With the weather getting warmer and the car show season fast approaching, we’re hard at work on the next issue. We recently came across two very different scrapbooks that bookend the traditional hot rodding spectrum. One’s loaded with black and white photos dating back to the early-’50s, while the other provides a colorful glimpse into the sport 20-some years later. We will share more snapshots in the coming months, but we figured we would showcase a few favorites here.
Southern California hot rodder Danny Eichstedt was responsible for some of the wildest machines to come out of the Early Times car club stable, and we’re excited to say we just received several binders full of his slides dating back more than half a century. After building the famed “Leg Show T” and driving it more than 4,000 miles round-trip to the ’71 Street Rod Nationals in Memphis, he began working on this chopped and sectioned ’34 Ford sedan. Much like the rest of Eichstedt’s creations, the Tudor featured immaculate fit and finish—although we will admit his improvised jack stand makes us a little nervous.
Larry Braga has long been known for building very clean and very low early Fords. This color shot from the Eichstedt collection shows his roadster as it appeared in the August 1974 issue of Street Rodder, complete with orange steelies and a smallblock Chevy beneath the louvered three-piece hood. We included several shots of the car in TRJ #7 and a few more in our RJ Times piece “Roadster Revisited” in issue #74.
Last week, Nick Silva of Hayward, California, stopped by the Rodder’s Journal headquarters with an album full of photos taken by his father, Richard, more than half a century ago. Richard captured Mary Jane Edwardson’s Deuce roadster before the crowds rolled in at the Oakland Roadster Show in 1955. Note the smooth hood sides, 3×2-fed flathead, ’54 Ford wheelcovers and cycle fenders all around. The Oakland-based roadster was painted Coral Flame Red.
With all the buzz about the “Kookie Kar” circulating as of late, we were pleasantly surprised to find this snapshot of the car’s earliest iteration—the “Lightnin’ Bug”—in Silva’s collection. He took this photo at the ’55 Oakland Roadster show, where Norm entered the car without the 3-71 supercharger atop the 331cid Cad. We featured Von Franco’s faithful clones of both the Lightnin’ Bug and the Kookie Kar in the now sold-out TRJ #36. (Some TRJ dealers may still have them in stock).
It’s not every day that you see a full-fendered T pickup, let alone one as nice as Don Hentzell’s ’27 from Oakland, California. In the early-’50s, he shoehorned a Red Ram Hemi beneath the hood, outfitted the RPU with ’29 Model A fenders and used the Ford as the delivery vehicle for his business, Western Wheel and Rim Service. It’s seen here on display at the ’55 Oakland Roadster Show.
It’s truly amazing to think how long the Pierson Brothers’ and So-Cal coupes remained competitive at Bonneville and at the dry lakes. Nick Silva photographed the pair under a dynamic sky on the salt in 1986. At the time, Tom Bryant owned the Pierson Brothers’ ’34 (left) and Jim Travis of “Pumpkin Seed” fame was campaigning the So-Cal Coupe. We featured the restored pair in TRJ #24.