Over the past couple of weeks we’ve come across quite a few photos in our files that had frankly, kind of slipped our mind. The newest of these images are more than two decades old and the oldest were shot just after WWII. We thought you might enjoy perusing a few of these images.
Back in TRJ #22 we did a full feature on the freshly restored Jim Khougaz ’32 Ford. It was a channeled roadster that served as a street and lakes machine that ultimately turned over 140 mph with flathead power. In 1995 Jim ran an ad in Hemming’s for the roadster and it was purchased by Indiana hot rodder Mark Van Buskirk who commissioned Dave Simard to do a full restoration. Jim Khougaz provided us with some historic snapshots for the article, but we didn’t have room for them all. Here are a couple that didn’t make the original article.
In the winter of 1992 I ventured to Dayton, Ohio, and set up a portable studio so that I could photograph a portion of Jim Walker’s amazing collection of early-style rods and customs. An article featuring 10 of Jim’s cars appeared in two parts in the August and September 1992 issues of American Rodder. Two of our favorites from the shoot were Jim’s ’36 Ford roadster and ’40 Ford convertible. Both were powered by ’48 Merc flatheads with Jim describing the mill in the ’40 as “three-quarter race” while the ’36s powerplant was “full-house.” The ’40 was chopped and fitted with an original Carson top frame, while the ’36 was patterned after the Robert Williams’ poster art that paid homage to the Westergard style.
Leon Fitzgerald campaigned the “Pure Heaven” Fuel Altered back in the late-’60s with blown big block Chevy power. Pure Heaven II was restored and updated enough to compete in the burgeoning nostalgia drags scene by Bob Nylander back in the 1980s with help of Tom Medlock and the crew at Specialty Cars. At first glance you might think that this is a photo from the early days was taken at Lions. This is not the case. I believe I took this shot at Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale back in the early-’90s. The Lions Drag Strip signage, if memory serves correctly, was part of a promotion for a Lions reunion.
Gary Meadors seems to have always had a thing for Chrysler-based hot rods. His first car was a lowered and scalloped ’47 Plymouth coupe and lately he has crossed the country in his exquisite ’48 Chrysler Town and Country convertible. More than two decades ago he put together this little Plymouth coupe to remind him of the ’47 Plymouth he had in his youth. We snapped this photo on a Sunday afternoon on the Pleasanton Fairgrounds just as one of the Good-Guys West Coast Nationals was winding up.
In the next issue of The Rodder’s Journal we have an article on the legendary Illinois hot rodder Cotton Werksman. Perhaps the best part about it is that it is written by Cotton’s friend of more than 40 years, Spence Murray. The article showcases Cotton’s cars from his first Deuce five-window coupe to his latest Ardun-powered T-roadster. We came across this photo the other day of Cotton’s first Ardun-motivated Model-T bodied roadster at the very first Street Rod Nationals in Peoria, Illinois. This photo actually appeared in TRJ #1 and was taken by Paul Benoit. What we didn’t notice until recently that in the background you can see the Model A highboy originally built by Sam Conrad when he was a member of the L.A. Roadsters. By 1970 when the first Street Rod Nationals took place it was owned by Bob Gorby of Terre Haute, Indiana. Bob was able to update it significantly while keeping much of its original charm, and he still owns it today.
Back in the 1980s, Newport Beach, California, resident and long time hot rodder Ray Malzo used to cruise the Orange County beach communities in this ’39 Ford convertible. Ray purchased it as a restored car and then lowered it and mildly modified the flathead engine. We thought the subtle color went well with the fence in an old downtown Huntington Beach alley.