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When there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulations, when the legal speed limit was 75 mph, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go!

Old Stuff

The 1952 Speed-O-Rama was the second hot rod show in Portland. It was put on by the newly-formed Columbia Timing Association (CTA), consisting of members from the Road Angels and the Ramblers. As a member of the Road Angels since July, 1951, it was something I was interested in. Although I was still in high school, somehow I managed to spend four days at the Portland Auditorium hanging around the show.

 It was a big enough event that two notable cars came up from California: Earl Evan's Belly Tanker and Fred Carillo's Modified Roadster. Both cars had set records at the third Bonneville meet a couple months earlier. I picked up this poster, which had been propped against the card tire, when they were shutting down.


It wasn't a big show, only about 25 cars, but a big event at the time. The whole event felt brand new -- it was brand new. The concept of a car show, whether someone would pay money to see a car, was a new idea, since the first car show in California was only in 1948.

 Now it's all old stuff, but I still like it.

The Happy Hot Rodder - 29 Ford


Here's a happy hot-rodder showing off his 29 Ford on a 32 frame. The car is a little unusual for the year, probably 1939. It has dual carbs that are set wide apart, AutoPulse electric fuel pump on the firewall -- both modern, and wire wheels -- which is an older touch.

If you look in the background you can see the B&S garage, named for Baldwin & Sommerfelt. They ran it, but the building was owned by a guy named Ike. Later, in the 70's I met with Julian Doty who worked on cars in LA and we walked down the street from his place. To my surprise, I saw the B&S garage was still in operation, although with a different name.

By the way, Doty was the nephew of George DuVall, who invented the DuVall windshield - a boat type windshield for a car, and the DuVall hubcap - the first after-market hubcap that I knew of.  The first one had an S shape that emphasized the movement of the wheels.

In any case, this guy in the photo looks happy to be driving a cool hotrod on a sunny day. Who could want more than that?

This photo and more are in the book Flat Out.