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Old 09-10-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default More on Kenz & Leslie...

I've posted a ton on Kenz & Leslie in the past (here, here, and here), but I had never seen the video below and thought I would post it up for your viewing pleasure. These guys did a whole lot of firsts... Not only were they responsible for the firs...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

I never realized that car was out of Colorodo.One think about being at 5200+ feet is you have a leg up on jetting for the Salt (4200 feet). There is a term renaissance man,which refered to people who could do it all back in the 15th century(?).
Those guys had to be gearhead renaissance men.Drag racing,sprint cars,LSR attempts.
Pretty cool.
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

I love reading these threads. these are what I spend all day on the HAMB for. These men were the true pioneers of the era. I can't get enough of this stuff. Thanks a ton Ryan
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
Rich Venza
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

This kind of history is priceless. Damn shame more of the first generation fellas weren't interviewed years ago.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Love that Kenz & Leslie streamliner! The more information posted on TJJ the better.
Thanks for the video Boss.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

True pioneers of racing - just about any type of racing. I'm blessed any time I can see something new on Kenz and Laeslie. Thank you, Ryan.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

for anyone in the denver area, Kenz & Leslie is haveing a car show at their location, which is 4800 van gordon st. wheatridge co. reg is from 8 to 10 and the awards go at 3 pm.
Saturday sept, 27th.
Mike Bourg

Last edited by mike bourg; 09-10-2008 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Super cool!
My favorite period in dry lakes racing with my favorite type of cars!
Thanks for posting the vid.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Thanks for the info on the car show. We will definitely be there! An amazing family, and to believe it all started here in Denver!

Thanks,

-Tyler
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

I talked to Ron Leslie at the All Ford Day a couple weeks ago. Got to look over the streamliner. Nice!! I will be at the open house now that I am aware of it. I'm drivin a 34 coupe in faded red primer. I own a 46 Ford sedan delivery in rough condition that is supposed to have been a Kenz & Leslie shop truck/delivery vehicle. Any ideas where I can search to verify that? I've olny spotted one picture with it parked as a push truck & showing part of the face. Not enough to go on.
Thanks, Rick
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

I was Lucky enough to have been able to work for Kenz & Leslie from 1972-1975. Right when we moved into the Big Warehouse at 1333 W Zuni.
I worked side by side with Ed Leslie (Uncle Ed) as we all called him and the Streamliner as well as the Comet both sat on the side of the warehouse in trailers. Ed was kind enough to have taught me more than anyone else I have ever met about cars, performance and metal work he was an amazing man. And seeing Ronnie again a few years back when I visited K&L out off of Ward road and seeing him in the Video brings back a lot of memories. Thanks!

BTW Rich have you been down to the garage downtown and is it still there? They should be able to fill in some of the blanks.

Oh yes and the gentelman who really got me started in ernest with my first real HotRod job at Bandimere`s was Andy Anderson who ran the K&L BG team for years after I worked with him as a kid at Bandimere`s.

Last edited by DOK; 08-24-2009 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Here's a picture of my pickup parked next to the Kenz & Leslie 777 Streamliner at a 'Legends Reunion' show held at Bandimere Speedway a few years back.

The streamliner was run in several diferent color schemes over the years. I think light blue was the first when it was sponsored by Floyd Clymer Motorbooks. Later it was yellow & red and sponsored by Wynns Oil. the last paint scheme was red & white when it had the three flathead engines and was sponsored by Bob Jones Skyland Ford, a Denver Ford dealer.

My pickup happens to be known as a 'Bob Jones Special' as the dealer was known for customizing brand new pickups (and some new cars and T-Birds) right off the showroom floor. There was an article in the December 1956 Hot Rod Magazine titled "Truckin First Class" about these customized pickups.

Bob Jones Skyland Ford also sponsoredl other race cars around the Denver area at the time including midgets and stock cars.

JG
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Here's a few more Kenz & Leslie pictures from my stash.

#1 is the Kenz & Leslie flathead dragster running at Denver's Lowry AFB drag strip in 1955. It took top time of the meet. It had an unusual 'swing-axle' rear suspension made up of early Ford driveshaft and rear-end parts. This same suspension was used on the 'Odd Rod' and the streamliner.
#2 I another shot of the K&L 'Odd Rod'.
#3 The 'Odd Rod' lined up for a hill-climb road race in Colorado.
#4 The 'Odd Rod' on the cover of HRM.
#5 A K&L twin-engined flathead dragster.
#6 Willie Young, driver of the streamliner, racing Bill Kenz's '32 Roadster on a dirt track in Denver.
#7 Bill Kenz and this same roadster as driven on the street and at the drags....shown here powered by an OHV Lincoln engine.
#8 The Bill Kenz roadster, driven by Willie Young, during a spin at a dirt track in Denver.

A picture exists of this roadster upside down and going over a fence at this same race track, but I don't have it.

This same roadster was also used to push the streamliner at Bonneville.

A friend of mine in Denver now owns this same roadster, (now restored to pristine condition and driven on the street).

JG
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

A friend of mine in Foxfield(a suburb of Denver) has one of the F1 shop trucks. He has great stories of K & L history. I think the F1 will be on the new BG calender, but don't quote me.

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Old 08-25-2009, 08:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOK View Post
I was Lucky enough to have been able to work for Kenz & Leslie from 1972-1975. Right when we moved into the Big Warehouse at 1333 W Zuni....................Oh yes and the gentelman who really got me started in ernest with my first real HotRod job at Bandimere`s was Andy Anderson who ran the K&L BG team.....
DOK,

I also worked at K&L, but about 10 years after you. I worked in the automotive division, not the B&G division. I worked there when Andy was hired.

The streamliner was stored in the warehouse when I was there, not sure if it was even restored at that time either. After a while we didn't even notice it, the warehouse guys would complain because it was in the way! Imagine that!
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Last edited by colorado51; 09-01-2009 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:16 AM   #16
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

DOK or anybody, are K&L still active here in Phoenix? I stumbled upon a local AZ address not too long ago and was curious what the company does these days?
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Love this thread!!!!!!!!
I have the falcon ranchero door off of one of the delivery trucks hanging in my garage!!!!
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
DOK or anybody, are K&L still active here in Phoenix? I stumbled upon a local AZ address not too long ago and was curious what the company does these days?
All they do now is sell the B&G Chemical line. The automotive and motorcycle parts division closed a while ago, and the "V8 Shop" is gone also.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

Thanks Ryan, OddRod! Great story.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:07 PM   #20
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Default Re: More on Kenz & Leslie...

More on Kenz and Leslie-

For years it was thought that hooking up two flatheads was a death blow to the engines. Bill Kenz did it and invited longtime friend and merchant of speed, Vic Edelbrock, sr to come out for a look see and a ride. The pair set off down 15th street in downtown Denver. Bill gave it the throttle and a roar and whirring noise was heard from the back of the truck cab. Vic said to Bill-"See, there it goes! I tell you that ytou are wasting two good engines!"
Bill laughjed and told Vic to look behind them. The racket was the second engine hooking up and causing the tires to go up in smoke!

The body of the Odd Rod was a '34 Ford truck cab, as reported in the 1949 Hot Rod magazine spread. It was used because Bill thought it was good as any other body out there and it was lying around.

The '32 Roadster was used as a test bed for engines used in the streamliner

Bill Kenz was a Model T mechanic and was always looking for ways to make his T faster. One thing that was key was fine tuning his spoked wheels with piano wire to keep them in balance.
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