The Austin, Texas Trio
The 1990’s brought on a renaissance period of sorts in the hippy town of Austin, TX. Guys like Steve Wertheimer reintroduced the town to traditional hot rods and customs to a level that is only matched by the west coast. It’s been widely covered and publicized and, as such, many folks consider the Austin, TX hot rod culture to be a relatively new one. It’s not.
I’ve researched a lot of cars that were built in the Austin area as far back as the late 1940’s. I’ve found a good number of street cars and a hand full of customs, but mostly it seems as though the region was into racing – drag racing to be specific. By far the most well known and my favorite car of the period and area is the “Texas Rocket” built and crewed by T.W. Buck, Roger Bohls, and Frank Miller. Hell, it was such hot shit that Hot Rod Magazine featured it in March of 1958.
The premise of the car is pretty simple – take a ’29 roadster, keep the rails, add a bad-ass Olds motor, and go haul some ass at the Nationals. A lot of guys chose the B/R class in the later 50’s simply because the class was competitive and the cars were relatively affordable to build. Few, however, did it with the attention to detail that this Texas Trio did. I’m in love with the stance that is accentuated by a land speed inspired front chin and belly pan. And those headers? Glorious.
The Hot Rod Mag article doesn’t go into the car’s achievements, but I was able to look up the ’58 Nats results. The Trio turned the top ET of the meet for the B/R class at 13.36 (109.42 mph), but only managed to take home a 2nd place trophy. A couple of schmucks from California stole their cup.