People Who Have Made A Difference

Bobby Alloway
The 2012 Goodguys Street Rod of the Year '32 Vicky is the latest in a long line of Alloway-built rods, customs, and muscle cars that exceed "same-old-thing" boundaries.

When you're from back here and the magazines are on the West Coast, the only thing you see is what they're doing in California, and the only way you can find that out is through the magazines. We would see the style of West Coast cars in the magazines and try to mimic that. One that comes to mind is Pete Chapouris' flamed coupe. Everybody, including me, wanted a "California Kid" car. If it hadn't been for the magazine, I wouldn't have known about Pete & Jake's, or Jim Ewing's Super Bell axle company. When the magazine announced that they were going to do a cross-country tour with Pete Chapouris, Jim Ewing, and Jim Jacobs, I thought it was just the greatest thing in the world to get to talk to somebody like that, whom I'd seen in all the magazines. If it hadn't have been for that encounter I might have been a beach bum somewhere or a professional water skier in Cypress Gardens. Instead I chose to stay here and build these cars.

I'll tell you how influenced I was. I always paint everything black. When I started trying to get cars in the magazine, I couldn't get anybody to look at a black car. So I started painting stuff red, including a '34 Victoria. I hated it because it was red, but I thought the magazines would shoot it, and sure enough, they did. Then I painted a '33 Victoria red and took it to the Detroit Autorama, where it won the Ridler award—the same year that Tom McMullen showed up with his white Victoria. After that I went back to painting everything black. And, my luck, the magazine got tired of red cars.

When I designed the Speedstar we advertised in STREET RODDER and it took off. Without the magazine's help, that never would have happened. This year, we went back to "old school" and won Street Rod of the Year in Columbus. Old is new.