The Rudy Ramos Roadster

The Rudy Ramos Roadster

I can’t help it. I’m still on a race car kick. I tend to fall into these obsessions from time to time… which is fine, but I also tend to dwell on things to a point past compulsion. So if race cars aren’t your thing, you are just gonna have to wait me out. Be patient.

In any case, last night’s fix came by way of Rudy Ramos and his track roadster. It was featured on the July, 1948 cover of Hot Rod Magazine as the “Hot Rod Of The Month” and frankly, deserved every bit of that. See, this car was special… Not only did Rudy occasionally (and illegally) brave the streets of LA in his race car, but he also raced it both at S.C.T.A. trials as well as on C.R.A. circle tracks. As a C-class roadster, it ran 118mph in 1945 and in circles it was considered one of the fastest in Southern California.

Not to mention… I mean, is there a racier looking early Ford than a t-track roadster with a nerf bar and cowl steering? Throw on a Bell helmet and some goggles and you feel like you are going 118mph just sitting there.

I heard from a friend in Hawaii that Rudy died in a drag racing accident on Kauai in 2009, but my research revealed the accident in question involved a different Rudy Ramos. Digging deeper, I discovered that after building this roadster Rudy got hooked on jet boats and eventually founded Rayson-Craft Boats. He is now considered a pioneer of Southern California Power Boat Racing.

WWII P-38 powered Rayson-Craft built in part by Rudy Ramos and considered one of the most dominant “Marathon Boat” of the 1960’s.

But what I find more interesting is Rudy’s history before the roadster. In January of 1946, Rudy and his pal Ray Storms were working on a car along the side of the road when another car lost control and skidded into them. Ray was killed almost instantly and Rudy spent weeks in the hospital with internal injuries including a broken arm and leg.

The fact that Rudy was able to get over that accident as well as the death of his friend and still remain active in motor sports is inspiring to me.  So much so that I’ve found myself researching Rudy’s life more and more… which, of course, has me deep into the rabbit hole of race boats.

Damn you Rudy. I hope you are happy.

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