I am sending you this photograph that I took at a one-day car show at Montebello High School in August, 1957. At the time this photograph was taken, the roadster was owned by a friend, Dave Hanson. We lived in Whittier and Dave worked for Advance Muffler in East Whittier. The '32 five-window was owned by John Collins of Modern Auto Trim in Whittier. The guy on the right is a mutual friend, Ron Myers.
I first saw this car for sale in 1955. I think it was at a trim shop in Norwalk, California. The price was $2,200, I think. I really wanted this roadster, but on $0.50/hr it couldn't happen for this high schooler.
It took another 40 years before I started my '32 in 1995. I was going to send this picture last year, but it got lost in move from San Jose to Lincoln, California. Recently, it showed up again, so I am sending it so the next story on Tom's car will have one more piece of the puzzle.Earl PrenticeLincoln, CA
The "Tom" that is referred to in his letter is none other than Tom McMullen, our founder. Note the distinctive split wishbones. We felt it only fitting to run this in the 30th Anniversary issue of STREET RODDER. Memories such as this are the very fibers that make our hobby unlike so many others. The staff of SRM would like to personally thank Earl for sharing this piece of history with us. In the "it's a small world category" Editor Brennan lived across from Montebello High in 1956 and would have gone there had it not been for his parent's moving the next year. (I was a pre-high schooler then but do remember the weekend car shows and how they fascinated me so much.)
What's Rodding All About
I am of the age where my collection of STREET RODDER goes back to the days when there were vans and Volkswagens on the cover. Over the years, I have drifted in and out of the street rod scene. For a while it was Vettes and then circle track racing, now it's back to street rodding, where I feel at home.
The growth and maturation of STREET RODDER is truly remarkable when compared to other magazines in the automotive entertainment field; it stands alone, and above all others. Sure, there are some that are older and some that are glossier, but the versatility of the magazine and its staff are, well, commendable and extraordinary. From the superb standards of grammatically correct articles to the in-depth tech material, your staff exhibits the passion we, the readers, have for these "old cars."
I appreciate your advertisers. Without these advertisements building a street rod would be a more formidable and defeating task for many. Having built three cars in the last three years, I appreciate the technical skill and knowledge exercised by the people answering the phones at these businesses. These are some exemplary people who understand the products they manufacture and sell and want you to be satisfied with their products.
Being a member of a car club, North Florida Street Rod Association, I come into contact with a variety of automotive art. Each car is an expression of the level of the owner's passion for the avocation we call street rodding. Notice that I said owner-not builder. It doesn't make any difference if you spent the last 5 years building your rod or if you just bought it last week. You are a part of the street rod heritage. Welcome, no matter how you got here.
'Glass or steel-big deal! I've built both. Who cares? A year ago you printed a picture of my friend Dave Venski's '26 T roadster built in the '50s style. The front of the car is steel and the back is a 'glass deck glued on. Where do you classify that? Who cares? The car is flat cool!
Our hobby is always going to have some nitpickers and egomaniacs. Let 'em be. Just keep on doin' what yer doin'.Granville "Granny" Taylor Orange Park, FL
Well, Granny, thanks for your words and perspective which appears to be right on, and you also appear to be having more fun than should be allowable for any rodder with three cars in three years!
I had a very interesting Monday; it's something you might look into for one of your articles. I received a call from the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento, California, in regards to my personalized license plate.
They wanted to know if I still had them and what was I using on my car since I had given them up. What! I'm still using them; they are still on my car in the garage. This is my baby not a daily driver, so I had to go out and look under the cover.
The plates were there but no new tag. I suddenly realized I hadn't received this year's renewal notices. I was advised to go to my DMV and talk to them. A quick 2 hours of lines, forms, and three clerks later, I found that someone last year wanted my plate. When he found it was being used, he simply filled out a form stating I had given them to him and presto! His car was registered with my plate.
When I told this story to my sister, she related a similar story about a guy in her club. When he showed his car in Northern California, someone copied his license number, then sent in a change of address, received a new registration, and proceeded to sell a car with his registration. He found out about this when he questioned the DMV as to why he didn't receive a renewal notice.
In closing, I think the word needs to get out. "Look at your tags and make sure you are getting your renewal notices." Thank you for letting me vent.
Via the Internet
Paul, you have a right to both vent and be pissed off. In the May '02 issue we addressed a number of legislative items that are occurring all across the country. It is imperative that each and every rodder take a vested interests in our hobby, otherwise others, who care little for our passion, will! Thanks for the heads up-we all need this wakeup call.
Givin' Recognition Where It's DueI just received my March issue. The first thing I read is your editorial "Easy There...." Thank you for your honesty and for putting in writing what most of us that enjoy the hobby have felt for years.
I really feel that it is the vocal minority that truly take issue with trailer queen verses daily driver or 'glass over steel. Yes, I am envious and even a little jealous when I see that flawless, high-dollar rod sitting next to my probably-never-to-be-completed '41 Chevy pickup. No, I don't have the talent it takes to build a rod like that, or the money to have one built, but who am I to diminish another's accomplishments just because I am feeling inferior? A great car is a great car. It doesn't matter the year, make, color or structural makeup.
People need to appreciate our hobby for what it is and the people who enjoy it. If your rod is broken on the highway, you can damn well bet the first person to help is a fellow rodder. Whether it's a trailer queen owner or an average Joe, they will do all they can. In what other hobby will a total stranger spot you a couple hundred to get you to a run with just your word and a handshake as collateral? Those are some of the stories I'd like to read in the Rodder Mail section!
As for promoting the advertisers, all I can say is that without them there would be no mag. I'd much rather peruse the ads in your magazine than the cigarette ads found in other rags. I bought my radiator from Walker, and if every company treated a person like they do, this world would be a much kinder place.
All of you that have the time to bitch about everyone else's cars go right ahead. I'll just keep enjoying the rides and hope you don't laugh too hard about mine. For the majority who are just happy to see the hobby stay alive, keep a smile on your face, the wind in your hair, and your ride on the road!