The subscriber cover of The Rodder’s Journal issue #54 features the recent recreation of the So-Cal Streamliner built by Dan Webb of Burton, Michigan, which debuted at the 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The newsstand cover features a ’32 Ford five-window owned by Ronnie and Avis Beasley of Mobile, Alabama.
The World’s Fastest Hot Rod
The construction of the original So-Cal Streamliner began over 60 years ago when Alex Xydias commissioned Bill Burke to build a narrowed Model T frame for the So-Cal belly tank which became the basis of the Streamliner. The influence it had on hot rodding in general, but more specifically on land speed racing is undeniable. The Streamliner held the title of Top Speed at the Meet at Bonneville for two years in a row in ’49 and ’50. Unfortunately it was destroyed on the beach in Daytona Beach, Florida in ’51, and until this recreation, could only be seen in photographs. This article delves into the history of the original So-Cal Streamliner campaigned by Alex Xydias and Dean Bachelor including extensive vintage photography. It also details the build of Dan Webb’s replica as shown in the TRJ studio.
Sweet Home Alabama
The ’32 Ford five-window owned by Ronnie and Avis Beasley was shot on location in Gadsden near Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop where the coupe was built. While this coupe made the cover, the article shows it along side an equally impressive Johnson-built ’32 Ford coupe, a three-window owned by Rodney Harris of Leighton, Alabama. Alan Johnson and crew are known for producing traditionally styled hot rods with an aggressive stance.
Keith Charvonia’s choice to chop and customize a four-door ’51 Kaiser may seem out of the ordinary to someone who is used to seeing and working with chopped Merc’s, shoebox Fords, or early ’50s Chevys. But that is just it, the Pheonix, Arizona, resident (and at the time college student) whose previous experience mainly focused on mini trucks, had not been exposed to traditional customizing. With great enthusiasm he set out to chop the top and convert it to a two-door. Little did he know at the time the amount of work he had ahead of him and the vast learning experience he was undertaking, which culminated with the experience of painting the car with Gene Winfield in his shop in Mojave, California.
The Berdoo ’32
In Rodder’s Journal issue #54 Senior Contributor, Pat Ganahl, takes us through his discovery of Dick Price’s ’32 Ford roadster and how he connected the dots in order to tell the story of a roadster that caught his eye in an image he first saw in 1976. The image that brought the roadster to his attention was of two Deuce hiboys set to race at the one-time AMA motorcycle drag meet (which included some SCTA four-wheeled racers) at the Navy blimp base in Tustin, California, likely taken in June of 1950. This article goes on to explain how another image of the roadster came to Pat’s attention, which led to his research about the car and eventual conversation with the owner.
Perfect Little Pickup
In this issue we give Scott Roberts’ ’41 Ford Pickup the full studio treatment as well as a location shoot. The interesting story behind the bronze pickup is that it is not only the first hot rod project, but very first automotive project Scott had ever attempted. In fact, Scott tackled much of the work in his own garage with only help from reading rod and truck magazines. He then called upon the experience and expertise of the folks at Hot Rods and Custom Stuff in Escondido, California, and the result is one perfect little pickup.
Rodder’s Journal issue #54 also contains a collection of vintage images from Eddie Baumann’s scrapbook. A life long hot rodder and drag racer from San Antonio, Texas, Eddie shares with us his photographs and stories of many years in this sport/hobby. In this issue we also take a look into Eric Zausner’s book, Spindizzies: Gas Powered Model Racers, which lavishly documents the sport of miniature automotive racing and its history. You will find each of these features and much more in TRJ #54.