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Does anyone remember Rex Carson

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by greenracer, May 31, 2008.

  1. greenracer
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 49

    greenracer
    Member
    from sequim wa

    Does anyone remember Rex Carson? He used to own part stores in california . He also did a lot of drag racing in the 50s 60s 70s. He is retired and now lives in Washington.When he moved here he brought a lot of stuff with him. He has about 3 to 400 carburetors,intake manifolds,brand new dual point distributors,camshafts the list goes on.He has a 48x84 shop full of stuff. He is getting up there in years and would like to sell some of this stuff so if you are looking for something let me know he might have it.
     
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  2. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,564

    Fogger
    Member

    I knew Rex back in the '60s when he had a dyno shop in Glendale, Ca. At the time I was running a '55 Chevy C/gas, bracket car named White Lighting. He and partner Eric Averel were very helpful to all the local racers. Any parts that Rex has are good stuff, he was always a stand-up guy to do business with. Hope he's well, The FOGGER
     
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  3. greenracer
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 49

    greenracer
    Member
    from sequim wa

    Rex at 73 is doing great. Still tinkering with cars. Mostly carbs and distributors. He still has his twin turbu chevelle and might even run it this year at local 1/8 mile drags.
     
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  4. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    gasserjohn
    Member

    WAS SEARCHING REX CARSON ON THE HAMB found this post any current photos >>>>>looking for rex carson decals
    Rob&i ran a yellow 273 dart >rex gave us a 2x4 manifold for free if we put his decals on it >we where beating his big block cars tuned on his dyno<
    >>>>looking for Rex Carson decals<<<<<<<<<<thanks
     
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  5. wow.. Rex Carson.. Cool dude.. helped me out when I was but a wee lad.. I had a 55 Chevy. Just mentioned it on another thread.. It was too damn fast for my young ass.. If you find a source for stickers.. Let the world know..
    As for Eric.. carb guru.. freaking mastermind.. I was at his funeral a few years back... The mix of people was amazing.. Alot of "fast guys" knew and respected Eric.. I am one of them.. cool beans bringing this thread back up..
     
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  6. madmax
    Joined: May 2, 2006
    Posts: 42

    madmax
    Member
    from Calif.

    Max Sr. from H & H Antique & H & H Flatheads

    I Knew Rex very well from the 70's till he moved as well as when he transfer his biz over to Bruce at Malibu Exports.

    I built 100's of engines for Western Performance ( Rex's Speed Shop )
    back in the day.

    Eric Avril was a personal freind of mine for over 30 years and was the Top Guy on Dist and Carbs for virtually everyone around this area. I still see his wife Lavina in the same house that they lived in.

    Saddly I remember the day Eric died in his house as we were leaving on a Sat to go to the Harley dealer.

    Eric and Rex did a lot of super tuning and were good friends and have a lot of wild stories with those guys.

    Short story, when Eric died at 50, he was kind of large, so the casket had to be a little bigger and Lovina and all wanted it a little diff thean others as is what Eric was, so Scotty takes the Dodge trk down to Forest Lawn to pick up the casket and do a little modifications to it and they said no way etc, long story short, snuck the casket out the back and brought it home and Rod A Flamed the casket like his Corvete and El Camino and took it back and we buried him in a Traditional Flamed Casket.

    Michael Boyke led the procession at Forest Lawn in his 65 Custom 65 Vette, Michaeel has since died 57 years old and I am in ht eprocess of putting his vette back together for his wife and kids.

    Wild times, talented guys, true buddies.

    Good to here Rex is upright and well.

    Max Sr. from H & H
     
  7. Never knew Rex Carson, but there was a stock car racing driver back in the '50s by the name of Rex Carr.
     
  8. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    gasserjohn
    Member

    sorry to have not been at Eric send off >he &Rex both enjoyed what they did no matter who you where you got the best they had to offer
     
  9. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    gasserjohn
    Member

    I am looking for Rex Carson decals or photos of cars with the decals so i can make copy
    i know this is old thread
    was hoping Greenracer will contact me THANKS
     
  10. Dan Warner
    Joined: Oct 25, 2004
    Posts: 557

    Dan Warner
    Member
    from so cal

    I missed the Rex Carson post the first time around. I was in the same high school class as Eric, Glendale HS 1960. I knew both of these gentlemen and count my time around Glendale, Burbank and the area as the best times of my life. I know a guy who used to work for Rex, I'll call him and see if he has any decals.

    Sorry to have missed Eric's send off.

