The Rodder’s Journal #66 features historically significant Ford coupes on each cover. On the newsstand version is the recently completed Pierson Brothers’ ’36 Ford three-window, fresh from a complete nut-and-bolt restoration. The subscriber cover features the immaculate recreation of the famed Bill Breece Deuce three-window, with its well-dressed 2×4-fed 303 Olds. Inside you’ll find everything from 1960s’ Midwest indoor car show coverage to a lifted ’64 Impala custom, a pair of “Street Freak” tri-five Chevrolets, coverage from the third annual TRJ Revival and an interesting expose on our recently published Vintage Catalog Box Set.
Tale of two Chevys
By the mid-’60s, a number of machines started incorporating a healthy dose of drag racing influence with more than a taste of Ed Roth “monster machine” aesthetics. They eventually became known as “Street Freaks,” and brothers Phil and Tom Koenen, with their nose-high, blown big block-powered ’55 Chevy, and Dan Glover, with his mid-engine ’57 Chevy 210, were among the earliest versions to come into the public conscience. We take a look at them both through historic photographs and accounts of the guys who built them and the photographers who rode in and documented them for the magazines of the day.
The mid- to late-’60s were an interesting time for custom cars. The line between customs and the emerging lowrider scene were blurred. Allen Duke’s “Bloody Mary” ’64 Impala SS was one of the more famous lowriding customs of the era, and although the original is long gone, it’s been recreated by lowrider historian Howard Gribble and the team at Starlight Rod & Kustom. The candy, ‘Flake, and cob web-painted ’64 rides on hydraulic lifts, Supremes, and thin whitewalls, and perfectly captures the late-’60s mild custom era it was built to represent. Rick Amado photographed the Impala on location in and around the L.A. River in Southern California–not far from where the original car was built nearly 50 years ago.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Roger Kilborn is a hot rodder, pinstriper, and photographer from the Midwest. In the late-’50s and ’60s, when he wasn’t ’striping or shooting freelance magazine features he worked with Ray Farhner organizing and producing indoor car shows. Our pictorial focuses on some of the famous and not-so-famous show rods, customs, racecars, and cycles, shot candidly during set-up days and after hours when crowds were thin and sightlines were good. Among them, you’ll find cars like Gene Winfield’s “Jade Idol,” the “Big T,” bubble tops like Darryl Starbird’s “Predicta” and “Electra,” and rare shots of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s “Beatnik Bandit” and “Mysterion” in seldom seen paint schemes.
In addition to founding the Moon Equipment Company, Dean Moon was a practicing hot rodder and a talented photographer. He documented much of the emerging racing scene in Southern California, but unfortunately much of that film has gone missing. Pat Ganahl explores the story through some of the rare remaining images Moon captured on the streets, dry lakes, and drag strips of California and the salt flats of Bonneville.
In a follow up to our baremetal feature in TRJ #63, we take a look at the recently restored Pierson Brothers’ ’36 Ford coupe. The chopped three-window was as beautiful as it was competitive when Bob Pierson first completed it in the late-’40s. After setting multiple records on the dry lakes and landing on the August ’48 cover of HRM, the car was sold, changed hands several times, and over the years was transformed into a nicely appointed street rod. Now New Jersey hot rod collector Jim Bobowski has had it faithfully restored to its late-’40s guise by Bill Ganahl and the crew at South City Rod & Custom. We tell the rest of the coupe’s story, accompanied by a detailed pictorial shot in our studios and on location in Northern California.
Trifecta at Pimlico
For three years straight we’ve hosted The Rodder’s Journal Revival, a weekend-long rod run in the quaint waterfront town of Baltimore, Maryland. There will be no Revival in 2015, but you can take an in depth look at 2014 Revival to hold you over until we revive the Revival. The third annual event is seen through the lenses of photographers Tom Davison and Dan Greenberg. Hundreds of the country’s finest hot rods and custom cars are shown among the scenic backdrops of historic Fells Point and Havre de Grace, and on the hallowed grounds of the over 150-year-old Pimlico Race Course.
The Breece Coupe II
We recently released our Vintage Catalog Collection Box Set, and our “History of Speed” feature takes a closer look at what went into the project and the wide range of catalogs included. It was no small undertaking to sift through the stacks of priceless vintage catalogs, but in the end we arrived at an assemblage that we believe tells the history of the speed equipment aftermarket. From hopped up four-banger parts to custom accessories, bolt-ons for “new” overheads, and even complete racecar chassis and fiberglass components, everything from the late-’40s through the ’60s is represented in the nearly 30 catalogs in the set. Included in the article is a sidebar about Michigan’s famed Gratiot Auto Supply, with a few words from consummate hot rodder and purveyor of speed, Angelo Giampetroni.