A few weeks ago on May 10th, Pete & Jake’s continued their 40th Anniversary celebration with an open house at their Peculiar, Missouri, shop. The event was a monumental success, raising $32,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and drawing nearly 600 hot rods and customs from around the country. We wanted to share a few photos and stories from the weekend, and congratulate Pete & Jake’s owners Jerry, Peggy, Jason, and Tina Slover once again on 40 years of hot rodding ingenuity.
The crown jewel of the charity auction was a custom Fender Stratocaster emblazoned with the Pete & Jake’s 40th Anniversary logo and pinstriping by Dennis Ricklefs. Next to the guitar is an autographed photo of bluesman Bart Walker who capped off the open house with a set at Knuckleheads blues bar in Kansas City.
The Slovers have been at the helm of Pete & Jake’s for almost three of the company’s four decades in business. You make a lot of good friends in that time, and hundreds of customers and other hot rodding industry leaders like Pete Chapouris and Pete Eastwood turned out to celebrate. And of course there were plenty of Pete & Jake’s-equipped rods cruising the grounds throughout the day as well.
Carroll and Susan Yeargin regularly drive their ’33 Ford Tudor to rod runs all over the eastern half of the U.S. When we spoke with them, they were at home in South Carolina in between their jaunt to Pete & Jake’s in Missouri and the North Carolina-to-Wisconsin leg of the Power Tour.
Among them were Carroll and Susan Yeargin’s ’33 Ford Tudor. Carroll is a lifelong hot rodder, and Susan attended high school with Jerry and Peggy Slover in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. Today the Yeargin’s call Greenville, South Carolina, home, but they’ve been returning to Missouri for the Slover’s open house every year since they got their ’33 Ford on the road in 2007.
Carroll balanced and blueprinted the 355-inch smallblock Chevy himself. It’s equipped with an AFR Titon intake and heads, a Speed Demon four-barrel, Howard’s valves, and JE Pistons. Sanderson headers route the exhaust through dual Flowmaster mufflers.
Pinstripers were on hand to adorn everything from panels and pedal cars to these patent leather shoes, striped by Tulsa’s Ron Myers.
Pete & Jake’s and Super Bell-equipped hot rods filled the parking areas around the shop, including this big block Chevy-powered chopped ’34 highboy coupe owned by Dave Price of Topeka, Kansas.
The Yeargin’s Tudor is based on a Pete & Jake’s chassis with a ladder bar rear suspension and IFS. Power comes from a 355-inch smallblock Chevy hooked to 4L60E automatic transmission and a Currie 9-inch rearend. The polished Billet Specialties mag-style rear wheels and spindle mount-style fronts contribute to the drag-inspired vibe. Carroll painted the chopped fiberglass body himself, and he also handled much of the stitchwork inside the nicely appointed cabin. When he and Susan visited Pete & Jake’s earlier this month it was only their first stop on a trip that took them to Branson, Missouri, and back through Tennessee for the Goodguys Nashville Nationals.
Parked alongside a nicely patina’d Deuce five-window was this sharp ’56 Olds that’s been lowered over chrome smoothies with tasteful pinstriping accents.
In addition to the hot rods and customs on display, Pete & Jake’s hosted a charity auction to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. There were many great items to be had, including pinstriped panels, a unique surfboard chair, built by Mitch Kim and Dick Pruitt of Portland, Oregon, and a custom Fender guitar lettered and pinstriped by Dennis Ricklefs. Bluesman Bart Walker stopped by the shop and played an impromptu set for the hundred or so people gathered on Friday evening before the open house. In addition to “test driving” the auction guitar, Jerry and Peggy Slover presented him with a Fender Stratocaster they had custom-built for him by Scott Buehl and Paul Waller at Fender. It has a swamp ash body with a gorgeous bent flame maple top, a rosewood fingerboard, and a bridge built specifically for Bart.
After the paved lot was full, rods and customs began filling the field surrounding Pete & Jake’s. Among them was this stock-bodied, ground-scraping ’48 Chevy Fleetline.
Saturday wrapped up at Knuckleheads blues club in Kansas City, Missouri, with another set by Bart and his band. “There was special reserved hot rod parking,” Jason Slover says, “and it’s an open air-style bar right next to a rail yard. There were storms rolling in all around us and the floor shakes when the trains go by. It’s a really cool place, and it was a great night. Just a really, really cool time with our friends.”
Stay tuned here for more rod run and car show coverage, as well as updates on the latest Rodder’s Journal projects. Even as many of you are receiving TRJ #63, we’re already deep in the throes of issue #64 and planning for this year’s Rodder’s Journal Revival in Baltimore, Maryland. Check out www.roddersjournal.com for more info, and we’ll see you on the road!
Belton, Missouri rodder Jack Walker’s nicely restored, stock ’59 Chevy Impala looked great among the hot rods and customs outside of one of Pete & Jake’s buildings.
Nothing says late-’50s street racer like a hoodless ’40 Ford DeLuxe coupe. We especially liked the header dumps tucked just behind the front wheels.
Pete & Jake’s co-owner Jerry Slover is seen at left talking with John Melchiori who owns John’s Industries, the Michigan-based manufacturer of 9-inch Ford rearends, housings, and axles.
A chopped Model A coupe rolls into Pete & Jake’s, flanked by a military motor pool on display for the day.
We liked the subtle good looks of this ’28/’29 Ford pickup, nicely raked over painted steel wheels with caps and black walls. It’s owned by Bob and Linda Galbraith, owners of windshield wiper drive manufacturer New Port Engineering in Washington, Missouri.
The latest Pete & Jake’s shop project is this chopped, blown Hemi-powered ’33 Ford three-window coupe. The blistered and angle-louvered hood sides and Halibrand-style wheels lend an early-’60s vibe.
Gene and Esther Waight’s bright yellow ’55 F-100 looked electric in the bright sun. The slammed stance was perfect, and there were some nice custom tricks like the one-piece tilt front end and sheet metal tonneau.
Tucked under the hood of this beautiful Washington Blue Deuce highboy is a nicely appointed smallblock with chromed rams horn exhaust and three deuces. The car was built by Street Rods by Michael in Shelbyville, Tennessee for Ronnie and Debra Goodwin of Smithville, Tennesse.
Among the pinstripers on hand was Kansas City’s own Blaine Scott, seen here laying down some lines on a pedal car body. The stripers donated their profits to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
A look inside Blaine’s ’striping box reveals evidence of many miles traveled with ’striping sword in hand.