We are sad to report that one of the cornerstones of Street Rodder, Rod & Custom and Hot Rod Magazine, and hot rodding in general, Tom Medley passed away today. Tom Medley was the first employee of Bob Petersen as HOT ROD’s Cartoon Editor starting with the second issue of HOT ROD in 1948.

Of course, we've covered Medley's attributes before in Street Rodder Magazine. If you recall, in mid-October of 2012, Medley's very own '40 Ford Deluxe was all but nearly destroyed in a garage fire. Medley escaped injury, however, his '40 Ford was not so lucky and was heavily damaged.

Hot Rod Magazine caught up with Medley over the summer in June and even brought out the restored Ford to Hot Rod's Hot rod Homecoming. Read up on the update HERE.

Rod & Custom Magazine also chronicled his entire life and career in this full story
. It covered everything from his first gig to when he finally retired.

Medley had a prolific career during his decades with Petersen Publishing. Among his professional highlights:

  • He created the beloved cartoon character Stroker McGurk
  • Drew the early cutaway illustrations and cartoons for HOT ROD
  • Photographed hundreds of features for both HOT ROD and Rod & Custom
  • Was ad manager for HOT ROD
  • As publisher of Rod & Custom, he made the decision to switch R&C’s editorial content to street rods in 1966
  • Spearheaded the Street Rod Nationals in Peoria, Illinois, in 1970
  • Spearheaded the National Street Rod Association [NSRA], also in ’70 [and created the logo that is still in use today]
  • Coined the term “Street Is Neat”
  • Served as editor and publisher of Petersen’s Street Rod Quarterly for years
  • Generally worked behind the scenes in many capacities at Petersen from 1948 until his retirement in 1984

And these were only his publishing exploits. He was also a crack go-kart racer, car builder, upholsterer, political cartoonist, and in many ways the face of modern hot rodding today. To say he was woven into hot rod culture is an understatement. Medley was 93 years old. He is survived by his son Gary and grand daughter Sarah.