It’s been another great year at The Rodder’s Journal. Through the daily work of producing the magazine, we’ve had opportunities to stay connected with our old friends and make many new ones. You’re a talented group, and we’re always amazed by the quality and quantity of rods and customs being built across the country–and around the world. It’s something we saw firsthand at the second Rodder’s Journal Revival, and at the multitude of great shows we attended throughout the year. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you who continue building and driving old cars, supporting our industry, and reading The Rodder’s Journal. Here’s a look back at some of what we got up to throughout 2013.
As in years past, the first major event for us in 2013 was the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California. The gathering of hot rods and custom cars at that event never disappoints. We were extremely happy for John Mumford and the team at Brizio Street Rods for taking home the 2013 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award with the Kelly Brown Track T. Shortly after the show, the car as well as the trophy came to the TRJ studio for a full feature shoot, resulting in the cover of TRJ #59.
One of the articles from the first issue of the year, TRJ #58, that resonated with readers was Pat Ganahl’s look into his own historic photo archive. In the feature he tells the story of hot rodding’s depression-era roots. The vintage photos depict the excitement of a new pastime with Modified and Lakesters running on the dry lakes of El Mirage.
Also featured in TRJ #58 was Bob Nelson’s ’50 Chevy Fleetline Deluxe. Bob’s mild custom gets its impact from its aggressively lowered stance. We were so impressed with the aesthetics of this car that we chose to display it on one of this year’s new photo T-shirts.
Early this year we released the Dan Post Custom & Restyling Boxed Set, a collection of seven exact reprints of the original Dan Post publications. These were the earliest manuals to address the art and technique of custom restyling. They are thought of as having laid down the groundwork for the early custom style. The influence of these books is apparent on customizers and automotive artists from the late-’40s through today, despite the fact that the original books are extremely rare and hard to find. Now the content is readily available within this boxed set.
Early last spring we made our annual trip out to the Lonestar Round Up, which is always one of our favorite shows to attend. This ’53 Ford Customline, owned by Clint Moses of Fredricksburg, Texas, really left a lasting impression with us.
The weather at the 12th annual Round Up couldn’t have been better at the Travis County Expo Center for the 1,700-plus hot rods and customs that came from across the country to attend. This ’26 Ford roadster, owned by Jon Shuchart, made the trip from York, Pennsylvania.
The road trips and location shoots this year took us up and down the West coast as well as the Eastern Seaboard, as well as many places in between. We shot Henry Richards ’32 Ford Tudor on Daytona Beach in Florida for the cover of TRJ #58. His parents drove the Deuce down from Mansfield, Ohio, just for the shoot.
We photographed Jim Farley’s ’32 Ford roadster in two bi-coastal locations for TRJ #59. We originally shot the chassis at builder, Dave Simard’s, shop in Leominster, Massachusetts. We then took the roadster on location near our South San Francisco office.
Like many of our readers, we first became aware of Kelly and Mark Skipper’s Cyber Green Metallic shoebox via the HAMB on Jalopyjournal.com. We followed the progress as Mark turned a reasonably straight, but very rusty, Ford into a stunning custom in his home garage. We photographed the ’51 Ford Vicky on location near the Skipper’s home in Fresno, California.
Baremetal studio features are something that TRJ has become known for, but it is not that common for us to photograph baremetal customs. This year we were lucky to shoot two of them in the TRJ studio – James Hetfield’s Coach-built custom by Rick Dore and the Palle Johansen restoration of Jack Stewart’s historic ’41 Ford shown in issue #59.
It goes without saying that our sport and hobby lost several more pioneers this year including Joe Reath, Phil Remington, AB Shuman, Dean Jeffries, Stu Hilborn and Andy Granatelli among others who are all sadly missed. Dean Jeffries, shown above photographing his famous Mantaray, had such a talent for pinstriping, painting, and customizing that resulted in a body of work that spanned many decades and genres. His personality was larger than life, his creativity seemingly endless, and his impact on hot rod culture is incalculable.
The cover of TRJ #60 featured Rob Montalbine’s wild ’34 Ford coupe. The chopped and channeled coupe has a history dating back to the ’50s, but the recent iteration with a blown Cadillac and bright orange paint was created by Randy Bianchi of northern New Jersey.
As the summer show season kicked off in full swing, our first stop was the West Coast Kustom’s Cruisin’ Nationals in Santa Maria, California. As always the turn out of customs of all styles was fantastic. One that really caught our attention was Brett Cowen’s chopped, DeSoto-grilled ’49 Chevy Styleline DeLuxe coupe from Sacramento, California.
This year marked the 40th annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals East. The event, in York, Pennsylvania, was a great celebration of 40 years of East Coast street rod gatherings. The ’32 Ford sedan shown above is owned by Brian Wisniewski of Sayreville, New Jersey.
It was an ideal weekend on the sunny fairgrounds at the York County Expo Center. Sunderland, Maryland resident John Burroughs’ ’32 Ford roadster looks great parked next to the ’30 Ford roadster pickup owned by Stan Parker of Owings, Maryland.