    DW
     
  11. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    gasserjohn
    Member

    thanks for your time...
    in the refreshing of my A i want to display a rex carson decal as a way to thank him&eric for helping a kid get just getting started
    if eric knew you didnot have much money he would tell you to come back after hours&he would show you how to do it.......
    one nite he went thru there stock of new gears until he found one marked 2.00 so i could assemble the 3rd member with a ruler
     
  12. Gasser1961
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,104

    Gasser1961
    BANNED

    sounds like a bunch of great guys
     
  13. Gasser1961
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,104

    Gasser1961
    BANNED

  14. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    gasserjohn
    Member

    crazy duck answered my Email even on sunday a/m
    only $4 for decal copy from pictures...........
    thanks to gearhead88 for photo he posted on my thread
    ''looking for rex carson decals''
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  15. My dad, his partners, and his brother used Rex's dyno and I bought parts from him @ "Western Performance" in Glendale before he closed up the shop. You can't make it out, but this car had Rex Carson Dyno Service on it as did the "Fat Rat" Camaro built after it. Ask him if he remembers Dick or Roger Panneton, Dick Jones, Chris Christensen, or Dick Gazan. I found
    the '56 a couple years ago, and when it gets repainted it will the Rex Carson lettering back on it. 56 @Pond-2.jpg

    IMG_0682.jpg
     
  16. Fulton762
    Joined: Oct 26, 2012
    Posts: 1

    Fulton762
    Member

    I knew Rex Carson back in the ealy 80's, I was dating his daughter Cynthia. I remember Denise, Paulette and Scott. The family lived in Glendale at the time and then moved to Moro Bay. Western Performance was still in business and I believe he would visit at times. The Chevelle had a twin turbo 427 if I am correct and I did ask to buy it at one time. I stayed at the home in Moro Bay a few times, us "kids" would visit. The last time I saw Cynthia was around 1993, she had married and had 2 kids, she was living in Palmdale at the time. Rex was always a great guy and really knew his stuff. He put up with all the stupid things we did, we were around 20-23 yrs old at the time. No idea where any of the family is now. The Moro Bay property had a large barn and he kept most of his toys there. I wish him well and thank him for being so kind to me.
     
  17. tomcurnow
    Joined: May 3, 2009
    Posts: 49

    tomcurnow
    Member
    from Los Angles

    I first met Rex Carson when I purchased a nitro powered mini bike, which make a full throttle pass from the Glendale High School auto shop , through the main building and our the front door. With Mike Harris aboard on a dare. When I left Mickey Thompson Ent to go to work for Hedman, I made a deal with Rex to buy a100 sets of hedders and become a WD. He agreed and I delivered the hedders on my home every night, until he reached the requirement. Rex closed the Dyno shop and Eric put a shop together at his family compound in Montrose, just north of Glendale. There Eric tuned cars by the day and resorted old slot machines, machine guns and Rochester fuel injectors in the evenings. He could restore the old slot machines and machine guns without any reference materials, Rex would later say the Eric was the best natural mechanic he had ever seen, and that says alot as Red was mentored by Ed Winfield, I saw Eric at a supermarket a few days before he passed away, I asked how his brother was doing, as he ran into a bunch of legal problems and lost his license as a Pharmacist, Eric replied that Mike was "pushing daisies", that was Eric. The last I heard Red was in Washington State growing Christmas trees, smoking Cuban cigars and enjoying classic music
     
  18. YURxFATxDADDY
    Joined: Dec 31, 2012
    Posts: 1

    YURxFATxDADDY
    Member
    from Arcadia

    I used to frequent both Rex's place on San Fernando and Larry's Glendale Speed Center. Two memories come to mind about Rex's.... Ron with the ridiculous low voice and a shopping cart of camshafts in the doorway. Eric did some great distributor work for me back in the days of my GTO. Also at that time I was working at Glendale Auto and had Max Sr. do machine work for me - Good to see your post here Max. It's too bad that all of the old school guys and shops have pretty much all gone away including the passing of Don Blair a couple years back. Glad to hear Rex is doing well enjoying the slow lane.
     
  19. BURBANK STREET RACERS
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Posts: 2

    BURBANK STREET RACERS
    Member
    from Burbank

    I used to work at Western Performance.Rex was and is a good guy,kinda bohemian.I remember Denise.and Tim? Z 28 and Randy .
     
