified car.

Coupe

Similar to “gow,” the term “coupe” hails from the horse-and-buggy days before the advent of automobiles. Horse-drawn carriages—specifically, coaches—were the four-door sedans of their time, equipped with multiple rows of seating to carry around a group of people. The word “coupe” itself comes from the French verb meaning to cut. In contrast to heavy, people-hauling coaches, horse-drawn coupes were shortened carriages centered around a lighter package with single-row seating for personal transportation.

It comes as no surprise that two-door cars with fixed roofs quickly donned the title. Of course, there are many shades of coupes, so …

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History-Making Hot Rod At Mecum – Andy Bolig @RodAuthority

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Before there was NASCAR, before twisting race tracks were known for their road-racing antics, and almost before the Indianapolis 500, there was Elgin, Illinois. Located roughly 35 miles from Chicago, Elgin was the place where speed came of age, and terms such as “stock cars” were used in their truest sense.

We often think of hot rodding as a post-WWII phenomenon, but if one traveled the streets of Elgin, even before the first World War, you might have a different reality. Starting in 1910, the streets of Elgin, Illinois would once a year, turn from the typical commuter route to a roaring race track featuring some of the biggest names in racing. Noted drivers such as Eddie Rickenbacker, Cliff Durant, the son of GM founder, Billy Durant; Ralph DePalma, and Fred Frame all competed with others on this early version of automotive competition.

The Elgin Road Races were held in 1910-1915, 1919, and 1920. They were halted during World War I and were only brought back after the 1920 race as part of the World’s Fair that was being held in Chicago in 1933. In 1933, there were actually two races held. There was an “open” class, which was won by Phil “Red” Shafer, and a “stock car” race, comprised of production vehicles powered by engines less than 231 cubic-inches. It was during this race that this particular car came into prominence. One year after Henry Ford introduced the all-new flathead Ford V8, several automobiles powered by this new engine were dominating the twisting course at Elgin. The video below shows antics from both classes of cars during that race.

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