The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Richard D, Sep 25, 2008.
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It's time for an update on the Heliker T! After I added the story to Kustomrama back in 2010 I received an email from Gary's wife Karen, telling me that Gary was thrilled to find his old jalopy online. I asked her a bunch of questions, but never heard back. This Sunday, while working on another story on Kustomrama I received an email from Mike McHenry of Apple Valley, California. Mike told me that he bought the roadster in 1997, and that he was the current owner. He had attached a couple of photos! I was blown away, and so glad that he emailed me! Together we wrote an update to the story that you can all see here:
As you can all see, the car has been changed a bit over the years. Henry is a very busy man, with a garage full of projects, so when I asked him if he will restore it back to how it once looked he told me about a dozen other cars he had to do first. Anyhow, the import an thing here is that the car is still around, and that is great news.
When I received the mail from Henry, I emailed Karen right away. Unfortunately the mail bounced, and it was returned to me. Do Anyone know if Gary is still around? It would have been great to let him know that his old Model T is still around!
A kool thing about this one is that many of you propably have seen it around without recognizing it!
Someone stripped all the good stuff off.
Yeah yeah, that can be fixed! Just be happy that it's still amongst us
I kinda wonder if it is the same car. Look at the bottom edge of the body in the old pictures.
looks like what I think I remember were '59 Chevy rear valences? removed from the bottom of the body sides.
Current version looks like a somewhat cheezy redo of the original car, but they look like the same car to me. Hope it does get restored to it's original version.
I like the smoothed off turtle deck sides, looks almost like a '25 style turtle deck that way, which is what I'm using on my '26. I was worried what that would look like, but it sure looks good in those old pics.
That definitely is the Heliker roadster.
Jimmy has spoken, and I trust this guy on this subject
Ray Martinez told Mike that the body was originally a pickup that was raced as a modified in the late 1940s. When SCTA closed the modified class, the turtle deck was welded on so the car could still be driven in the roadster class. Thus the drop from the tub to the top of the turtle deck. He also told Mike that the center photo on page 107 in Don Montgomery's book "Hot Rods as they Were" shows the roadster as it was driven in the modified class.....can anyone scan that photo and post it here..it would have been interesting to dive further down into that!
I scanned the photo from the above mentioned book.
Great! Thanks a lot Jimmy B...I hope we can get a hold of Gary if he's still around so he can tell us more about it. Ray might be right when he said that this is the same car..but I can not tell for sure
I just came across another color photo of the Candy Burgundy Metalflake iteration of the Heliker Roadster that I thought I would share here. The photo comes from the Steve Arnold Collection on Kustomrama, and it was taken at the Tridents Rod Custom Autorama indoor car show. Notice the display sign behind it that reads "Flaky Street Roadster." I don't know what year this was taken, but I guess it must have been the 1961 or 1962 Tridents Show. If you know, please let me know.
When it comes to my previous post about the car being found, Gary Heliker met up with Mike McHenry in 2015 to check out the car. After meeting Mike, he was not convinced about it being his old car, so I guess its whereabouts are still a mystery. I'm also sorry to inform that Gary passed away back in 2017. I was lucky to get in touch with Gary before he passed away, and below is a construction photo of the roadster that he shared with me. That was the only old photos he was able to find of the car in his album.
That looks like an eariler body...like 1925 or older. Gary's looks to be a 1926 or '27.
You're right about that. I wonder what the story is, as Gary gave me this and told me it was a construction photo...maybe he started with this, but decided to go for a newer body?
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