Rodder’s Journal #77


On the newsstand cover of Rodder’s Journal #77, we showcase Richard Rawlings’ Hemi-powered ’34 Ford, which he built Fuel Coupe-style with Brian Bass at Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas, Texas. For the subscribers, we have a baremetal studio shot of the Eddie Dye roadster—a historic ’29 Ford Model A with one of the best streamlined track noses of all time. It’s now owned by New Jersey’s Tom Bobowski and is being restored by the Circle City Hot Rods team.

And that’s only the beginning. Flipping through the 170+ pages, you’ll find everything from an ultra-traditional A-V8 built by Vern Tardel to a collection of early-style customs from Ohio. In addition to a batch of extraordinary car features, we have an in-depth look at the Petersen Publishing archives, a mid-’60s Detroit Autorama photo portfolio and a gallery of ground-scraping customs based on mid-century automobile advertisements.

With a pair of three-page foldouts and traditional hot rod and custom car content from cover to cover, it’s an issue you don’t want to miss.

Click Here To Get Yours! 

A Look Inside…


Blue Velvet | By Steve Coonan & Brian Bass

It’s been more than half a century since Fuel Coupes terrorized drag strips far and wide, and Richard Rawlings teamed up with Brian Bass to build a ’34 Ford five-window that emulates those unforgettable ground pounders. Heavily inspired by the Mooneyham & Sharp 554, the chopped, all-steel coupe boasts a 6-71-blown early Chrysler Hemi, custom-made weedburners and a full-on ’60s show car interior. You may have seen the car under construction at the Gas Monkey Garage on Discovery Channel’s “Fast N’ Loud” this fall. For our article we paired our low-light location photos with Brian’s account of the coupe’s construction.

A Roadster Reunited | By Joey Ukrop

Like so many other early hot rods, the Eddie Dye roadster lost its identity when it was updated to keep up with the times. More than half a century later, the pieces are back together again, thanks to New Jersey’s Tom and Jim Bobowski and Jimmy White of Circle City Hot Rods in Orange, California. In “A Roadster Reunited,” we tell the complete tale of the mysterious track-nosed ’29 Ford using historical photos, magazine articles and interviews with past owners—all of which nicely augment the baremetal studio feature.

Wheels Are Everything | By Curt Iseli

Mark Kawano is a graphic designer with an eye for tasteful mild customs. In “Wheels Are Everything,” we delve into his portfolio, which contains a colorful collection of cars plucked from mid-century automobile advertisements that he has smoothed, lowered and outfitted with period-perfect rolling stock. It’s a colorful mix of Mopars, Chevys, Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs and more. With Astro Supremes, narrow whitewalls and Metalflake, this article is a window into Atomic Age bliss. 

Restoration Redux | By Joey Ukrop

Early Ford expert Vern Tardel has been building hot rods for close to 60 years, and he recently finished this ’29 Model A Tudor with flathead motivation for Dave Hunt of Santa Rosa, California. Although Vern has assembled dozens of similar A-V8s, this one was the subject of his newest “How To” book: Hot Rod Your Model A, which documents the sedan’s build process from start to finish. For this article, we went behind the scenes at Vern’s early Ford goldmine and got the full story from the man himself. Click here to get your copy.

The Petersen Photo Archive | By Dave Wallace

In this TRJ exclusive, contributing writer Dave Wallace worked with Petersen Photo Archivist Thomas Voehringer to give an inside look into Petersen Publishing’s snapshots of the mid-’50s through mid-’60s. Year by year, Thomas shares never-before-published treasures from the Hot RodCar Craft and Rod & Custom archives that include everything from fuel burning Competition Coupes to Ed Roth in his element at a wild beatnik party.

Customs Revisited | By Curt Iseli

Jim Walker of Dayton, Ohio, has been building his collection of Barris-influenced customs for nearly 40 years. TRJ Publisher Steve Coonan ventured to his garage to photograph them a quarter century ago. In “Customs Revisited,” we take a look back at these early-style classics and explore Jim’s customizing roots. Although decades have passed since these photos were taken, the old adage still rings true—elegance truly never does go out of style.

Get Your Pictures! | By Joey Ukrop

Back in the ’60s, professional photographer Joe Stevens captured the excitement of the Detroit Autorama one picture at a time. More than a decade after his passing, we got in touch with his daughter, Patrice, to bring his story to life. “Get Your Pictures” is filled with never-before-published images of the wild cars and vibrant personalities that filled Detroit’s Cobo Hall during our hobby’s golden era. It’s a story you won’t want to miss.

Fuel For Thought | By Curt Iseli

For this installment of “Parts Is Parts,” we take a closer look at gas tank options for your rod or custom. Plenty of fuel for thought.