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

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

  1. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,663

    Spooky
    Member

    Tommy Thompson used to live in Lakewood, Colorado. He had a used car lot on Pierce and Mississippi street, where they meet is called(was called) the Curve".
    He was a quiet guy and a friend and I would go by his lot and look at the cars he had for sale and buy trim pieces that we would hang on our walls. This was '79 or '80.
    I NEVER knew that he was a racer from back then.
    Small world.
     
  2. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,346

    Slim Pickens
    Member

    Thanks Rich, very cool indeed. Slim
     
  3. @Rich Venza ... great find!


    NOTE: the footage of the Original Golden Rod is @ 4:25-4:55
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Found another pic of the #990 "Golden Rod" 'liner on the salt:

    #990 @ Speed Week '54.jpg
    Speed Week 1954
    Teams wait for the salt to dry out during Speed Week at the flats in 1954. The original participants
    in the annual Speed Week events were primarily California hot-rodders who gradually began to
    exchange their garage-built dragsters for more-sophisticated, super-high-speed machines.

    photo: Klemantaski Collection / Getty Images
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
    Spooky likes this.
  5. I was searching the Internet tonight ... and stumbled upon yet another pic of the Original Golden Rod in its natural habitat:

    #990 by George Lepp.jpg
    photo by George D. Lepp
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  6. Thanks for posting the new photo Todd. That would be Don Kehr, our driver from Lincoln, NE. With the black fin, I'd say it was taken in 1986 or '87. We did the fin black to letter it with the Speedway Motors logo. Bill Smith also let us use the Speedway step van (black) to tow it out to Wendover that year. I don't think we ever got all the salt off the undercariage.
    We came up with a pair of 8:20 x 18 Firestone Indy tires which accounts for the rake. The hope was the larger diameter would help put the car into the 200mph club. They got us very close, but motor problems with the ARDUN, put us on the trailer.
     
  7. Found a pic of #990 its first year on the salt (1952) ... although it wasn't painted its distinctive goldenrod yellow until 1953, you'll notice that Tommy already named his 'liner:

    #990 at Bonneville 1952 (unfinished - still in primer).jpg
    image from the Gear Grinders Car Club Collection
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  8. sdkeil
    Joined: Jul 14, 2011
    Posts: 3

    sdkeil
    Member

    So I bought a house in the highlands neighborhood awhile ago and in my backyard there were two Oldsmobile engines. I am redoing my backyard and I am putting up a garage so I needed the shed that housed those engines torn down. I couldnt find any takers for the engines and finally had them hauled away for scrap.

    I was talking to a neighbor and he told my that Tommy Thompson lived in my house and remember Golden Rod being parked in my basement. Sure enough after looking at the pictures on this website that is clearly an old picture of my house with Golden Rod sitting in my backyard. Sadly I had those two Oldsmobile engines hauled away for scrap. I really hope I just didnt get rid a piece of history and I wished I had found this thread before I had them junked.

    It was really cool learning about Tommy Thompson on this thread though, thanks all who posted.


     
  9. @sdkeil -

    First off, Welcome to the H.A.M.B. !!!!

    It's a real bummer that you junked those two Olds engines for scrap ... there's a very good chance that they were the motors that Oldsmobile gave Mr. Thompson to run in his streamliner ... and I'm sure the current caretaker of Tommy's Golden Rod 'liner (Tom McIntyre) would've loved to have them.

    Just to clarify, were these 3 pictures taken in your backyard? :

    990c (circa1958) - pic 1.jpg 990c (circa1958) - pic 2.jpg 990c (circa1958) - pic 3.jpg
    click thumbnails to enlarge

    If so, then the mystery of where my father shot these photographs (in August or September of 1958) has finally been solved! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  10. sdkeil
    Joined: Jul 14, 2011
    Posts: 3

    sdkeil
    Member

    Yes that is my backyard for sure....it is in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Yeah I wished i would have seen this thread first. They were not in very good condition, which is why i couldn't even get anyone to take them for free. I ended up having to pay to have them taken away.

