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History #990 "Golden Rod" Streamliner ... PICS!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. ... the saga continues ...

    I assume this is the same Tom McIntyre (of Burbank, CA) with the incredible collection of cars (including the Williams Brothers early 50's Bonneville record setting '28-'29 Roadster)?

    I believe that Tom is also a member of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians.

    If this is all true, I've gotta believe that Tommy Thompson's #990 Golden Rod is in good hands! :)
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  2. Rex Schimmer
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 743

    Rex Schimmer
    from Fulton, CA

    Hemi 32,
    Yep! same guy and a real car guy and knows what he has and respects it for what it is.

    HEMI32 likes this.
  3. Rex,

    Thanks for the confirmation.

    I believe Rich is in the process of contacting Tom (they both are members of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians) to obtain some more info on the streamliner.

    Stay tuned ...
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  4. As promised ...

    From page 23 of the December 1953 issue of Hot Rod Magazine:


    From page 49 of the November 1956 issue of Hot Rod Magazine:


    From page 64 of the November 1957 issue of Hot Rod Magazine:


    From page 78 of the November 1959 issue of Hot Rod Magazine:

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  5. Kiwi Tinbender
    Joined: Feb 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,155

    Kiwi Tinbender

    Society of Land Speed Racing Historians? I have been interested in this for years, have an almost complete collection of Programs and other stuff, and have been going to the Salt since 84...How do you join this group? Rich? Anyone..?
  6. All you need to do is pull up their web site, and e-mail requesting to be added to the membership. No forms to fill out, dues to pay, secret hand shake, just lots of folks who love the history of Land Speed Racing.
  7. TRuss
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 549


    Just looking at those first photos I have to wonder what the neighbors who had no idea thought that thing was on the trailer down the street in 1957.
  8. Yeah ... my youngest asked "what kind of spaceship is that?"

    ... I told him it was an "Alien Spacecraft":


    ... from the Planet Utah:

    Planet Utah.jpg

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  9. I second that. The history and the heritage of racing from the past is way to cool to let slip away. Very nice info on the streamliner >>>>.
  10. Tommy Thompson lived in Golden, and had seen the Kentz-Leslie liner being built in their shops. Tommy loved racing, was an engineer at Coors, and decided he could build one of those things too. The result of a couple years work is the 990 Original Golden Rod 'liner.

    Rich, I gotta wonder if Coors "sponsored" the aluminum...:rolleyes:. Awesome history piece, thanks to all of you.
  11. Interesting you mention Coors and aluminum. Tommy wasn't a graduate engineer, but was a very key person in the development of the first aluminum can in the industry while working in the engineering department there. He never got the credit for his creative work on the project, and in the mid-80's when times were tuff at Coors and folks were being let go to cut costs, Tommy received a pink slip, just before retirement age.

    Some things in business haven't changed much in twenty odd years, and NO, Coors didn't sponsor any part of the Golden Rod..
  12. ChevyGirlRox
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,491

    from Ohio

    What a great story!

    I don't remember seeing the #990 car in the Petersen during any of my recent visits. Check your PMs :D
  13. I've received several photos from Tom McIntyre, present owner of the Golden Rod. I have every confidence the 'liner has found a dedicated owner and a safe home.
    The first row from left to right are all at Bonneville 1955, 1957 and 1954. Note the '54 photo shows the 'liner without the rear fin and canopy added in the winter of '55. It also looks to me that the tail fin was raised at some point, most likely when the parachute housing was added in Lincoln by Dave Thomssen and Don Walling. Housing of choice was a standard metal mail box.
    Tommy also added the large V with an 88 to indicate its Oldsmobile power plant. Tommy's wife Dorothy can be seen on the right side in shorts and one of his daughters is standing with her back to the photographer.
    The next 7 were taken recently at Tom McIntyre's, the the last probably in 2002 on the Salt.
    I understand that additional restoration/preservation work will be done to the old warrior.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  14. This photo is from the second year the Lincoln group took the car to the Salt. Note the class designation of X/GS, this would be a gas flathead with 4 Strombergs under the canopy.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  15. Just to clear-up any confusion ... Rich & I have since confirmed that @VAPHEAD's buddy "Dennis" actually sold the #990 Golden Rod streamliner to Tom McIntyre ... not the Petersen Automotive museum ... an understandable mistake since Tom McIntyre is also in SoCal and has a nice Auto museum of his own (albeit not as extensive as the Petersen).

