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History Anyone have old pic of sailors in roadster?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by slamchop, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Just trying to find an old picture with 3 Navy sailors sitting in a 29' roadster. It is Jack Richards old roadster built in 41' and Im looking for any pics and history. Thanks
     
  2. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,808

    bubba67
    Member
    from NJ

    Do you own Jack's old roadster ?
     
  3. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Still looking....Heard it ran a Pontiac with a 6x2 manifold? Yes I have the roadster (Ol blue), well most of it. Please do not bug the Richards family anymore about the car.
     
  4. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,196

    Django
    Member
    from Chicago

    That photo was in Hop Up a couple years ago. Maybe try contacting Mark Morton.
     

  5. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    [​IMG]

    I have a signed print if this is what you mean. Ain't no Pontiac.:D I think this was done from a picture taken during the war.

    I love this painting. 2 different front tire treads and the rear tires are maypops. I think that there was a story about the original picture on the HAMB a few years ago with a couple of the names. It's been a while ago and may be hard to find now.
     
  6. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Cool, thats a painting of the original photo taken mid 40's I believe. Two of the men is Jack and his brother Bob with friend. The pic was taken in Los Angeles.
     
  7. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,474

    40StudeDude
    Member

    That's a Darrel Mayabb illustration...didn't Jack Richards live here in Denver for a while...???

    R-
     
  8. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,626

    Crankhole
    Member

    Seems like I just saw that photo. Was it in Hot Rod Deluxe recently?
     
  9. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Not sure about the pic in Hot rod Deluxe, but heres some info off the internet I found.

    JACK RICHARDS


    This month's newsletter article is about Jack Richards' roadster.

    Jack Richards was living in W. Los Angeles in the summer of 1941. He had a '29 roadster with a '34 V8 as his sole means of transportation. Like most youngsters, he wanted to build a hot rod the way he felt one should be done. So he purchased another 1929 Model A roadster body on a bare frame for the princely sum of $15. This would be the basis for his hot rod (or gow job as they were called in those days). When Jack sold the first '29 roadster (with the '34 engine), he kept the 3 piece hood and the '32 Ford grill and shell for his recently acquire roadster. It was under construction and would need these parts. They're still on the car today. Jack soon had collected many of the various parts he needed for his '29 roadster hot rod. Things like a '36 engine, '39 trans, and a Model A rear end with 3.78:1 gears. Jack had the '36 engine bored 0.100". He used a Winfield cam, Thickstun dual carb intake manifold, Denver heads, and a Lincoln V12 distributor converted by Clay Smith to fire a V8. The port and relief job was done by Jack... his first, but far from the last. It wasn't long before he always had a several blocks waiting for him to port and relieve. These helped finance his hot rod. The roadster was fitted with Kelsey Hayes spoked wheels with 5.50X16 tires on the front and 7.50X16 tires on the rear. He painted the high-boy black. In early 1942, it was on the streets as well as being raced at the dry lakes. Jack joined the Low Flyers Club in late 1941 since SCTA dry lake racing was by car club only.

    One day he was driving down Olympic Blvd. when he noticed an Auburn car through an open gate for a wrecking yard. As he passed by, he wondered if the Auburn might happen to have the instrument cluster since these were the "trick" dashes for hot rods. A mile or so later, he burned a "U" and went back. Sure enough it did and he bought it complete with all the instruments and switches for $5, but only after considerable deliberation concerning the high price!

    This was his only car and was as his daily driver, for impromptu street racing, and for dry lake competition. During the first part of the WWII, he worked at an aircraft factory and drove it to work every day. Two or three evenings a week, Jack would drive around to the local car hot spots looking for street races. It was a fast hot rod and Jack was a very competitive driver. In those days, much racing was done on the streets and were pretty impromptu. But there were times when sums of money wagered. This mostly happened when a couple of the hotter rods with reputations would race. Those times, the race would be somewhat organized at a drive-in cafe and then proceed to a deserted street for the race. His flathead powered roadster was run at the four major dry lakes (El Mirage, Rosamond, Harper and Muroc). Fastest speed it turned was a very respectable 109 mph and was turned at Rosamond dry lake. Most of the hotter roadsters were running in the 104-107mph range in those days with the others being in the 80-90mph range.

    One night he paired off with another roadster on a deserted street. Nothing unusual about that. They were both ready and brought their rpms up as they watched the flagman. Jack popped the clutch when the starter dropped his arm. Problem being Jack's roadster didn't move a bit! Seems the ring gear decided it didn't like the abuse and tore it's way into the top of the Model "A" rear end housing! The pinion gear didn't even touch the ring gear! Such was street racing in those early times. Jack replaced it with another Model A rear end mostly because they were plentiful, cheap and light weight.

