Partner Art Holman gave us...
Partner Art Holman gave us a tour of Sherm's production facility. The chrome-plating industry has come under great scrutiny recently by the EPA among others. Sherm's has kept up with all the necessary changes to meet these stringent requirements and still produces the highest quality of show chrome available.
Our fun continued on Tuesday morning as we headed north to the town of Modesto. Just when we thought we had seen every beautiful '32 Ford on the planet we got to Tom Holmquist's and saw a collection of Deuces that represent every body style that was offered by Ford in 1932. We were greeted by Holmquist and his wife, Andrea, and his sister, Barb. With an ample supply of coffee, pastries, and cheesecake we spent the morning enjoying Holmquist's collection of beautiful vehicles.
The journey continued north on Route 99 to the town of Stockton and the Panella Trucking race car shop. Bob Panella and his son, Bob Jr., have been major figures in professional drag racing for many years. Bob Sr. successfully campaigned a '41 Willy's pickup in the early '60s and Bob Jr. continued their racing success with three consecutive national Pro Stock Truck championships over the past decade. Their shop continues to produce some the finest engines in the racing world. Bob Sr.'s love for Willys vehicles has grown into one of the greatest collections of that marquee in the country.
Wednesday afternoon we enjoyed...
Wednesday afternoon we enjoyed a great barbecue dinner at the Uptown Café in Sacramento as guests of Sherm's Plating and SO-CAL of Sacramento. After dinner it was down Del Paso Street to the SO-CAL showroom where we got a chance to relax and enjoy all of the cool parts and accessories in a unique setting.
After our tour of the Panella Trucking race car shop, Bob Sr. invited us to he and his wife, Dorothy's, home just north of Stockton near Lodi. Their beautiful 88-acre ranch was breathtaking and we were all treated to a ride on his latest passion: a one-fifth scale railroad that runs on a 1-1/2-mile track covering the stunningly landscaped grounds of their home. It was a real Road Tour moment and we all beamed like little kids at an amusement park as Bob Sr. navigated the twists and turns on the Panella Railroad. Thanks to the entire Panella family for welcoming us to their shop and their beautiful home. It is an afternoon that none of the Road Tourians will ever forget.
With visions of riding Panella's train still dancing in our heads, we had our daily driver's meeting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. It was a one-hour drive to Leonard Lopez's new Dominator Street Rod facilities in Tracy, California. Lopez and his crew built the '07 Road Tour Deuce coupe and it was great to see all of our friends at Dominator. As usual they have plenty of projects in the works and they are all first-class and it was informative to have Lopez fill us in on all the details of the vehicles in the shop.
From Dominator we headed north and arrived in Sacramento about noon. We were greeted at Sherm's Plating by Art Holman and Dave Dougherty. As partners with President Gary Matranga, Holman and Dougherty oversee the daily activities at Sherm's. We were given a full tour and a very informative talk by Holman about what it really takes to produce the quality of show plating that Sherm's is famous for. Everyone was amazed at the cleanliness of the shop and the steps that are taken to keep the facility environmentally safe. All of the Road Tourians received Sherm's hats and goodie bags. There was a drawing for a $150 Sherm's Plating gift certificate. Donna Avery was the excited winner.
We also visited the "toy box" of Sherm's president who had been traveling with me all week in the Road Tour Chevy. Matranga has been a car guy his entire life and has competed in all aspects of racing. He has his pro license in drag racing and is a member of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club. He has had some great street rods over the years and it was fun to see his famous Willy's street/race car, his collection of '32 Fords, vintage Harleys, and road racing Ducati motorcycles. We were also given a look at his latest project, a '32 Ford B-400 that is going to be unbelievable when completed.
It was a short drive to Del Paso Street where we were given a peek at the collection of vintage tin and incredible Flathead engines and parts owned by SO-CAL Speed Shop of Sacramento. It is hard to imagine that such a huge collection has been amassed by owners Joe Fazio and Dan Sanderson.
It was a rare treat to be...
It was a rare treat to be able to meet and chat with legend Dick Bertolucci at his body shop in Sacramento. Along with George and Sam Barris, and Harry Westergard, Bertolucci was one of the most influential car builders in Northern California in the '40 and '50s. He has been able to re-acquire the famous '38 Chevy that he originally built in 1946.
Thursday morning we were treated...
Thursday morning we were treated to a great breakfast at Tim's Hot Rods in Rio Linda. Owner Tim Lohrey has been building high-quality street rods for a number of years and has projects in the works that range from full customs to high-performance hot rods.
Next we visited the private...
Next we visited the private shop and collection of John Cox. Cox is a former drag racer who still campaigns a vintage rail with son Terry at the wheel. His collection of autos and automobilia ranges from early sprint cars and Smith-Miller toys to an amazing stable of '58 Chevrolets.