Rodder’s Journal #80

On the newsstand cover of TRJ #80, we showcase the restored Eddie Dye roadster basking in a pool of light outside a Northern California service station. For subscribers, we have an up-close-and-personal studio shot of the Buick nailhead in Don Prieto’s tribute to Tommy Ivo’s first dragster.

Inside, the new issue is filled with a carefully curated blend of traditional rods, customs and other unforgettable features. From a cross-country trip in a souped-up Model T to a custom ’47 Cadillac convertible built from a forgotten four-door, we cover every end of the traditional spectrum. On top of that, we look at ’50s hot rodding in New Hampshire, Tom Fritz’s new art and a W-motor equipped Deuce highboy.

At over 160 pages, TRJ is proudly printed in the U.S.A. It’s a must-have for any diehard hot rod and custom car enthusiast.

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A Look Inside…

Chasing Cherry Orchid | By Joey Ukrop

Back in issue #77, we told the full story of the Eddie Dye roadster and photographed it in our studio in baremetal. Less than a year later, Circle City Hot Rods and East Bay Speed & Custom finished the historic ’29 just in time for the 2018 Grand National Roadster Show. In “Chasing Cherry Orchid,” we pick up right where we left off, zeroing in on the teams’ difficult deadline and the roadster’s much-anticipated debut in Pomona. We shot the Ayala-built Model A on Bob Dron’s ranch in Isleton, California.

Traditional Trendsetter | By Jay Fitzhugh

When traditional custom cars had all but disappeared from the scene in the late-’70s, Curly Tremayne of Monterey, California, wasn’t discouraged. Instead, he teamed up with Rod Powell and Butch Hurlhey to build this chopped, candy coated ’50 Merc that helped spark the custom resurgence—a movement that continues to this day. Although Curly has since passed away, Frank Morawski of Bel Air, Maryland, had the car restored exactly how it was more than four decades ago, complete with the original upholstery and psychedelic Rod Powell dashboard art.

Coast to Coast in a Hot Rod Ford | By Tom Cotter

Nothing beats a good road trip. Last year, acclaimed author Tom Cotter hit the historic Lincoln Highway in a ’banger-equipped ’26 T to explore the road less traveled. The end result is Ford Model T Coast to Coast, an unforgettable hardbound book that chronicles the once-in-a-lifetime trip from the heart of Times Square in New York to the Pacific Coast in San Francisco. In our excerpt, we share some of the most memorable places and faces from the journey. To purchase your copy of the book, head over to our TRJ Library here.

Art and Colour | By Curt Iseli 

Post-war Cadillac convertibles are rare and expensive, but Kevin Anderson of Indianapolis, Indiana, always knew they would make great customs. Rather than slicing into an original, he commissioned Gas Axe Garage to build the “Crystal Cadillac” out of a ’47 Cadillac Series 62 four-door sedan. The results are stunning. John Jackson photographed the finished custom on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

Artistic License | By Curt Iseli

Award-winning painter Tom Fritz has an innate ability to bring hot rods to life on the page. In “Artistic License,” we profile some of his latest work, which includes everything from Deuce highboys at the lakes to surf woodies near the beach. Additionally, we talk to Tom about his background, inspiration and thought process behind his art.

Making Waves | By Don Prieto & Joey Ukrop

Don “The Wavemaker” Prieto spent two years and two months recreating “T.V. Tommy” Ivo’s first dragster. Dubbed the “Single Buick,” the nailhead-powered slingshot dominated Southern California dragstrips, running low nines on gas and consistently netting Top Eliminator honors. Although the original car is long gone, Prieto worked with original chassis builder Kent Fuller to build the dragster exactly as Ivo had it in the ’50s. In “Making Waves,” Prieto tells the story of both slingshots, accompanied by images of the finished car in our studio.

One Piece at a Time | By Joe Kress

Though the years, Mike Cardenas of Apple Valley, California, has befriended the who’s who of So Cal hot rodding, including industry veterans Pete Chapouris, Pete Eastwood and Jim “Jake” Jacobs. With a little help from his friends, Mike built his dream Deuce highboy that he started planning nearly half a century ago. From the 348cid Chevy to the polished mags and electric blue paint, the car drives home the ’60s look.

Long Live the Tappets | By Joey Ukrop

During the 1950s, hot rodding was on the rise from coast to coast. Back then, Carl Rogge was a teenager in Pembroke, New Hampshire, who quickly became car crazy and joined the Tappets—a local car club. From 1958 to 1964, his life revolved around hot rods, customs and drag racing. We’re excited to share his story, photos and a rich slice of New England hot rod history in “Long Live the Tappets.”

Alex Stewards | By Curt Iseli

Dropped axles have long been part of the hot rod equation, and we take a closer look at their history as well as new forged options for Super Bell in our latest Parts Is Parts installment.