    From 1944 to 1946 Jack served his country in the Navy. The little black '29 high-boy roadster was stored in the garage of (or is that one of?) his girl friend(s) in Beverly Hills, CA. Following Navy boot camp in San Diego, Jack was assigned duty at a Naval air station in Oakland where his job was the same thing he'd done at his aircraft job in civilian life!

    This was great as far as Jack was considered! Now all he needed was his hot rod. It was only about 100 miles from Beverly Hills. Not an unsurmountable distance for gear head needing his roadster. Jack hitchhiked to Beverly Hills and got his roadster from his girl friend. He headed back toward Oakland in the predawn on California highway 101. He was cooking along "like old folks might" when he slowed for a turn and noticed flashing red lights behind him! Jack shut it down and pulled over. Seems a California Highway Policeman in his new Chrysler had been trying to catch Jack for the last 8 miles! The officer felt 100 mph was stretching it a mite too much what with the push to conserve tires and gas for the war effort. Jack felt it was mostly because the cop's Chrysler couldn't catch the roadster even though Jack hadn't had it wide-open! Jack pleaded with him to give him a ticket, but the cop refused saying this had to be brought to the attention of the Jack's skipper at Oakland. This was BAD NEWS even though there wasn't a fine involved! Jack returned to duty and nothing was said by his skipper for about 2 months. Jack was feeling safe. Then all hell broke loose! The skipper of the base had Jack arrested and put in the brig until his trial date which was set for 7 days later. At the trial, his skipper gave him a good chewing out for speeding and assigned him to extra duty and confined him to the base for a period of a month.

    Upon getting discharged from the Navy in '46, Jack sold the trusty, but tired '36 engine and purchased a brand new '41 Ford engine still in the crate from a local Ford dealer. This went into the black roadster completely stock and was eventually driven to Denver. Once here he happened upon a '31 Ford Victoria body. This would make a great daily driver. The roadster body was removed from the Model A frame and the running gear. The roadster body was set aside for Jack's master plan. The Vicky body, fenders, running boards, and a '32 grill and shell were all bolted down to the roadster's frame. The master plan was to build a roadster to run at the Lakes since Jack had plans to return to California as soon as possible. During this period Jack picked up a '32 frame from Pioneer Auto Wrecking for $10. He also purchase a pair of new Eddie Meyer heads ($36), a Clay Smith cam, an Evans 3 carb intake manifold, an H&C magneto, and a button flywheel (no ring gear for a starter). He picked up a '46 Ford/Merc engine. He had it bored 0.125" over size which brought it up to 258.4 cubic inches, In it he put a set of Jahn's 3 ring solid skirt racing pistons. Jack had done his homework. SCTA class limitation wasa 260 cubic inches. Naturally Jack did the porting and relieving on this new '46 engine.

    During this period in Denver, something happened to alter Jack's master plan! Seems he got married! All car building was shelved while he earned a living for his family. The roadster body sat from '46-'50 with little to nothing being done on it. Jack joined the Denver Timing Association when it was formed in June of 1949 and was a charter member. Finally, in late 1950, he was able to return to the roadster. He burned a lot of the midnight oil getting the roadster ready to run on the Bonneville salt in '51. At Bonneville, in 1951, the little high boy roadster (now two-tone blue) ran a very quick 126 mph and was quick enough to win his class. The little roadster made 14 passes that year! Jack said it felt really great to be back racing!

    In 1952 Jack ran the roadster in the Georgetown Hill climb even though he had just put some very tall rear end gears for a high speed event coming up. His first run up the hill was a sizzling 2 minutes 58.00 seconds. This easily beat the time of the fastest Jaguar that had owned this hill climb! The newspaper reporter (he loved hot rods and wasn't particularly fond of the sporty car set) gleefully wrote and I quote, ".......a Ford flathead powered hot rod easily surpassed the fastest time ever turned here by a Jaguar sports car." Too bad his editor killed that part of his story! All in all there were 6 hot rods which were faster than the Jaguar during that day! Jack ended up second fastest for the day with his second run speed of 2 minutes 49.31 seconds. Pretty fast for something geared for top end.

    In 1953 Jack again entered the flathead roadster at Bonneville. He was entered in the same class as a '53 Dodge small hemi (241 inches). It was faster than Jack by a whopping 12 mph. Jack could see the writing on the wall that the days of flatheads being competitive with the overhead V8's were numbered. He did end up second in his class that year... behind the Dodge hemi.

    In 1955 he entered the flathead in the first national drags in Great Bend Kansas in the B hot roadster class. He ran well and won his class. 1955 was a good year for the roadster. It won the distinction of being the High Point Car for Colorado that year with the same 258 inch flathead. This was truly a big honor for a car and driver. He went to Bonneville in '56 and '57, but not in his roadster. Instead he was with the Kenz & Leslie streamliner and drove their roadster push car in addition to mixing all the nitro-alky fuel for the multi flathead engine streamliner.

