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Gas Ronda, Drag Race Legend, 81 years young

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mazooma1, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. wally bell
    Joined: Apr 15, 2008
    Posts: 418

    wally bell
    from VA.

    Thanks for sharing.......
  2. 18n57
    Joined: Jun 29, 2007
    Posts: 577


    Glad this popped up..didn't see it before. Very cool guy, thanks for sharing the photos!!
  3. Excellent post ... this is the kinda stuff that keeps me log'n in everyday!

    Great photos ... thanks for sharin' .....
  4. I heard that Gas Ronda's Mustang was going to be at Russ Davis Ford in Covina on display. I hoped on my Sting Ray and rode the 10 or so miles just to see that car and believe me, 10 miles on a Sting Ray is Looooong! That car had such an impact on me I can still see it perfectly in my mind some 40+ years later!
  5. SOHC427
    Joined: Apr 5, 2009
    Posts: 958


    I was lucky enough to visit with Gas at the last CHHR, next to the Mustang. He spent time BS'ing with us, and took several pictures.
    Great stories
    Great Man, and a real nice guy to visit with.
  6. BAD ROD
    Joined: Dec 16, 2004
    Posts: 1,535


    My dad raced his 1960 Starliner (still owns it) in Fremont in 1960 when Gas Ronda was there in his black '60 Starliner. My dad told me a story recently about Gas Ronda….

    In 1960 my dad was drag racing in Fremont and he beat a 58 Chevy by about two car lengths. When my dad came around after the end of the track, the official wiped the number off my dads car glass indicating that he had lost the race. My dad went to the tower and complained to the head officials that he didn't loose the race, he had in fact won the race! The tower officials noted that the track side officials said my dad lost the race and “that was that”. My Dad protested so the officials ask the guy in the 58 Chevy who won and he responded with something like....."well who ever you say won I guess, I’m not sure". So, the officials left it that my dad lost the race.

    By this time word was getting around at the track that there was a protest going on. Gas Ronda went to the tower officials and told them.....”I watched that race, the kid in the 60 Starliner won that race". The officials didn’t know what to do, so they decided to just re-run the same race. In the second race my dad was so pissed off that he went up in smoke off the line and the race ended in a dead heat. So, they lined up again for the third time and my dad beat 58 Chevy by about 3 cars lengths.

    To this day, my dad credits Gas Ronda for that win as the officials would never have reversed their mistake if it wasn’t for Gas Ronda’s influence and willingness to get involved.

  7. jrondajr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2009
    Posts: 2


    I had never heard of that record. He gave me a lot of memorabilia but never heard of the do I wish I had that! I printed out this thread and mailed it to him.

    Thanks Guys,
    John Ronda Jr.
  8. 54FordPanel
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 43


    Thanks for the pictures. That Mustang is one of my favorite cars of all time. I hope Ford gave him that new black one! He certainly deserves it.
    I never met the man, but he sure carries himself with class. I don't look as good at 50 as he does at 81!
    Thanks again for the post.
  9. mercury Bill
    Joined: Dec 16, 2002
    Posts: 581

    mercury Bill

    The record didn't come from a cereal box. It came from a large modelkit of the mustang, the body actually lifted like a funny car with a little motor.
  10. Floyd Staggs
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 4

    Floyd Staggs

    I had the pleasure of racing Gas Rhonda in the first AC Cobra back in late '62 with my '63 Corvette. It was a special photo shoot at Pomona Raceway for Ford Motor Company. He beat me that day and everytime I raced him after that.
    I also met him at the Gas House in West Covina where my wife and I used to go. A first class gentleman. I'm glad he's still around.
  11. Floyd Staggs
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 4

    Floyd Staggs

    Wish I had of known he was there at the CHRR. I would have gone and talked to him. But I was busy trying to keep a car in competition and wasn't able to walk around as much as I would like.
  12. Thanks, Doug. What a legend from the glory days of drag racing. Glad to hear he's still active and hittin' it.
  13. Something I've never forgotten.

