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Old 11-05-2009, 01:47 AM   #1
Bdamfino
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Default Tom Senter

Can anyone provide more info on the late Tom Senter? He wrote for Hot Rod/Car Craft in the seventies, also was editor of Popular Hot Rodding. He also wrote the definitive book on Flatheads, and raced at Bonneville with his Ardun roadster. My favorite quote of his was concerning an engine swapper he met outside of an antique Ford store, changing heads under a near new Plymouth , '57 I think. When asked why the owner had put a Ford in the Plymouth, the man said, "I blew up the Olds". Classic!!!
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I own Tom's "Tirebird"(He called it the "TRANSRAT", after installing an LS6 454) which was the subject of many articles he wrote in Popular Hot Rodding, Car Craft, etc.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tom Senter

Tom Senter was the real deal. Among his many accomplisments was the writing of a comprehensive article (s) on the Chrysler Hemi. I believe they were called "The Hemi white papers". died way too soon and we were deprived of his knowledge and skill. He also owned a '32 roadster with an Ardun.

Frank
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tom Senter

It was actually a comprehensive article on the Ardun called "The Ardun White Paper"
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tom Senter

There's a great article on Arduns in The Rodder's Journal issue #25. It talks about Senter and his "Ardun White Papers". The article also has some great pictures of Tom's blown Ardun and mentions that he even ran it in the '80s at Bonneville in a Camaro.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I do know that his '32 is the bright orange one that Dennis and Debbie Kyle out of the L.A. area have been running for the last twenty years or so. Always one of my favorite cars. If you have a complete collection of Rodders Journal, Studio shots of his Ardun engine were in #4,5, or 6. As far as I know he didn't edit Popular Hot Rodding, but did edit their entry into the street rod market throughout the seventies 1001 Custom and Rod Ideas. I highly recomend aquiring a collection of that mag if you have a chance. His writing was always very personal and could keep you glued to page for quite awhile. Another one to look out for done by him is in ROD & CUSTOM QUARTERLY, fall 1971. It's a story about riding with Jake from L.A. to Tulsa nationals in the Neikamp car. One of the best hot rod trip stories, ever, in my opinion. I never fail to read that story at least once a year, usually the night before my L.A. Roadster show trip.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tom Senter

Tom Senter was a great writer, He did an article on repairing some 32 rails. He was standing in a field with high grass, asked the owner where the rails were, got a reply, "You're standing on them"!
RIP Tom Senter
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I knew Tom, and he was a bitchin' guy. Something of a Renaissance man, to boot; he built neat hot rods, wrote about them in a very literate and readable style, and judged the Ferrari class at the Pebble Beach concours.

I went to visit him once with a buddy, to see and hear his blown Ardun run. He said, "anyone who will drive 30 miles to hear an Ardun run is a man after my own heart," and he fired the thing for us. It was in the deuce, but was not yet a driver. Got a ride in the TransRat that day; scary fast.

Several years later he ran the Ardun in Mark Dees' roadster at Bonneville, and then drove straight through to Carmel with the roadster on a trailer to judge at Pebble Beach. To entertain a group of wackos, he fired the car again on the trailer just to make a bunch of great noise. This was in Carmel in the late evening, and the Ardun woke up everybody for a mile around.

He hosted an annual party and barbecue at his house in the SF Valley. Guests were invited to bring interesting cars and park them on his lawn, a neighborhood car show. The strangest variety of hot rods, sports cars, and classics would show up -- as I recall, he awarded a price for the weirdest car, but I don't remember any of the winners.

He left us way too soon.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I am new here and have been doing some thread searches and found my friend Tom.

He was a great guy. I met him when he was building the 32. Wescott body with the Ardun. His goal was 200 mph on the salt. I was at his house several times cus we did repair plumbing for his landloard.

He road with me to the 1977 Winfield weekend in Vegas

Got a some pics on a slide carosel.

