The covers feature a classic rod and custom pair that consists of the Valley Custom-built Ron Dunn shoebox Ford and a classic yet contemporary traditional Deuce highboy roadster. The Ron Dunn Ford graces the subscriber cover in baremetal, which is being restored by Steve Frisbie and his crew at Steve’s Auto Restorations. The newsstand cover features Rick Reed’s burnt orange roadster, which showcases the handiwork of his nephew Ryan Reed.
The issue also features a wide variety of traditional hot rod and custom car material that ranges from a full feature on Cody Walls’ Delaware-based ’59 Chevy station wagon to Part II of the Tom Prufer story in which Pat Ganahl takes a detailed look at Tom’s drag racing years. Rounding out the latest issue of TRJ is Part I of Speed Shop Confidential, which chronicles Pete LaBarbera’s half-century of hot rodding exploits, car features on both Jon Wright’s Hemi-powered Deuce three-window coupe and John Mumford’s ’33 Ford Fordor Victoria and an update on Spence Murray’s ’36 roadster which has been hiding in plain sight for nearly 40 years.
Going For Gold
For some time we had been contemplating featuring Rick Reed’s Deuce highboy. A few months back we were driving to the Lonestar Roundup in the TRJ Roadster and we stopped by Ryan Reed’s shop. When we turned the last corner we got a head-on view of the highboy roadster and we knew we had to photograph it. The stance combined with the low-mounted commercial headlights and a host of other details added up to a whole lot of hot rod impact. We duplicated the head-on view in the studio for our cover and have a full feature inside.
Photographer John Jackson sent us a couple of images of Cody Walls’ ’59 Chevy wagon and we knew immediately that it belonged on the pages of TRJ. What we didn’t know at the time was just how much talent and effort had poured into the rusted hulk. At first glance it looks like a mild custom from the early-’60s. Further investigation shows that traditional styling cues belie the fact that this is in fact the world’s only angle channeled, Brazilian head-equipped, inline-six-powered ’59 Chevy wagon.
Tom Prufer: The Drag Life
For years Pat Ganahl has been pitching us on the idea of doing a profile on prolific hot rodder Tom Prufer. Sometimes we just don’t know what part of yes Pat doesn’t understand. We’ve been proponents of the idea since we first discussed it nearly a decade ago. The problem was how did we fit all of the story and photos of a character like Tom Prufer within the confines of a magazine article. The truth is you can’t. But we found the best solution was to break it into two parts. Last issue we concentrated on Tom’s street oriented cars and in this issue we devoted the space to Tom’s drag racing efforts. Prufer is certainly an iconic figure and we think that these two articles showcase Pat Ganahl at his best as well.
Down In The Valley
For years the classic Valley Custom-built Ron Dunn Ford sat unassumingly in a driveway in Glendale, California. And then it was gone. A short time later it turned up in possession of Steve Frisbie of Portland, Oregon and is now undergoing a complete restoration. We wanted to shoot the car in baremetal since it gave us a rare once in a lifetime opportunity to show the metalwork of Valley Custom as it had been done more than 60 years ago. The photos confirm that Neil Emory and Clayton Jensen turned out not only some of the most tasteful customs of the era, but some of the best constructed as well. Just thinking about sectioning the slab-sided ’51 Ford coupe is indeed mind numbing.
Author Gerry Berger’s aptly titled piece on John Mumford’s ’33 Ford Fordor Victoria refers to the build as an exercise in “Radical Restraint”. Mumford has long been a ’33-’34 Ford enthusiast and after seeing Eric Clapton’s Deuce Fordor Vicky he decided that the concept would work as well if not better on a ’33 Ford. Mumford asked his friend and frequent collaborator Roy Brizio to handle the project. The goal was to build what appeared to be a mild resto-rod type car, but based on a body style that was never produced. They called in Chip Foose as well as Marcel and Luc De Ley for help with the creation of the ’33 Fordor Vicky.
Lost And Found
Spence Murray built his post-war custom style ’36 Ford roadster back in the late ’60s and early ’70s to resemble the customs that he had seen roaming the streets of California in his youth. In fact, it was a Rod & Custom magazine project car. Spence sold the roadster after it was driven to the 1976 Street Rod Nationals to Carl Bare who resides in Pennsylvania. A couple of years ago Spence and his wife Carolyn were reunited with the car they hadn’t seen since its sale. We bring you an up date on the once missing ’36.
Most know Jon Wright as the proprietor of CustomChrome, one of the country’s foremost plating shops. But he also owns a pair of ’32 Ford three-window coupes. His satin black highboy has just gone through a major transformation. Jon had Alan Johnson’s Hot Rods build a new chassis complete with a Winter’s quickchange and a dual-carbed 392 Hemi. We photographed the chassis last winter after it was on display at the GNRS. We then finished up the feature in the hills of Southern California while the re-fabbed coupe was on its maiden voyage to the L.A. Roadtser Show in June.
Speed Shop Confidential
Pete LaBarbera was nothing if not a character. We got to know him back in the ’70s when he operated the Rod Shop in Beltsville, Maryland. It was an old school speed shop with a twist that reflected Pete’s charismatic yet somewhat eccentric personality. He did much more than own and operate speed shops and his nomadic adventures from the ’50s and ’60s are covered in part 1 of our tale.