  20. Paragons1
    Joined: Sep 11, 2014
    Posts: 3

    Paragons1

    Just came across this thread and would like to add my two cents. Rex and Eric were both the best: Both in what they did and how they treated folks. Always felt like they respected everyone who walked into there shop in Glendale. Did several relatively minor things on my '55 Ford and I proudly flew the Rex Carson Automotive decals in the rear windows.
    My best remembrance of Eric was helping him to prep his orange '56 Chev for the Winternationals Car show at the Great Western Exhibition Hall in L.A. He trailered down and rolled it into place in the hall. As I remember it, a show official thought the car looked so good they wanted Eric to move it to a higher profile location in the hall. As we started to put it back on the trailer, the official said to just drive it to the new location. Eric started the car and you can only imagine the sound inside the huge hall. Everyone in the entire place simply stopped and turned to see what was making the awesome horsepower. Great experience. RIP Eric and best wishes to Rex.
     
  21. TLK914
    Joined: Mar 5, 2016
    Posts: 1

    TLK914

    I grew up at Western Performance.
    It was coming to the end of the weekend drag racing on Airway ave behind Western Performance. The Glendale PD that once were supportive and tolerant of such things had started to crack down, so most of the crowd would still meet in the Western Performance Parking lot at nite and then head elsewhere to race, though some weekends the local cops that DID believe in speed would do a driveby and sorta give a thumbs up if the crowd looked sober. My family owned the Texaco and repair shop across the street from Western Performance from 1978 to 1989. I was 10 when we moved in. I was allowed to help sort stock and stack headers and boxes at Western for a summer. I cleaned the counters and the cases and listened to everything I could. Ron was always there with his hair in his eyes and always favoring solid lifters and twin carbs. Rex was frequently there the 1st 2 or 3 years, less often after that...but always available on the phone when we needed an idea. He would help out with a suggestion or 2 to save our bacon when we would get a customer with a performance prob that was between the normal lines (backfired only when shifting 3-4 at over 80mph on hard accel, rex correctly called wobbling dist shaft despite it being a new distributor replaced with the engine rebuild). I went from a cleaner and a tire buster back then, to an ASC master within 15 years. Largely because of all I learned in that warehouse and the parking lot outside. I remember doing alot of parts scrounging for mustangs (Our shops specialty) and selling many to one of their counter guys. Trying to recall his name. He got rear ended on the freeway in that car and it exploded and he was seriously burned. Tough tymes.

    I remember Eric Also. a wonderful guy, really good with distributors...and THE BEST business card ever made! (Those who had one of Erics cards...a cartoon of Eric benching a distributor with his hair in all directions) and it said simply DISTRIBUTORS FROM THE BENCH OF ERIC AVRIL.
    I only used his units on 2 or 3 occaisions (didnt have much call for them back then) and they always were exactly what we ordered for rate of advance and curve.

    I was so sad when Western was closed. Glendale Speed center hung on longer, but they were a different operation. They were more show and flash and new parts for newer builds. Rex was for old rodders trying to keep their horses running fast the way they were.

    Our shop was forced to relocate a couple of years after Rex closed Western. (We did nabe a few intakes and headers and lifters and cams from his closeout sale...but he was always morew of a Chevy guy, and we were Ford specialists tried and true).
    Glendale was in the early phases of its conversion to little Armenia...so speed was no longer in vogue there, and old timers like us were less needed/wanted. Now they want guys who specialize in BMW and Mercedes (Which I do, as well as Ford and Chevy)...When My father Dennis got terminal cancer, I was gonna keep the shop. But it wouldnt have been the same without him. So I sold it (To Armenian taxi mechanics...sigh). Moved my greying hairy head to a large and busy shop on the Westside of LA. Of all the old timer shops left in Glendale, the only one left I can think of is Karols Garage on Central. John S still owns and runs it, his Dad Karol just died a few months back, from a mosquito bite of all things? But they dont do oldies or speed anymore. I think most of that type business in Glendale died with my dad. But the memories still live on.

    Least as long as I do. :)

    And the old days...70s and 80s, we had some really great days back then. I still think on them often. And will for as long as I can.

    Kelly Garvey
    Former child tech, later partner, now ASC Master tech, Emissions and technical adviser to Cal ASC and Cal BAR, occasional trainer, still mustang builder when I have tyme.

