Part 6: Hot Rods In Hawaii

Part 6: Hot Rods In Hawaii

Years and years ago, “Lucky444” posted a thread about a survivor Hawaiian roadster. It’s a top ten thread for me and if you have the time, you should really go read it in its entirety. It’s special.

Anyway, here’s how Lucky describes the car and its history:

“This 32 Roadster was originally built here on Oahu around 1951-52 by a Robert “Longie” Gandall. Robert owned a motorcycle shop in Honolulu and was active in the drag racing scene out in Kahuku. The early part of the Roadsters history is shrouded in mystery and it’s unclear whether this was a true garage build or that some of the work had been farmed out to different shops. It does appear that maybe two or more people had their hands in the fabrication work. Parts of this car were published in the 1953 and 1954 issues of Rod & Custom Magazine in articles that focused on headlight and taillight modifications, but a full feature on the car was never covered.

It was passed around to different owners in the following few years and in 1958 or 1959 the car was then bought for a Richard Armstrong, by his father for $650. Richard was only a Junior in High School when he received the car as a gift. He drove the Roadster around town for several years and finally garaged it when he was fed up with getting speeding tickets.

The car sat in storage until 2009 when my buddy John Figueroa was lucky enough to pick it up from Richard. The Roadster could not have landed in better hands as John is a true traditional builder and has grown up messing with all kinds of old tin. His father had also been building Hot Rods and Customs from the pre-war years. In fact John remembers sitting in this very Roadster when he was a young kid!”

Amazing car, right? To make the story even more amazing, Lucky somehow found an old magazine feature that not even the owner of the car knew about. And in that feature, of course, were some images:

Amazing, right? I was hoping to end this feature with some more recent images, but my internet connection isn’t allowing me to search. I think it’s some Hawaiian god’s way of telling me to get my ass out of this VRBO and back into the ocean. So I’m gonna go do that… and I’ll catch y’all once I’m back in Austin.

Editor’s Note: This is, in fact and finally, the last installment of my Hawaii trip. Next week, we go back to regular schedules. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

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