We spend every Father’s Day Weekend in Pomona, California for the L.A. Roadsters Show & Swap Meet. There were many cars that caught our attention among the thousands of roadsters, coupes, and customs from around the country, and spectators from around the world. The ’32 Ford Cabriolet above is owned by Brad Boland from Gilbert, Arizona.
This ’29 Ford roadster pickup is pretty much perfect in our opinion. It is owned by Chuck Gage of Los Angeles, California.
Out mid-summer stop brought us to Columbus, Ohio for the Goodguys PPG Nationals. Over 6,000 hot rods, customs, and muscle cars attended this year’s event. Those pictured above are Ken Schnieders’ smallblock Chevy-powered Deuce Vicky from Fort Wright, Kentucky and Andy Pack’s Monticello, Indiana-based Deuce roadster are typical of the high quality traditional hot rods on display at the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.
The quantity and quality of cars on display at the Ohio Expo Center seems to be growing every year and there really was something for everyone. Richland, Michigan resident Terry Smith’s ’30 Ford coupe was one of our favorites.
We were fortunate to spend a lot of time with Jack and Kathy Stirnemann this year and their turbocharged flathead-powered ’34 three-window coupe. They brought the coupe to our office early in the year to photograph on location for TRJ #60. Just before that issue hit the newsstands the Stirnemann’s brought the coupe to display in our booth at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. Lastly, they brought the coupe back east for the TRJ Revival in Baltimore, Maryland.
Issue #60 also featured Pat Ganahl’s look into a time when surfing and hot rodding were experiencing their first big booms during the Post-War population growth in Southern California. The story is told through the personal scrapbooks of Dale Velzy, Hap Jacobs, and Bev Morgan when they were hanging around Hermosa Beach, surfing, shaping boards, and cruising in low-slung post-WWII customs.
The “Black Pearl” is the latest creation to roll out of the minds of custom designer Rick Dore and Metallica vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield. Photographing it in baremetal really allowed us to closely examine the body which is completely handmade from steel and aluminum.
The largest show we attend every year is the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louiville, Kentucky, and it is always one of our favorites. With over 10,000 cars and trucks on display from across the country and Canada there was something for everyone. We particularly liked the ’29 Model A Tudor tub on Deuce rails owned by Denny Jamison from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ty and Linda Tupper brought their racy ’33 Ford roadster across the border from Aurora, Ontario, Canada.
Mike Pretorius brought his subtle, raked ’34 Ford five-window coupe from Wabash, Indiana.
It’s the end of August every year that we attend the show closest to home for the TRJ Staff, the Goodguys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, California. Long time friend of TRJ, Ron Brooks, is always on hand with his beautiful ’40 Chevrolet convertible.
Another car that caught our attention on the Alemeda County Fairgrounds was the ’57 Ford Ranch Wagon owned by Gerry and Gain Gamet of Murrieta, California.
As the summer drew to a close it was full speed ahead for the second annual Rodder’s Journal Revival held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland the last weekend in September. We were so pleased with the turn our this year as well as all of the overwhelming feedback from attendees. Be on the lookout for our full event coverage feature in the upcoming issue #62 as well as our 2014 Calendar.
The last issue of the year, TRJ #61, showcased the return of the Eastwood-Barakat Deuce Tudor. The original made a huge impact on the hot rodding world when it first appeared in 1982, and the recreation does not disappoint.
Also featured in TRJ #61 is Austin, Texas, resident Mike Young’s low down ’48 Buick Special sedanette. What drew us to Mike’s Buick was its vastly stock appearance, custom paint and interior, and ultra-low stance.
The last event we attend every year is the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, California, put on by the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum. This year we were stoked to have the TRJ ’32 Ford roadster parked next to Ryan Reed’s ’32 Ford coupe right in front of our booth.
As always the cacklefest at the historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway did not disappoint. There were over 70 nitro burning Dragsters and Fuel Altereds that fired up on the track. Photo by Greg Stokes.
Toward the end of 2013 we began working on the issues of the magazine coming out in 2014. Be on the lookout for issue #62 and a feature on the bright-orange, Buick-powered ’34 Ford coupe built by Dave Lane of Donahue, Iowa for owner George Poteet. Also coming soon is the story of the Chuck Porter Ford F-1 shop truck and the Chuck Porter-sponsored Ruddy and Weinstein Bonneville roadster.
Lastly, 2013 saw the launch of our all new website. We are proud of the streamlined look, user friendly navigation and added new content. While it wasn’t without a few hiccups, the launch of the new site went relatively smoothly, and we’ve received a positive response. We do have additional improvements and upgrades planned for early 2014.
In 2014 we plan to continue to provide you with the best in hot rod and custom car journalism within the pages of The Rodder’s Journal. We also resolve to bring you more stand-alone content online such as the road trip piece written and photographed by John Gunsaulis of Spokane, Washington. Read about his journey across country stopping at car shows and swap meets along the way. His Deuce Phaeton is pictured above in Sharpsburg, Maryland.