Legendary painter and customizer Gene Winfield (right) gets an autograph from the man of t
Alex Xydias has had many milestones in his 90 years on this planet. He was trained as a gunner on a B-17, opened the SO-CAL Speed Shop in 1946, set numerous speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, was featured on multiple covers of Hot Rod magazine in its earliest days, and, with the SO-CAL streamliner team, went 210 mph at Bonneville in 1950—all before he was 28 years old.
Xydias (pronounced ex-ZID-e-us) then began a motorsports film company, was editor of Car Craft for a number of years, and, later, associate publisher of Hot Rod magazine. He was also the director of what would eventually become the SEMA Show, and was partners with Mickey Thompson in the SCORE off-road show series. Inducted into several hall of fame organizations, Xydias is also a recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award.
This SO-CAL jacket, with 68 autographs on it from the hot rod world, sold for $1,500, whil
Pete Chapouris went to Xydias when Chapouris re-launched SO-CAL Speed Shop in 1997 and, more recently, Xydias became involved in AXC (the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts), a program that prepares students for a career in the automotive industry.
Celebrating his 90th birthday with 400 of his closest friends, Xydias teamed up with the NHRA Motorsports Museum (of which he is the Chairman of the Board) to raise funds for both the museum and AXC. After a silent auction, dinner, and a slide presentation of Xydias’ life, the live auction got underway and together the evening’s event raised $84,000.
The history of both the SO-CAL Speed Shop and Alex Xydias can be summed up in this photo.
In mint condition, this trophy was presented to Xydias from the Sidewinders Club in 1948 f
The big-ticket item for the evening’s auction was one of Xydias’ early trophies. From the