The Rodder's Journal Issue #36
We've just put the final touches on TRJ #36, and it's going to be another exciting issue! This issue is another 204-page collection of some of the finest hot rods and customs, with in-depth looks at rarer-than-rare wheels, the life of a hot rod cartoonist, and some recently uncovered custom history.
Appearing on both covers are the re-created T-buckets of Norm Grabowski, as cloned by kustom kulture artist Von Franco. He finished the later version, the famous "Kookie" T, a decade ago. Just recently the first version of the T-the very first T-bucket, in fact-rolled out of his garage. This one, the "Lightnin' Bug," looks subtle compared to the later version, but it changed the hot rod world in 1955. We show both cars, reveal their history, and cover their re-creations in TRJ #36.
The first Stone, Woods & Cook Willys has recently been fully and accurately restored, and we have its first feature. Even though the record-setting light blue Willys was converted into a street car in the '70s, its respectful owners kept all the racecar pieces, and even the original Martinez interior is still in the car! Pat Ganahl covers the restoration and fills in the early history of the SW&C team.
In a book excerpt we cover the life of Zora Arkus-Duntov. Jerry Burton's Zora Arkus-Duntov: The Legend Behind Corvette illuminates the amazing life of Duntov, from czarist Russia to Nazi Germany to General Motors in the '60s, and shows us Duntov did a lot more for hot rodders than develop the Ardun. In another biographical piece, an artist profile of the late cartoonist Pete Millar, written by his friend Thom Taylor, covers Millar's work, life, and art.
Of course TRJ spent a lot of time at the Grand National Roadster Show in January 2007, and we have 20 pages of some of our favorites from the show and the special Deuce display. Pat Ganahl also explains how this can never again be the Oakland Roadster Show-but, surprisingly, the change might be for the best. Also, many have heard of the ultra-rare 18-inch Milk Truck wheels. One rodder has amassed an amazing collection of these pieces, and we're finally able to fully understand the fact and fiction of these aftermarket steel components. Check out TRJ #36 to learn why just can't call 'em Divcos!
There are still more rods and customs to be found in TRJ #36. The purple '51 Mercury of Charlie Runnels ("Mercury Charlie" to his friends) is wild, over-the-top, and reflects the owner's amazing commitment to Mercury styling, early customizing, and even early hot rodding. It's not for everybody... what do you think? We also feature a '34 Ford five-window coupe. It was angle-channeled in the '50s, raced with a DeSoto Hemi into the mid '60s, then sat in a garage for forty years. The longtime owner was battling pancreatic cancer, so a friend stepped up to revive the coupe and make his last days brighter. It's a great hot rod and an even better story.
An updated, mildly customized, immaculately crafted '53 Muntz Jet also appears in TRJ #36. It was the last Jet ever built by Earl "Mad Man" Muntz, and in typical TRJ fashion we cover the story of the Jet, the wild life of Muntz, and the details of the amazing restoration in a fascinating feature. We also went to Ohio to check out a flat-black highboy '33 Ford roadster. Don't let the flat paint fool you-this is a first-rate hot rod with lots of nice touches, like'37 Ford hood side louvers and a not-quite-stock Cadillac V8. Plus, there's a lot more in the owner's garage than this one roadster.
Finally, we add chapters to the histories of two legendary customs with never-before-seen photography. First, Pat Ganahl has been tracking the Du Vall/Kurtis So. Cal. Plating '35 Phaeton for decades. With the help of Spence Murray, he's getting a little closer to the long-lost classic. Then, we have what may be the only color photography of Buster Litton's '49 Ford. Our own Geoff Miles is ready to argue this is the finest chop ever on a shoebox Ford-examine these newly uncovered photos and see if you agree!
As usual, the next issue of TRJ has even more to offer. So place your orders soon, and thanks in advance for supporting The Rodder's Journal!
The TRJ Staff