Two very happy guys: Tom Medley’s ’40 Ford held a special place in his heart; when it was thought to be destroyed, Randy Clark brought it back from the ashes.
Tom’s coupe was a driver;...
Tom’s coupe was a driver; here Tom takes a break in the middle of Wyoming on one of his many cross-country trips.
One of the true pioneers of our hobby is Tom Medley. In the early days at Hot Rod
magazine he shot photos, wrote stories, sold ads, and of course created his alter ego, Stroker McGurk. Later he would sit in the editor’s chair at Rod & Custom
and help create the first national event for street rod enthusiasts. The list of Tom’s contributions to the hobby goes on and on but he remains humble about his impact. His usual response to accolades is: “I was just doin’ my job.”
Along with being a talented artist and a genuinely nice guy, Tom also has zest for life and an incredible sense of humor. When asked about the fire that reduced his rod to rubble Tom replied, “I always wanted a flamed ’40, I just didn’t want it this way.”
The once-perfect grille and...
The once-perfect grille and headlight doors ended up as piles of melted metal on Tom’s garage floor.
Not long after the fire most of those who looked at the car wrote it off as being too far-gone to save. However, there were a few who wanted to see Tom’s car resurrected in appreciation for everything he had done for the hobby and the industry that grew up with it. Jack Chisenhall, president of Vintage Air, began the campaign and threw down the gauntlet, Randy and Peaches Clark, of Hot Rods and Custom Stuff, picked it up and accepted the challenge to save Stroker’s coupe. We’re sure at some point Randy questioned his decision, but he and his crew never gave up, as the resurrected car proves.
Along with Randy’s hard work and dedication, a long list of those in the business donated parts to see the project through, and many hobbyists made cash contributions to a special trust fund that helped to defray costs. The culmination of this outpouring of appreciation for Tom was put on display at Goodguys in Pleasanton, California, last August. Randy Clark rolled out the coupe and it was officially presented to Tom in front of an appreciative crowd.
For obvious reasons the cars are usually the main focus in street rodding, but as much as we all enjoy them it’s the people who make the hobby what it is. When asked how he felt about all the support rebuilding the coupe received Randy simply said, “It’s what street rodding’s all about.” We couldn’t have said it better.
After the fire just about everyone considered the car a write-off. Note the sag in the hood, although it isn’t easy to see in this photo all the body panels were warped.
Tom’s ’40 is not only back,...
Tom’s ’40 is not only back, it’s beautiful. Hot Rods and Custom Stuff not only did the impossible, they did it in record time.
While at Pleasanton an interview...
While at Pleasanton an interview with Tom was broadcast over the fairgrounds’ sound system; he knows hot rod history because he was there as it was created.
It’s hard to believe this...
It’s hard to believe this is the same car. With the exception of the hood, all the sheetmetal was saved.
Tom Medley’s Coupe Project Industry Contributors:
Andy’s Tee Shirts, Concord, CA
Bob Drake Reproductions, Grants Pass, OR
Boom Mat, Cleveland, OH
Classic Instruments, Boyne City, MO
Clemmer & Vial Machine Works, Vancouver, WA
Coker Tire, Chattanooga, TN
Curt Hamilton Industries, Van Nuys, CA
Darrell Mayabb, Arvada, CO
Edelbrock, Torrance, CA
Electro Tech Powder Coating, San Marcos, CA
Flaming River, Cleveland, OH
Gearstar Transmissions, Akron, OH
Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, Pleasanton, CA
HAMB readers & contributors, worldwide
www.HotRodHotline.com.com, Boise, ID
Hot Rod Magazine, El Segundo, CA
Hot Rods and Custom Stuff, Escondido, CA
ididit, Tecumseh, MI
Image Street Rods, Santa Maria, CA
JalopyJournal.com, Austin, TX
Joe Laporte Enterprises, San Marcos, CA
Kip Dunne Motorcar Wiring, Ramona, CA
Kugel Komponents, La Habra, CA
LimeWorks Speed Shop, Whittier, CA
Lizardskin, Toledo, OH
Meza Automotive Paint, Escondido, CA
Painless Performance Products, Fort Worth, TX
Phenix Performance Plumbing, Riverside, CA
Powermaster Performance, West Chicago, IL
PTO Sales, Escondido, CA
Sherm’s Custom Plating, Sacramento, CA
Speedway Motors, Omaha, NE
STREET RODDER Magazine, Irvine, CA
The Rodder’s Journal, South San Francisco, CA
Tom Fritz Studio, Thousand Oaks, CA
Tom Sewell’s Auto Trim, Hesperia, CA
Tom “the Itch” Otis, Sherman Oaks, CA
Total Cost Involved, Ontario, CA
Tri-Valley Auto Class, Pleasanton, CA
Vintage Air, San Antonio, TX
Wheel Vintiques, Fresno, CA
Wholesale Performance Muffler, Escondido, CA