From Pomona we traveled north to the Simi Valley home and shop of Ron Main. Main is a lifelong hot rodder and has in recent years become a fixture at Bonneville during Speed Week and holds the landspeed record for a Flathead-powered vehicle. He is currently partnered with George Poteet on the Speed Demon streamliner. When the Road Tour traveled to Bonneville last August we were able to see George Poteet win the Hot Rod Trophy for the week with a speed of almost 400 mph. At Main's shop on Sunday we saw both Flat Fire and Speed Demon, which had gone 436 mph five days earlier at Bonneville. Main gave us an in-depth look at what it takes to put together a team and a vehicle to make an attempt at a landspeed record. We were also honored to meet Mike Landy who, with his brother, Dick, had built the Flathead motor that pushed Flat Fire to the record.
We made the very beautiful three-hour trip to Morro Bay under sunny skies and warm temperatures. We stopped by Bear Metal Kustoms where we were greeted by owner Jason Pall and his family and crew. Pall is a young and very talented builder who has already made a mark for himself in the traditional rod scene. I was very impressed with the '51 Olds project that was in progress. It was a great wrap up to another fun day on the Sherm's Custom Plating Tour
After our Sunday evening in Morro Bay, the Sherm's Custom Plating Tour rolled on toward Fresno, California, early Monday morning. The drive across California Routes 46 and 41 was beautiful with rolling grasslands and winding roads. We arrived in Fresno around noon and had time to enjoy some lunch.
Our afternoon stop was at the new John Lawson Motorsport museum. Last year one of our Road Tours had stopped at Lawson's shop and we got a look at his unbelievable collection of hot rods. He has just recently moved much of his collection into a bigger facility and it was fantastic to see the cars in the new setting. There was plenty of room to walk around the 65 cars that were on display and to really appreciate the quality of each and every car. Lawson's love for the '32 Ford goes back over 50 years and is evident by the sheer number of Deuces in his collection. The quantity is amazing but the quality of each and every '32 is what takes your breath away. As always, Lawson was a gracious host and available to answer all of our questions about his vehicles.
From Lawson's new facility we made the short drive to good friend Charlie Lambetecchio's home just outside Fresno. Lambetecchio and his wife, Stella, have been fixtures on the West Coast hot rod scene for years and are former winners of the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award. He was inducted into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame this past January and is always a gracious host when folks come to visit.
From the Lambetecchios we drove across Fresno to the facilities of Wheel Vintiques. Wheel Vintiques has been a major supporter of the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour program since 2001 and is our presenting sponsor. We have spent the last nine years rolling on various Wheel Vintiques products and each and every one has made our cars stand out. We were greeted by owners Sherry and Mike Stallings along with the entire staff. Sherry gave us a real behind-the-scenes look at what goes into all of the Wheel Vintiques products. The resurgence in popularity of the traditional wire wheels for rods is evident by the quantity of wire wheel products on hand. The early OEM line and the steel wheels are other very popular styles and of course their billet line is huge also. After our shop tour we were able to relax and enjoy some tasty Mexican food and wings with the good folks from Wheel Vintiques. It was a perfect way to end a great day on the Sherm's Custom Plating Road Tour