    We were at Phoenix in 1970 for the AHRA winternatl's. Gas made a pass and had a fire about the 1000 ft. mark. He didn't know it as the fire was under the car. The fire melted the rear rubber brake lines and charred the chutes, the the floorboards melted and the fire came inside the car. He couldn't stop the car and got burnt pretty bad. Not a pretty sight to watch. A benefit race was held to raise money for his medical bills. I got a nice "thank you" letter from his wife (Gwen?) for my shops donation. Nice to see he's still with us. Jay Howell
  14. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,948

    from Michigan

  15. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king

    Absolutely one of my favorite Ford guys. Class act.
  16. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,176


    Another remarkable history post here. I always thought Gas was just an automotive nickname, his name Gasper is unique, as was he. He has a great rep as one of the cool guys, and I am stoked to see him looking so fantastic and driving a rowdy Mustang. Thanx ~sololobo~
  17. RondaRowan
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 3

    from Arizona

    great stories! sure wish I could meet Gas Ronda. My dad also raced with him, and hes a very respected man. I will always remember who I was named after.
  18. Fiatdude
    Joined: May 5, 2010
    Posts: 89

    from SoCal

    Your link to those pictures has finally died -- was looking forward to looking at them
  19. Bullington
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 297

    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I have a Gas Ronda tach. Love it!

    Amazing pics! Thanks for sharing.
  20. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,524

    Atwater Mike

    My bud Eddie Souza bought one of Gas's 1961 Ford Starliners in '65...a black 410 HP 390 4 speed car. He drove it daily. (San Jose, CA.)
  21. jcwilson
    Joined: Feb 15, 2011
    Posts: 3

    from mich.

    I met Gas Ronda in around 1957 or 1958 when he worked for my uncle as a dance instructor in Hayard Ca. My uncle was mayor , his name was Bill Wilson,Gas was a very nice person.
  22. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,684

    from Oregon

    Wow! Glad this old thread was revived again! Missed it both previous times, and I enjoyed seeing the pics in the post. Wish the others were still active!
    Always enjoyed watching Gas run back in the day. His cars were always so nicely done, and he put on a great show!
  23. RondaRowan
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 3

    from Arizona

    My dad is going in a nursing home soon and we thought his memory was totally gone and out of the blue he said I used to drag race cars! he cant even remember names so we were all shocked.He really loved cars and racing,LOVE YOU DAD
  24. PVTA Jay
    Joined: Dec 17, 2010
    Posts: 149

    PVTA Jay

    Please tell me that you're not referring to Gas going in a nursing home. I can remember him from days when I ran front chutes at Pomona (staging lanes for the stockers), he was still living up north and Les introduced him to me. A wonderful gentleman at all times. I was wrong, Her father raced with Gas and she was named after him
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  25. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch

    I wish you the best, my brother and I experienced the same with our father.
  26. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T

    From what I've read and seen, he's a VERY class act.
    Best wishes for all of you.
    Larry T
  27. ronda racing john Ronda
    Joined: Dec 14, 2011
    Posts: 9

    ronda racing john Ronda

    gas was just a nickname . my dads real name is gaspar g Ronda his dad and my grandfather was from spain .hope this helps
  28. ronda racing john Ronda
    Joined: Dec 14, 2011
    Posts: 9

    ronda racing john Ronda

    Sorry to hear about your dad e mail info to me and i will see what i have .
  29. ronda racing john Ronda
    Joined: Dec 14, 2011
    Posts: 9

    ronda racing john Ronda

    Wow this goes way back i met your dad . there was a chinese resturant across the street in hayward still there i think . We went across the street met your dad. i was about 8 years old. My dad also had the oakland and SF arthur murray dance school. Drag racing was just a hobby in those days . He went pro in 1964 when he won the winter natl. Ford gave him 1964 thunderbolt #6 made. at the winter natl he marched through all the big mo pars all the big boys to win.i was 16 years old and was there to watch it . I was very proud .i raced for 12 years my son christian is 3rd generation of rondas that is now goimg into the sport of racing. all the best john ronda
  30. ronda racing john Ronda
    Joined: Dec 14, 2011
    Posts: 9

    ronda racing john Ronda

    I remeber that it was very nice of you . It was a very hard time for my dad. i remeber going to orange county burn center and seeing him it was not a pretty sight .but he was a true warrior. He made it and is still going strong . John Ronda

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