    On year he ran a blown hemi in the roadster at Bonneville. Pretty impressive dash plaque on the roadster commemorating this 187 mph run. He said he would have run it over the following years, but it came apart on the return run due to the potent nitro-alky fuel Jack had mixed! He still has the hemi and blower today. It hasn't been touched since it ran at Bonneville.

    Jack became a Pontiac man when he got a great deal on a very low mileage '57 Pontiac engine from Bill and Al's Auto Wrecking in Denver. It was a stock 347 inches. Jack mated it up to his '39 Ford trans and '40 Ford rear end. He ran an Isky cam with a 6 Stromberg carb Crower log intake manifold. He didn't even pull the pan on the engine and used the stock distributor. He finished getting it together the night before Bonneville and flat-towed (no trailer) it to Bonneville the next morning still in gray primer. He got a third place for his 157 mph effort. It was still a high-boy. This would be the last year Jack would enter it at Bonneville.

    However, his son Bob, came across a 389 Pontiac engine for free during the winter! There was a hitch to it of course (isn't there always?). The engine was still in the car and would have to be pulled out and transported home. Problem was the car was SLIGHTLY(?) squashed and in a somewhat difficult retrieval place! Seems the car had over-cooked a turn and disappeared over the side of Lookout Mountain and had rolled and flipped about two thirds of the way down (about 1000') the steep mountain towards Clear Creek! In those days, a car which went over the side of Lookout Mountain in this area was written off completely and could be stripped legally. Remember this is winter time. After work one night Jack and his family (wife, son, and daughter) climbed up from Clear Creek and removed the heads and intake manifold to lighten the engine. By the time Jack's brother, Bob, got there from work to help, they had the heads and manifold loaded in Jack's pickup which was across the frozen creek. It was already pitch dark and they set about pulling the engine with the tools they had brought with them in Jack's old Navy sea bag and a couple of flashlights! Once the engine was out, they skidded it the rest of the way down the mountain using the hood for a sled on the snow. Bet that was fun to watch! Once at the bottom something surfaced they hadn't thought of... the creek was frozen like they'd planned. But it wasn't very thick. Jack worried the ice would break and the engine would become a permanent part of the creek bed. Thankfully, the ice was thick enough for them to walk across. With one pushing with a long pole on one side and the rest pulling on a rope on the other side of the river, they skidded it across the ice to the opposite bank. Bob, his brother, borrowed the now blue '29 and put this engine in it along with 2-4 barrel carbs, Engle cam, milled heads, and a hot distributor. Must have been pretty good engine since it went 163 mph at Bonneville in 1962 with Bob behind the wheel!

    Then Bob got a 421 Pontiac and ran this in the roadster at Continental Divide Raceways near Denver in the A altered class.

    Shortly after this run at Bonneville Jack retired the little roadster from racing (but you just know Jack occasionally hears voices from the old days and just HAS to light up the tires!) and began putting it back on the street. Since there was a Colorado law concerning fenders, he put fenders and running boards on. This was the first time Jack had ever run them since he'd purchased it in 1941! Would you believe he still had them?

    In 1965 the Denver Roadster Club was formed and Jack became a charter member. During this time Jack was looking for an engine because Bob owned the 421 Pontiac. With Jack's usual run of good luck he stumbled on a super deal... a NEW Pontiac GTO 389 engine for $100! And they even threw in two new 4 speed transmissions! Talk about luck! It was at this time Jack replaced the '40 Ford rear end with an Olds rear end for increased strength.

    And that's where the little blue '29 roadster is today.... still on the road and giving it's owner all the fun a hot rod is intended to give.

    Postscript. Jack died in July of 2001 of a heart attack. He was building an "A" roadster to run at Bonneville with a 3-3/8" X 4" flathead and would run it on nitro. He had said he'd have it at Bonneville in 2002.

    His roadster is now with his brother Bob Richards in California. It's being restored to it's original flathead form when Jack raced at the lakes. I understand it's supposed to end up in the Peterson Museum.

    Maybe some of you have seen his roadster? A picture was taken of it exiting a palm lined driveway in California at the end of WWII. There are three sailors in the roadster. The driver is Jack. Riding shotgun is his brother Bob. Jack could never remember the name of the sailor in the middle! All of them are not wearing their whitehats. But all are in their dress blue Navy uniforms. This picture has been reproduced many times and has appeared in many rod publications over the years.
     
    BigDTexasKid likes this.
  10. WOW...what a great story!
    Love the engine pulling story from Clear Creek, how many would do that now?
    THANKS for all the info.
     
