The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by erlomd, Nov 28, 2009.
30s Gow Job
That's a nice collection of history you've got there Jimmy. Got any more?
Thanks & yes I do.
Too cool! Looks like it's got early 20's Dodge windshield stanchions, a '30 A shell/hood and a T chassis!
Love those dual Winfield SR's!!
My Mom & Dad on the left & Uncle Hank Wise on the right & buddies clowning around on Muroc Dry Lake 1932-33. My Dad & Uncle chopped the top & lowered the two door "A" Phaeton, the Rudge Wheels they bought from the black racecar driver Rojo Jack. They changed the grill shell also, I'm not sure what brand of car the grill came from? Any ideas?
Dad took this photo of the two door Phaeton, my Uncle in the drivers seat with their high school buddies in & around the car at Muroc Dry Lake, Roy Richter on the far left with the white nose. Also, my Dads '27? Chevy OHV roadster, Dad behind the wheel and Roy standing beside the car, photo was taken at my grandparents house in Bell Ca. about 1930-31.
Great pics! Grille shell looks like a nosed '32 with a Pines Winterfront grille.
Cool indeed. I like this guy! Outrageous car, sporty gal pal, and Mr Safety and Comfort too, with a spare (is he a Marine, too?) and wind wings! Now THIS is the car I'd like to find in a barn. Gary
Yes , they cost a pretty penny but worth it in the long run. Todd (Hemi32) helped me out by picking them up and posting them to me.
Great photos Craig
Ok, this photo has piqued my interest, it is a '25 Chev roadster and has the '25 Chev engine, a 3-port is likely and the Alloy valve cover is hard to see if it is a finned or a smooth version, Winfield intake and a Winfield carb like the Hal-Spl on page 98. Would it be possible to get a higher res copy? Any more of your dads Chev roadster?
What great picture, CW- it does look like a 3 port head, also looks like a '27 passenger radiator shell (almost thought it was a Whippet shell for a moment) and I love the aftermarket wire wheels!
That reminds me... there is a '28 Chevrolet roadster on Ebay right now
Fabulous pics, CW. Don't suppose the phaeton is still in the family?
Man....this guy had it made!!! What a cool gow-job for the times!! There's a lot going on there that I would have loved to seen in person.
Jimmy....great CT collection too!! Something else I would love to pour over in person!!!!
CW....thanks for sharing the family pics. The roadster and Phaeton are both slick as hell!! The chopped Phaeton would have been a pretty unique ride in the 30's. Cool story about the wheels too! I've read quite a bit about Rojo Jack....he was quite the character!!!
Wow are this great! I'm particularly in love with that Chevy roadster.
I'd never heard of him before I read this:
Automobile racer Rajo Jack DeSoto was born Dewey Gatson on July 28, 1905 in Tyler, Texas. Rajo Jack was barred from racing in many organized venues because of his African American heritage, but he had several notable wins and a number of historic crashes. He was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2003.
Dewey Gatsons parents were Noah, a railroad employee, and Frances (Gee). He had three sisters and two brothers. Sometime in his teens, Gatson and his family moved from Texas to California. He began racing with moderate success in the early 1920s at the fairs that the Marcell family followed across the country. He raced under the name Jack DeSoto. He later moved down to Pasadena, California, and worked for the Marcells until their company failed during the Great Depression.In 1921 Gatson got a job with a traveling entertainment show, acquiring skills as a mechanic. He later worked as a mechanic for racing teams and began racing on his own in 1923 in a souped-up Model T Ford. Later that year he was hired by Rajo Motor Manufacturing to sell its after-market racing kits. Gatsons sales skills earned him the nickname of Rajo. In 1936 he had a big victory at the Los Angeles Speedway in a stock Ford two-seater. He won by over two laps.
Gatson quickly became known among his peers for his talent with mechanical devices, especially anything with wheels and an engine. Gatson modified a truck into a house car for the Marcell family. He later was put in charge of the shows fleet of twenty cars in St. Johns, Oregon.
Rajo Jack ran a match race against Francis Quinn in Vancouver, Washington in 1925. His seat fell out of the car as he took the green flag to start the event, and the event had to be canceled.
Gatson would soup up all of his own Model T Fords cars with Rajo cylinder heads. In the early 1930s, Rajo owner Joe Jagersberger named Gatson/Jack DeSoto his Los Angeles dealer and salesman, and the name Rajo Jack was born. Rajo Jack raced in many forms of motorsport and he used many kinds of engines. Rajo was a mechanic for Quinn at Legion Ascot Speedway. After Quinn died, Rajo was given his 225 cubic inch Miller engine.