    My neighbor was saying when he moved in 25+ years ago he said he saw Golden Rod sitting in my basement. He said it was a childhood dream come true.
     
    Spooky likes this.
  11. sdkeil
    Joined: Jul 14, 2011
    Posts: 3

    sdkeil
    Member

    By the way the first picture in this series is also in my backyard. That little pine tree is over 50 feet tall now.

     
  12. @sdkeil -

    Thanks for the confirmation that the 1958 photos were taken at Tommy's (now your) house.

    Don't know if you're into "Traditional Hot Rods & Customs" ... but if you are, you might want to checkout some other threads here on the H.A.M.B. ... it's really quite an amazing place.

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  13. 990d.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
    Spooky likes this.
  14. sTREAMLINER990
    Joined: Feb 27, 2012
    Posts: 4

    sTREAMLINER990
    Member
    from COLORADO

    those pictures were taken in tommys backyard in wheatridge colorado
     
    HEMI32 and Spooky like this.
  15. sTREAMLINER990
    Joined: Feb 27, 2012
    Posts: 4

    sTREAMLINER990
    Member
    from COLORADO

    im also tommys youngest daughter
     
    HEMI32 and Spooky like this.
  16. sTREAMLINER990
    Joined: Feb 27, 2012
    Posts: 4

    sTREAMLINER990
    Member
    from COLORADO

    tHOSE PICTURES WERE TAKEN IN MY BACKYARD I WAS BORN AND RAISED THERE ACTUALLY TOMMY WAS ALSO RAISED THERE
     
    HEMI32 likes this.
  17. sTREAMLINER990
    Joined: Feb 27, 2012
    Posts: 4

    sTREAMLINER990
    Member
    from COLORADO

    dAD ADDED THE PARACHUTE WHEN SAFETY INSPECTION STARTED TO REQUIRE IT
     
  18. @sTREAMLINER990 -

    Welcome to the H.A.M.B. !!!

    Thanks for the confirmation that the photos my father shot (in August or September of 1958) were indeed taken in the backyard of your childhood home in Wheatridge, CO (now owned by @sdkeil).

    Do you recall having any relatives named "Mike Thompson" that lived in Glendive, MT circa 1958?

    Here's a pic of Mike standing behind his '57 Ford Ranchero (flat towing my father's HEMI-powered '32 Ford 5wd Coupe to The 1958 NHRA Nationals in Oklahoma City, OK):

    HEMI32 Coupe flat-towed to the '58 NHRA Nats in OKC.jpg Mike Thompson & his '57 Ranchero @ the '58 NHRA Nats in OKC.jpg
    click thumbnails to enlarge
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  19. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 4,942

    sodbuster
    Member
    from Kansas

    Welcome to the HAMB.......If you have ANY stories to share, that would be outstanding!

    Chris Nelson
    Kansas

     
  20. E. HILTON
    Joined: May 8, 2012
    Posts: 2

    E. HILTON
    Member
    from Littleton

    My Grandfather is Tommy Thompson. These pictures were taken in the backyard in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, where Tommy built The Original Goldenrod.
     
  21. E. HILTON
    Joined: May 8, 2012
    Posts: 2

    E. HILTON
    Member
    from Littleton

    This picture is indeed, Tommy Thompson. (Tommy is my Grandfather.)
     
  22. @E. HILTON -

    Welcome to the H.A.M.B. !!!

    Thanks for the further confirmation that the photos my father shot (in August or September of 1958) were indeed taken in the backyard of your grandfather's home in Wheat Ridge, CO (now owned by @sdkeil).

    I assume that @sTREAMLINER990 is your mother or aunt? ... if so, could you please ask her if she recalls having any relatives named "Mike {or Michael} Thompson" that lived in Glendive, MT circa 1958? (see post #108 for a pic of Mike).

    The only reason I can conceive that my (then 22 year old) father would have ended up in Tommy's backyard would be because his buddy Mike Thompson was somehow related to your grandfather ... so confirmation from Tommy's family would be much appreciated.