Tim
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I had no idea Tom only made it to 40 years -- he left so much of a footprint that it seemed like he should have been around since Hector was a pup.
I all but memorized his Ardun White Paper. RIP TOM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tom Senter

The Ardun white papers written by Tom were and still are the definitive piece on the Ardun. It was published in several segments by Rod & Custom in the late 1960's. One issue had Tom against a red background on the cover with his blown Ardun readying for Bonneville. On one of the Rodder's Journal Issue 25 covers (we always do two), we tracked down Tom's original blown Ardun and photographed it with the same red background, at the same angle. It was our way of paying tribute to Tom. It is the only cover shot of Rodder's Journal to date that I am aware of just a motor. Steve Coonan knew Tom, as he came out to California and joined the publishing world in the late seventies. I was strongly influenced and admire his work, but never met him. I can honestly say that his writing changed my life by instilling passion for old Ford hot rods and flatheads.

His signature ending to his letters from what I have been told is "Hot Rods Forever".

I've always liked his style. RIP Tom from an extreme fan.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I always liked the story he wrote about aquiring his pair of Ardun heads. Something about a friend tipping him off to "some unusual race stuff" on the top shelf of a parts store/ repair shop. He walked in obstensibly to ask about a Chevy water pump and pretended to notice this "old junk on the shelf" and after some history and hemming and hawing, the owner ended up giving the set to him! He went on about backing his El Camino into the shop as quickly as he could and loading up and getting out ofthere even faster... I'll dig it up if I can think to do it in the next day or so.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I can remember a conversation I had with him when we road to Winfield Weekend 1977. He said that he had done an interview with two out of the three best automotive minds. The first beeing Zora Arkus-Duntov and then Leo Goosen (not necessarilly in that order)

He was really looking forward to an interiew with Ed Winfield. He said it was a high point and now he had done all three.

tim
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I Remember the article "The Winfield Weekend" from 1001 Custom and Rod Ideas. I wish that I could have tagged along on that one...
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: Tom Senter

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Fitzhugh View Post
The Ardun white papers written by Tom were and still are the definitive piece on the Ardun. It was published in several segments by Rod & Custom in the late 1960's. One issue had Tom against a red background on the cover with his blown Ardun readying for Bonneville. On one of the Rodder's Journal Issue 25 covers (we always do two), we tracked down Tom's original blown Ardun and photographed it with the same red background, at the same angle. It was our way of paying tribute to Tom. It is the only cover shot of Rodder's Journal to date that I am aware of just a motor. Steve Coonan knew Tom, as he came out to California and joined the publishing world in the late seventies. I was strongly influenced and admire his work, but never met him. I can honestly say that his writing changed my life by instilling passion for old Ford hot rods and flatheads.

His signature ending to his letters from what I have been told is "Hot Rods Forever".

I've always liked his style. RIP Tom from an extreme fan.
Hey there Jay,
That red cover issue was their last before they started again in 1974. The Tom Senter issue, June 71 was their swan song....
I'm glad they came back!!!!!!!!!!!! It was one of their best issues ever!!!!!
Dennis and Debbie keep driving the wheels off the 32. Very iconic 32.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I only wish that Tom Senter was still alive. He did so much and I am glad his legacy lives on.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I really enjoyed reading his articles and following along on his builds. He seemed like a super nice guy and down to earth in a Tex Smith kind of way........someone you would love to share a cold one with.

It was sad news to find out he had passed on so soon in life.

Don
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tom Senter

I always enjoyed reading Tom's articles. The White Papers were the best. I remember the story of the trip to the Nats in the NieKamp car. The road worker hurling a flag at them, like a javelin, the "Odessa crash helmets", The sunburns.....great stuff
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:40 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tom Senter

19Fordy, Thank you for posting the cover photos, that is how I file things in my mind, have all three issues up in the attic. Didn't Tom start with '32 chassis and a '27 T body, then swapped it foran A, and finally found the '32 body? Bob
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tom Senter

Always enjoyed Senter articles also Bud Bryan. To give some credit to
a Midwesterner Cotton Werksman also gave input to some of the Ardun
articles Tom published.
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