  11. coolmilitary
    Joined: Jun 16, 2006
    Posts: 120

    coolmilitary
    Member
    from So Cal

    I like Navy Sailor stories about as much as I like cars.
    Ed
     
  12. metal man
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,949

    metal man
    Member

    ??????????:eek:
     
  13. Mnhotrodbuilder
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,142

    Mnhotrodbuilder
    Member
    from Afton, MN

    Cool story I enjoyed reading it. What are your plans for the car? any pics?
     
  14. cyclesounds
    Joined: Apr 10, 2010
    Posts: 93

    cyclesounds
    Member

    coolmilitary....A few drinks and you will hear more sea stories than you can imagine....lol
     
  15. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,878

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.


    Who here knows the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story?:eek:
     
  16. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Damn, If I found a wrecked car with a good engine like that I would. A few years ago I hiked 2 miles in the Santa Barbara mountains with a buddy who said there was a Roadster that was abandoned. We finially found it but the house was on one side and an old 30's "White" truck on the other it was completely buried. The only option was cut the body off. We hiked back out grabbed our tools and cutting torches strapped on my back hiked back in. We got all the bolts cut off except 2 when my buddy realized when he placed the nozzle down it let all the oxygen out of the tank.@$@%.....So I packed the tanks back out, and he grabbed the tools. Grabbed the hacksaw out of the truck and we went back in. Those last 2 bolts were the hardest ones to get to and must have taken 2 hours, we got to the point of just wrapping the blade with a shirt after we bent it to fit where the bolt was. So now we carried this body about a mile and lucked out by running into this guy on his tractor next to his fence. He let us put the body on his property while we hiked back out and grabbed the truck. That took us allday and we had only granola bars and a bottled water. Oh yea the next weekend we took it to the Big 3 swapmeet and I had so much poison Ivy or Oak I looked like a Leper, I had to wear gloves just to keep the pus contained. You can verify that with the Lifters....Yes I didnt see the poison oak farm we went through to get the roadster body over that guys fence cause it was dark....I always wondered if he knew???
     
  17. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,196

    Django
    Member
    from Chicago

    Very cool information!

    I believe it is in Hop Up #7.
     
  18. brjnelson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 550

    brjnelson
    Member

    Not the car or guy you were looking for but here is a photo from my collection.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    I promised I would build it as original as possible. I want to keep researching and get pics and possibly build it as one of the stages it was raced in. I would like to find a pic of the car while it ran the Pontiac with 6x2's. I have the 389/4 speed that was put in car in 65' and Olds rear to. Heres a pic of frame when I was picking it up.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    F.O.G
    Member
    from Pacific,Mo

    ...a fairy tale starts with "once upon a time" and a sea story starts with "now this ain't no shit"
     
  21. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    Interesting. The painting looks like it's on a Model A frame with A splash aprons. Now I really want to see the photograph.
     
  22. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,132

    RAY With
    Member

    Thanks for the great story. Love the history on this roadster and good luck on additional pictures and information.
     
  23. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,795

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah, me too. I see '32 rails here with a Super Bell axle...didn't read about those in the story...
     
  24. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Read it again...just after 46' after the war is when he picked up the frame.
     
  25. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,808

    bubba67
    Member
    from NJ

    I would build it the way it appears in the sailor picture. Just one man's opinion.
     
  26. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Yea I have been really thinking about the build. That is definitely at the top of my list, but I can't see running anything other than Sharp equipment. If Jack ran Sharp at all I would build it like the pic. I have the 389/4 speed with Olds rear that came out of car. Im not running the aftermarket tube axle or disc brakes that were put on in the 60's,but have an old 32' Dago and bones. I am finding out there is alot of bitterness about me getting this car, but all I did was save it from disappearing at a swapmeet in pieces and just trying to build it right and get it back on the road, share the History of the car,etc.... Any help would be appreciated. My goal is to have it at the Roadster show next year....
     
  27. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,718

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Whos bitter? there just jealous.
     
  28. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,831

    indyjps
    Member

    Whoah, sounded like some fetish thing at first. Glad to see theres a story with it
     
  29. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    Well if you do decide to go back to the war years when the picture was taken, that eliminates a lot of parts and possibilities.

    I understand the feeling. I tried like hell to find out who might have built my roadster in 1951. It currently has an LT-1 from 1970 that somebody put in it. I actually assembled all of the parts to redo it with a flathead and period speed parts made before 1951. It probably won't happen now but whoever ends up with it will know it was a hotrod in 1951.

    I wouldn't worry too much about what others think. I would keep all of your research to pass on to the next owner who might want to go back. There will be a next owner.:D

    I would be true to the era that you do select. Electric fans and alternators don't belong on early hotrods but that is my opinion and not necessarily yours.
     
  30. slamchop
    Joined: Dec 8, 2002
    Posts: 273

    slamchop
    Member
    from San Diego

    Im a firm believer on no electric fans, no alternators, no modern 9" rearends, and always having 3 pedals...Unless im running a Hydro :)
     

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