    Feel free to PM me if you'd rather not discuss this on a public Internet forum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  23. Jake381
    Joined: Apr 15, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Jake381
    Member
    from Colorado

    Boy does this post bring back memories...I grew up in the same neighborhood that Golden Rod was built. The Thompson's were extremely nice people. As a young kid, I would go down to see the car, and talk "shop" with Mr. Thompson.

    The neighbors all knew about the car, and I guess in his own way, he was a local folk hero for us in the neighborhood.

    Really cool story, thanks for the memories.
     
  24. Jake381
    Joined: Apr 15, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Jake381
    Member
    from Colorado

    The basement was originally a drive in basement, and yes that is the back yard.
     
  25. Here's a circa 1955 photo of #990C 'liner in a Cheyenne Wyoming garage:

    Cheyenne Wyoming in 1955 (photo from Tommy's nephew Terry Thompson's archive).jpg
    image from Terry Thompson's photo archive
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  26. @okiegreaser -

    Yes ... Please do post some current pics!

    I assume you work for Tom McIntyre?

    Has anything been done to the #990 'liner since it appeared @ the '10 GNRS?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  27. okiegreaser
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 94

    okiegreaser
    Member
    from LA

    Sorry for the lag guys I forgot about this thread. The car will be on display at the 2014 GNRS. We have pulled the engine out to "de-disco" it and clean it up a bit to look more faithful to the car. Currently it's a hodge-podge of yellow and red which looks pretty ugly. The bases of the 97's were also painted red which doesn't look good either. The engine is currently out of the car and on the stand awaiting paint and a redressing. If anyone has any pictures of the original engine bay it would help me out greatly to try to make it look as authentic as possible. I'll get some pictures up as soon as I can.

    Also we are taking the current "font" of numbers off the side and recreating what they looked like originally. I'm not directly involved with that right now so I can't provide much insight as to how they are being removed, redone etc. But I can say the lettering comes off without damage to the yellow underneath.
     
  28. Clint (@okiegreaser) -

    Thanks for the update!

    I'm excited to hear that you guys are working to restore the #990 'liner back to its circa '50s glory!

    While I'm grateful that Dennis Brackeen (Salt Flats Racing) performed a restoration of the car, I do have to admit that I never cared much for the stylized font/graphics that were used for the number and lettering.

    If time & budget allow, it would be fantastic if the body was repainted a pale yellow hue (similar to the color it wore in the '50s, '60s, & '70s ... vice the school bus yellow hue it was painted in 1978).

    In my research for this thread, I don't ever recall seeing any circa '50s or '60s pics of the engine compartment ... but I will certainly look through the photographs & slides my father shot at Bonneville Speed Week in 1970.

    Can't wait to see Tommy Thompson's #990 "Golden Rod" Streamliner @ the '14 GNRS!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  29. okiegreaser
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 94

    okiegreaser
    Member
    from LA

    No plans to repaint the yellow on the 990. We have a relatively small budget and short amount of time before the GNRS.

    In doing some research on the engine, I found the block is a 1954 324 Olds with 1957 371 heads. It currently has a set of CAL RACE finned valve covers that we would like to replace with some plainer, old chrome valve covers.

    If anyone has a good used set of chrome center-bolt Olds valve covers please PM me. We would like to get a nice used chrome valley pan also but that isn't as much of a priority as the valve covers.
     
  30. Here's some pics of Tommy Thompson's #990 "Golden Rod" Streamliner in the "Century Of Speed" display of the 2014 Grand National Roadster Show:

    #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display (by Kirk Jones).JPG
    image by @KIRK!


    #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS (by Boones).JPG
    #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display (by Boones).JPG
    images by @Boones


    #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display (by Michael Corazzelli).JPG
    image by @Michaelcozman


    01) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display - Show Card.JPG
    02) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    03) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    04) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    05) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    06) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    07) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    08) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    09) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    10) #990 'liner (behind Eddie Miller Lakester) @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    11) #990 'liner @ '14 GNRS 'Century Of Speed' display.JPG
    images by @HEMI32
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014

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