I digress, what about the car clubs that came before? First I went to Dennis’ site (info below) and found that he has access to 12,000 patterns. I would have never guessed that there were that many car clubs—turns out there was or is a lot more. Another website that I found fascinating is hosted by Bill Junge, called Car Club Plaques—well, what did you expect? Take the time to peruse and you will find it fascinating. It is worldwide in its scope and there are literally thousands to view. This is still only the tip of the proverbial iceberg as there are countless rodders who have collections, some numbering into the thousands. There are plaques on display for instance at the Museum of American Speed (Speedway Motors) with almost 200 on view and another 1,000-plus stored away in the archives. There is the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and they have many vintage car club plaques on display. Then there are private collectors, such as Stan Chersky of SoCal who has 4,000-plus plaques, and another SoCal rodder, Vic Cunnyngham, with his collection that specializes in mostly the San Gabriel Valley area and his alma mater Baldwin Park High School.
In my hometown of Garden Grove I found the Archons, Yellow Jackets, Monarchs, and Vikings hot rod car clubs. In my school towns of Anaheim and Fullerton there were actually quite a few. In Anaheim I found the Hangers, Pacers, Road Wolves, Road Runners, Satan’s Chauffeurs, Street Sweepers (I liked that one since I was a “street sweeper” when I worked at Disneyland), Idlers, and Townsmen. The city of Fullerton yielded the Agitators, Prowlers, Rockers, Idlers, Innocents, Judges, Strollers, Shafter’s, Pioneers, and Prowlers hot rod car clubs. (I await your input and should you think this would make a fun story stay tuned for the November issue of SRP (Street Rodder Premium) where we will get into vintage car club plaques.) A neighboring town, Costa Mesa, where the Goodguys holds an annual event, had two old-time hot rod car clubs in the Exiles and Piston Pushers but what surprised me the most was the one and only car club that I found in my hometown of Newport—the S.O.B.’s. You gotta admire the name, but just to be clear it stands for the Sons of the Beaches, and I like that. Reminds me that hot rods and surfin’ have always been a winning combination.