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Folks Of Interest Don Blair RIP?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Cyclone Kevin, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,061

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    My Nephew Cyclone Ian had the Rod & Custom Facebook Page up and a post said RIP Don Blair,Goodspeed. Any truth to this?????
  2. Sorry to hear this >>>>.
  3. chop32
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,077


    I saw that also...if its true, weve lost another great one...RIP.
  4. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Hoping it's not true, but R.I.P. if it is...

  5. It is true. Trying to get more details, but Don had been in failing health for a number of years, but it hadn't slowed his spirit much. Was still doing as much with the race cars as he could from what I understand. He was 90 years old - he had a great run
    Great guy
    with his signature "LUCK", Godspeed Don

    Put my Blair's car back up as avatar in honor of Don
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  6. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,342

    Slim Pickens

  7. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,720

    from Nebraska

    I also just saw that on FB...


    May he Rest In Peace.

  8. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way

    Once again, the ranks are thinning. RIP
  9. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,061

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Thanx 4 the confrmation. Very Sad Day in Hot Rodding :(.
  10. Truly one of the greats. RIP.
  11. gallagher
    Joined: Jun 25, 2006
    Posts: 180

    from califorina

    Don was a very cool guy when i got into cars about 15 i wanted a bigger cam he spent a good hr or so explaining to me how to pick a cam and check spring clearance . R.I.P don
  12. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151


    How many thousands of gear heads has this mans work inspired? In turn, his former employees who went on to do like wise. That is leaving a legacy worth mentioning. One of kind. A mecca of sorts that shop was. -God's Grace to this mans soul.
  13. Weedburner 40
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 833

    Weedburner 40

    Sorry to hear this. I was one of the guys that visited "Uncle Don's" on a fairly regular basis after I found it. RIP Don.
  14. Hemiman 426
    Joined: Apr 7, 2011
    Posts: 653

    Hemiman 426
    from Tulsa, Ok.

    Yes, the ranks of the "Greatest" generation are thinning too damn fast!. They volunteered during the worlds darkest days and were victorious, came home to raise families, and built the foundation of what we enjoy so much today!

    God Speed
  15. wow....another huge hole created that cannot be filled.
  16. Sad day! A true Icon of hot rodding

    R.I.P. Don!

  17. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    Once more we lose a great one. RIP Don.

  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,638

    Jalopy Joker

    Wow-what a legacy - never forget the pioneers - God Speed
  19. Big Al
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,420

    Big Al

    sad news, one of the greats. R.I.P. don.
  20. One of the truly great stories of hotrodding. Thanks to Rod and Custom for its coverage and tribute. R.I.P. Don Blair
  21. Oldsmobucket
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 330


  22. went into his speed shop every day for years, haven't talked to him in the last 40 years but it still leaves a large hole in my heart. he was a icon that always had the right answer for us young rodders in the 50-60's RIP ol buddy
  23. FineNobleGentleman
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 10


    My father was a machinist at Blair's from about '48 to '53, I grew up there under the counter, and learned everything I know about cars from my dad and by extension from Blair and the whole scene there. That's a picture in my avatar of the old man porting a flathead in the doorway of Blair's shop on Arroyo Parkway before they moved to the last location at Daisy and Foothill. These guys in the Gophers were founding members of the Southern California hot rod culture. There are few of these guys left. They were on the cutting edge of automotive performance, and many of their innovations were directly adopted by Detroit. An example is the porting of the '56 Olds head, which was lifted by Detroit from heads done at Blair's shop. Southern California was a hotbed of innovation in those days, and the automotive wave fed the aerospace industry as well. My father was hired by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1957, much to his surprise, and spent the next 34 years working on such projects as the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) which flew on the first Mars lander (Viking) in 1976.

    Don was a scrounger who made things work out of what he had available. He would build his cars out of whatever he had lying around. He had no problem welding up a cracked block and stuffing it into one of his track cars. The important thing was that it worked and produced horsepower. None of these guys were afraid to try something new, because they tested it out immediately, and found out if it worked by experience. Duffy Livingstone was part of this group of innovators, and followed a similar approach. For his Eliminator, he acquired a GM cast-off 265 smallblock in 1955, which GM rendered useless by punching a whole in the side of it. Duffy was an expert welder, so he welded a patch on the side bored it and went racing. Most of you reading this know the result. My old man built and tuned that engine for him, though you probably won't hear that from him. The current iteration that Brock Yates runs around with has a 350 in it, and so is not really correct.

    Anyway, to my knowledge, the only surviving Gopher is Tom Medley, and I hope I am correct in saying so (in Tom's case, that is!), because I haven't heard otherwise. Tom still has his old '40 coupe from those days, with the Gopher's plaque on the back, and was kind enough to include a picture of one of my old man's porting jobs in his first "Hot Rod History" book.

    RIP Double Dollar -- you deserved triple or more!
  24. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,524

    from California

    Wow that is some great history.....RIP
  25. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,063


    Rest in Peace Don.

    Attached Files:

  26. Ghost of ElMirage
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 758

    Ghost of ElMirage

    Does the Blair Special still exist? Has it been restored ? I would like to know the history anyone know it?
  27. Speedrome
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Posts: 607

    from Irving, TX

    I got to spend some time on the phone with Don in 2009 while I was doing research on his old sprint car, "Blair's Offy". He was a wonderful man and willing to share stories about Colby Scroggins, the driver and Hank Henry, the builder.

    Here is a quick board I put together to display near the car.

    This is how the car looks today. A very, very nice example of a Offy powered sprint car. Yes, in 1959 he chose an Offy over a SBC.

  28. Amazo
    Joined: Feb 10, 2011
    Posts: 3

    from London

    Another legend gone. RIP
  29. God speed Don Blair
  30. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,535


    Sad news indeed.

    Heaven must need gassers.


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