Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mile-High Hot Rodding

Not Los Angeles
The week following the LA Roadster Show I thought I'd show my appreciation to my good friend Ed Gallagher by crashing at his place in Denver for five days --and with only one week notice!

For the past few years Ed has lived in Parker, Colorado working for the Starz Network in Denver. And he's been wanting me to visit The Mile-High City to show me the car sights and the car he's building.  So after his seven trips to LA, I thought it was time for me to go Rocky Mountain High --Colorado.

Ed only comes back to LA twice a year for two reasons: a good car show, and a better car show.  And I always welcome him to stay on our couch in the one-bedroom apartment where my wife Wendy & I live.  He was here for the LARS just the week before.

That's Ed driving in the 1928 Model A-V8 he built while he was living in Burbank.  And since moving to the Denver area, he's built another car; a nostalgic '28 roadster pick-up he sold through ebay.

Ed's Colorado garage has plenty of room for both his classics and the '32 roadster he's currently building.

Yes, he's moved on to bigger and better things --literally!  The 32 is a bit larger then the A-V8s we're used to.  It's taller, wider, and much roomier inside.

Ed has time and space to do it right.  Nothing rusts due to the consistently arid environment.  So there is no rush to paint conditioned parts such as his frame, suspension, or bare metal deuce body.

With the exception of the body, the majority of the car is vintage Ford parts.  Ed resurrected the original deuce frame & suspension that was once used as a hayride on a Nebraska farm.

He's spend many hours recondition vintage original parts for this very nostalgic, California-correct hot rod.

Here, Ed is working (I assisted) with the vintage 1950s 8K Stewart Warner tach & mechanical drive that will mount on the front of the flathead V8.


Most of my visit Ed & I drove around in his newer Ranger pick-up with A/C --it's hot up there!  But we did have some much needed roadster time (with all-natural A/C).

Country road to where Ed can enjoy driving.  Very flat and not very many trees.
One of our stops.  We met Art Jennings --Model A Collector.

Ed's friend Art is a true Model A enthusiast and builder.  He has about ten of them, mostly stock but a few modified. They are all beautiful and Art lives to drive them... and I'm talking about 1000 mile trips.  He's got a '28 roadster hot rod much like Ed's, coupes, sedans, a pick-up, a wood-paneled station wagon (I'm not going to say it), and a very fun looking one-seat speedster.

He says it's fast --for a Model A!


The NSRA Rocky Mountain Street Rod Nationals just happened to be the same weekend as my visit.  It also had a swap meet, so we had to go.  This would also be my first car show not in California, and it was an eye-opener!

Sure there were many quality street rods & customs like you'd see at any national meet.  But also a lot of cars you wouldn't see in (for lack of better words) fashion-conscience Southern California.

Cars like this:

A very confused car.  Mirrors underneath if you forgot what dirty grease looks like.

Every part of this machine was to-the-extreme!  It's hard to find words to describe it.  It's even a four-seater so the family can come along.
I have to believe this is part joke/ part rebellion from over-prices street rods. Please be a joke!

I think it this one was a Buick.

This one is a little tamer.  But none the less out-there.  I think it's made from what the owner had around, and less of a "statement car" like the one above.

Now this was more like what I expected! Honest hot rods with tractor grills.  I really do appreciate these --no joke.  From the Heart-Land!

If you are familiar with the NSRA, you'll know that the 'SR' stands for Street-Rod.  And sure there were a few very nice street rods... about 500 of them (out of a 2400 car show).
But if you know me, I am all about 'HR', and I was able to find a few at the show to share with you.

We liked this Hot Rod.  It had a great stance and all the nice parts: flatty, QC rear, aircraft seats, 18" rear wheels, 32 frame, etc.  And just enough chrome to keep it down to Earth.

I'm showing you this because I'd like to own a 33/34 roadster just like this someday too.

This is Eric Schill's deuce.  Once a dry-lakes racer, it has a speed-trial plaque on the dash. It also still has a lot of old-fashioned mods, and was pretty cool to see up close.