Filed under: History
I was laying in bed, half asleep at about 3am this morning. The Military Channel was on wispering a bed time story when I heard the commentator mention a tank driver. The quote went something like this:
“Clyde Sturdy was the group’s designated tank commander. He was a hot rodder before the war and really knew how to drive a machine.”
The result was a rather sleepless night. I knew I had I heard that name before, but I couldn’t place it. I floated in consciousness for hours – too tired to get up and research, too interested to sleep. Finally, at around 9am I got up and got to work.
It didn’t take long before I realized that I should have known who Clyde was instantly. Clyde was running around pals with Ray Brown and that lead to a long-term relationship with none other than Alex Xydias. This changed the hot rod world in a couple of ways:
1. It was Clyde’s record setting and channeled ’32 roadster that became the famous “SoCal roadster” and later inspired the semi-production roadsters the shop puts out today.
2. Clyde partnered and shared driving duties on a belly tank with Xydias. Of course, that belly tank is none other than the SoCal Lakester.
At this point, I was expecting to find and read a lot more about Clyde. However, the information just kind of stops after about 1952 – nothing in Hot Rod Magazine or Hop Up. A war hero and a hot rodder… What happened next? If you know, speak up as a reply!