    Direct Auto Service and Terri's Texaco
    6348 San Fernando Rd, Corner of Sonora. Directly across the Street from Western Performance Racing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  22. Dave Halley
    Joined: Aug 10, 2016
    Posts: 1

    Dave Halley

    I used to buy inventory from Rex, Jim W and Chip when they were at the old dyno shop/warehouse for years. One day Rex came to Lancaster to personally deliv my parts and while there made me an offer I couldn't refuse to sell him my store with the promise of a job working for him at the "BIG" warehouse in Glendale (not really big but bulging at the seams) with as Rex called them speed hard parts, he refused to sell tires like Glendale Speed and Super Shops did. I sold Rex my speed shop in Lancaster Ca. (Ed & Daves Speed) and started my job as parts pick up driver and order parts puller. At the time we had 3 retail stores and the warehouse. Rex then bought the old Greenstamp building and we moved the biz to there (Rex kept the dyno shop to store his car collection (incl the 427 twin turbo Chevelle). Rex promoted me to general manager of the Western Performance warehouse and the 4 retail stores which I changed the names to Performance Auto Parts. This was a battle since Rex did not like conformity. I also talked him into having the store managers wear shirts with the store name and there name and putting soda machines in all of the retail stores to keep customers calm while waiting there turn to buy parts (ahh the good old days we would have lines of customers Friday afternoon and all day Saturdays). We had Sun distributer machines in each store and Rex would teach each manager how to rebuild, recurve and install one of his patented Carex dual point dist plates to match your car for best performance. I still have my Rex Carson jacket and wear it to some of the "oldies" car shows in central TX where I have lived for 25 years.
     
  23. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,776

    Black Panther
    Member
    from SoCal

    I wandered into Rex's Western Performance one day...must have been late 80s or early 90s...as I looked around I noticed he had some shelving that had a few old intake setups on it. One was an Edelbrock X2 Pontiac 6x2 crossram...I'm talking complete with 97s...linkage....spark arrestor air cleaners...looks like it was pulled from a hot rod...then sat for decades...completely intact and untouched . I ask how much? I think I got it for $250. Nobody cared about that complicated shit back then. I also bought an X3 for hemi...same deal...and more.
    Just came to a realization....Rex started my LOVE of early speed equipment...it embodied a time in America when anything was possible...and so much fun. Imagination was in full display then. Later on when he was closing up I bought some great shelving from him...about 30 linear feets worth. What once held his hot rod parts for decades....today holds my stuff. I still drive by his old building and it's turned into some weird business....am sad every time I drive by it. Mind blowing that it was over 25 to 30 years ago that I bought stuff from him....
     
  24. MadMark68
    Joined: Oct 9, 2016
    Posts: 1

    MadMark68
    Member
    from Seattle

    I too knew Eric Avril. In high school I worked at the 76 station up the hill from his backyard shop. I rebuilt the engine in my 69 Camaro and asked Eric to rebuild my carb. He told me the best thing to do was to go buy a brand new Holley and bring it to him. He reworked that carb and recurved my distributor and my car ran perfectly. I would tinker with my carb and mess it up, then come limping into his shop where he would listen for a second, then take his carb screwdriver and reset the screws until all was perfect again. He was a great guy. I too went to his funeral. A very sad day.
    I never knew Rex, but I did spend quite a bit of dough at Western Performance.
    This morning I just found one of Eric's old business cards in an old Holley box in my garage....
    upload_2016-10-9_11-10-9.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
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  25. wschwarz
    Joined: Jun 27, 2013
    Posts: 1

    wschwarz
    Member

    Hi Dave, it's Werner. Good to hear from you. Send me an email. Thanks, Werner
     
  26. TimLerts
    Joined: Dec 21, 2016
    Posts: 1

    TimLerts

    Wow nice thread, too bad I didnt find it earlier, my father gave me his car that was modified my Rex Carson, We lived in La Crascenta and later Gelndale it was a BEAST 1968 AMC Orange Javelin that never lost on the street. I remember the Rex Carson decal in the side window, I will try and find a picture and post of the decal. Strange how later Rex moved to Washington. Thats where we moved in the 80s. Rest in Peace Rex...
     
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  27. morechop
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 1

    morechop
    Member

    image.jpeg I know this is an old thread,but I'm looking to see if Rex is still with us. I have a '63 Impala (409, I think). It says Rex Carlson Dyno on the side, it's an old race car. I'm looking to find out if anyone has any info on it from the 60's, 70's or possibly the 80's when it was raced.Thanks Ken
     
  28. amichaelevansjr
    Joined: Jan 11, 2012
    Posts: 4

    amichaelevansjr
    Member

    www.loporchios.com/classic_car_shirts.htm
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  29. greenracer
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 49

    greenracer
    Member
    from sequim wa

    My son and I went for a ride in the Chevelle and had lunch with Rex today. Had a great time. Try to make it up there to see him once a week. 20170715_132630.jpg 20170715_132624.jpg 20170715_114143.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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