    I'd also like to thank @Rich Venza, @VAPHEAD, @Rex Schimmer, @ChevyGirlRox, Richard Parks (Wally's son & editor of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians newsletter), and Tom McIntyre for your contributions to this thread ... what a cool place the H.A.M.B. is! :)

    Stay tuned ...
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  16. One thread like this makes up for a thousand junk posts. Thanks to all who contributed. True hotrodding history.
  17. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,103


    Yeah, it's a sad story. But after all, that's what they're for.
  18. zellerware
    Joined: Aug 15, 2007
    Posts: 128

    from dad's shop

    Amazing car! The legend lives on! what a great story..
  19. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 5,025

    from Kansas

    Very cool Pops met "Dennis" at the Iola, Kansas carshow back in 01' and he mentioned that he had the "Goldenrod" and invited us to stop by and check it out next time we were in Colorado.

    Chris Nelson
  20. jerry
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,469


    This needs to go to the tech archive!

    Thank you all for the history lessons.

  21. ok .. whats in the 3rd b/w pic behind the bushes? a center door "t" or a stage coach .... it ain't a chicken coupe!
  22. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


    I fly to Amsterdam every couple of months. At 40,000 feet, I look down and feel really humble at how expansive the world seems.

    It's posts like this that put me in check and remind me of how small the world really is, but they leave me feeling even more humbled.

    Thanks all!
  23. Yeah, I noticed that too ... looks to be a Model T Center Door Sedan ... here's the best I can do for a zoom:

    Center Door T.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  24. Gotzy
    Joined: May 21, 2005
    Posts: 494


    Now it would be rude for someone to not thank HEMI32 also, so consider yourself added to the list!

    Cool thread as I'm now salt infected after my first trip to Bonneville this year.

    Cheers for the thread

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  25. A 1954 color photo of Tommy's streamliner:


    NOTE: A 12x18 print of this photo can be purchase from Hausdorf Studios ... just click HERE (it's print #BSF8).

    DISCLAIMER: The Jalopy Journal, the H.A.M.B., and the originator of this post (HEMI32) are in no way affiliated with Hausdorf Studios :D
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  26. A beautiful Darrell Mayabb cut-a-way illustration of the 'liner:

    990 'Original' Goldenrod cut-a-way by Darrell D. Mayabb.jpg

    NOTE: A signed 11x17 B&W print of this illustration is available for purchase ... just click HERE.

    DISCLAIMER: The Jalopy Journal, the H.A.M.B., and the originator of this post (HEMI32) are in no way affiliated with :D
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  27. With all the interest in this thread, Todd suggested I dig out some more candid photos from our years on the Salt.
    The first was taken at Salt Lake City Airport parking lot. While we were waiting for Don Kehr's plane to arrive, another race car pulled to pickup a crew member. It was steam powered.
    The next 3 are general shots while waiting in line. There's always something to do or check, or tighten. Don has his fire suit drying after the run. We almost never went back to our pit, but did our adjustments while waiting the 2+ hours in line.
    Last photo is the famous Hayseed hisself, David Thomssen. With out Dave's expertise on making lots of horsepower from obsolete motors, plus his stable of flatheads & Arduns, we would all have been spectators.
    Dave is a geologist by trade and has years of thinking about what's going on under ground. I believe it's that internal vision that gives him a unique understanding of whats going on inside the combustion chamber.

    Attached Files:

  28. In an attempt to get Don Kehr in the 200 club, I purchased a mid-70's front engine dragster up in St Paul. Dave, Don and the team fit the Ardun to the chassis, I built a fiberglass rear body and the aircraft front pants. Body worked well but the pants were a disaster and were pulled after 2 passes.

    Tommy Thompson can be seen kneeling next to the car in the photo in the upper right. Also take note of the camper in the background which he built at home. Quite the craftsman, he also built a Ranchero type custom from a mid-60's Thunderbird.

    New car, less frontal area, should have gone 200+. It was on a strong pass when the crank decided to exit south. What was left was a familiar can opener modification to the pan in the same place as in other photos earlier.

    Pop Thomssen, discussed in earlier posts, can be seen sweeping the salt out of the engine bay. This was the only year we ran this car. It went with Don Kehr to California where it was sold to a ET racer. I was told the first pass on a drag strip, the frame broke just behind the front axle.

    Attached Files:

  29. I hope EVERYONE who goes to experience next years Speed Week takes some time to visit the Wendover Visitors Center. For most of the young guns attending these days, Wendover might only be known as the place to eat, drink, gamble and sleep. But when I was 3, in 1945, it was the place where the 509th Composite Group trained, and trained, and then trained some more. They didn't know why, they just did it because those were their orders.

    For many years the only part of this history was a small museum in the flight office at the airport. I made sure I went every year...I felt I owed it to all those airmen who brought WWII to a speedy end.

    Be sure to visit it in 2009.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  30. brainfrz
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 572


    What a wonderful collection of history. Thanks Hemi32 for digging it up and the rest of the Hambs for joining in.


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