In 1934 Rajo Jack won a 200-mile stock car race at Silvergate Speedway in San Diego. He won a 100 mile race at San Jose Speedway on March 17, 1935. Jack won a 200 mile stock car race at Mines Field in Los Angeles on October 25, 1936. He also won a 300 mile stock car race at Oakland Speedway on May 30, 1937.Other wins include a co-win as a relief driver for Tex Peterson in the 1939 500 mile race at Oakland Speedway, and several wins at Southern Ascot Speedway in South Gate, California. Among his wins at Southern Ascot were a 300 lap stock car race on October 1, 1939 and a 250 lap stock car race on June 16, 1940, both driving a Citroën.
On April 29, 1939 Rajo assessed his Miller engine which he had torn apart while repairing its main bearing. Parts were strewn around his garage. He needed to drive 400 miles to Oakland for a 100 mile race the next day. He called his wife Ruth to get ready for the drive to Oakland. She thought that he meant to get ready for the ride. She came outside to find him backing up their truck to the garage. They wheeled the car onto the truck. Rajo put the pieces onto the bed of the truck, grabbed the necessary tools, and said You drive, Im going to put this thing together on the road. He put the engine together while she drove. He got it done just in time for qualifying. He qualified third and finished second in the race.
Rajo Jack raced in the American Racing Association (ARA). He finished third in the season points in 1941. While he raced mainly on the West Coast, he traveled as far east as Dayton, Ohio for a fair that year. On his drive back west, he stopped to race at the Steele County fair in Owatonna, Minnesota. He was badly injured along with Bayliss Levrett in an accident that claimed the life of Wayne Boots Pearson. Rajo received a compound fracture of his leg and a severe concussion.
He occasionally did stunts on motorcycles. He had an accident in one of his stunts, and he became blind in his right eye. While not racing he owned several businesses, including an automotive garage and a cleaning service.
He was barely able to bend his arm as the result of numerous racing injuries, and he had difficulty reaching the steering wheel. His last race apparently came when Northern California sprint cars made a visit to Honolulu Stadium in Hawaii in early 1954.
Rajo Jack died in California on February 27, 1956 from heart failure suffered while on Highway 395 near Inyokern. In 2003 he became the first black driver inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Love this thread, check it regularly. Here is a pic of my dad and uncle in 1944 working on my uncles 33 chevy coupe before my time. I know dad was on leave for a couple a weeks and my uncle was getting ready to go into the service.
Just when you think nothing else couldn't be posted, it surprises ya!!! I love this thread.
Amazing story. As a kid, I lived in Hawaii from 1956-62 while my dad was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Our family attended races at that stadium many times. Too bad I missed seeing Rajo race by a few years - I was in the 3rd grade when we got there. The reason I bring it up, is that if you raced at that stadium it was sanctioned by NASCAR for many years and, who knows, Rajo could have been first black NASCAR driver, too! Anyone know for sure? Gary
Yea, Me too. I'd like to see any other pictures you have of this roadster. Mine is a '26 and seems to be the same as Jimmy's except the trunk lid is a lot longer. This body looks like a '25-'26. Thanks for posting it.
Rem......I wish, the Phaeton is long gone, I only have a few photos.
Six Ball....here's a couple more photos of the roadster, looks like dad driving and some of his buddies along for the ride.
Jimmy......I remember a smooth alloy VC & head sitting on a shelf in Dads garage in the mid 60's, then one day it was gone, he sold it to a buddy of mine for his restored A Sedan Delivery.
A couple more photos of Mom & Dad in the Phaeton and the engine.
Question: could that same head be used on the Chevy and the Ford engines?
Bigcheese327......WOW, thanks for that great info on Mr. Gatson!
Yes Dad told me he was a very interesting and nice guy for sure and he always had speed parts to sell or trade. He was always welcome at my Grandparents house, he loved Grandma's cook'n! and they loved to hear all his on-the road & racing stories.
Craig, Thanks. It looks like that roadster has a rumble seat. I wonder if that is why all the others I've seen except mine had smaller deck lids. I thought it was a '25-'26 thing. It may have been an option. I think they did use both the Chevy and Olds 3 ports on Model T blocks.
Wow! Incredible pictures!
What a great car and photo!! Wow!
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