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History Grandpas el mirage roadster recreation p.r.c

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by paintslinger805, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg Well it's time after a few years of research to finish my recreation of my grandpas 32 ford roadster that he ran at el mirage, and up and down the streets of Pasadena ca from 1947 to 1950. He is 86 right now and I'm bustin knuckles to get this car done so we can injoy this car together. So with all that said I will start this thread and the story/history as I have only found this out about him in the last 5 years. Iv been into hot rods and kustom cars my hole 36 years of life. I have a 53 Packard kustom 49 ford kustom 27 chevy 3 window AA coupe. Had a 40 pickup but sold it so in not a rookie. Iv been to the l.a roadster show every year for the last 20 swapmeetin. The show iv only walked around a couple of times as Street rods are gross to me. Not my style I love early American stuff not 1989 billet Boyd stuff. So anyways I had a 49 merc motor in the back of my truck one day and my dad seen it and said what are you doing with that. I said well it's going in the 49 ford. He said you should take a picture and send that to grandpa you know he use to race those. I said NO I DIDNT Know that, so he tells me ya he had a 32 roadster he ran at el mirage in the late forties. Still has a trophy on his fireplace. So I said wooooooow wait a minute your telling me grandpa was a dry lake speed chaser. He said yep. He says I'm going down there for Easter come down with the kids and ask him about it. So he lives in diamond bar and we go down for Easter and I ask him about his el mirage days and he tells me he ran out there from 47 till he sold his car when he was drafted into the Korean War. We talked awhile and he said hold on a sec, he went into his room and came out with this trophy. He said would you like to have it. I said hell yes. He told me he was a member of the Pasadena roadster club. I was totally blown away as iv seen a lot of early lake cars in pomona and always we're draw to them. So after I came back home I got right on the internet and looked up Pasadena roadster club. I found a few numbers and started my treasure hunt. Stay tuned as I'm going to do the best I can to make y'all feel how I feel about this must do recreation. The day he gave me the trophy he also found these pictures that I will start with. Please injoy.
  2. Looking forward to the updates
    hipster likes this.
  3. Man,what a great story to learn of your grand dad's adventures with El Mirage and his association with the Pasadena roadster club,a real pioneer from a time we love.

    But having photos of his roadster and that trophy your hands must be magical,congratulations please post a photo of both of you together in your recreation of your granddad's roadster.
    mario711 likes this.
  4. image.jpg image.jpg I found on the internet that the p.r.c. Had been reformed. So one number I found was to Richard at early v8 garage. I called him and told him my grandpa was an original member of the roadster club. I think he was alittle shocked as he said he just met another guy who's dad was in the club. He invited me to bring my grandpa up for the P.R.C. Roadster club picnic up at Newcombes ranch in the San Gabriel mountains. I called my grandpa and asked him if he was free that sat. I told him I had a suprize for him. I went down on the Friday to his house and when I got there he handed me a piece of paper that said timing tags. He then went in his room and brought out his Pasadena roadster club plaque. He told me I could have the tags but I could only barrow the plaque. I said no problem it will always be yours. We talked for a few hours about his car and what he could remember about it. He told me he put juice brakes on it and changed it to 40 shift colume and trans. He remembers having two carbs but not what kind. He can't remember all the little things says it was to long ago. He said he had an auburn dash and a gas tank under the dash for high octane gas with a valve to switch over and a hand pump to prime the carbs. He said they would drive to el mirage on Fridays and take the cars all apart to get them light as possible. Even take out the seats and sit on the floor board. Crazy kids havin fun. Good times here are the next set of pictures a lot more to come. Stay tuned.
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  5. image.jpg So now it's Saturday and I go pick up grandpa and I said I want to take you on a drive up in the San Gabriel mountains and he got pretty happy as he was a big hiker and backpacker and has climbed up and down every peak in those mountains. He told me many years ago you could see Catalina island from the top of mount baldy. So I got off to hit angels Crest highway I think that's what is called. Anyways when I got off the freeway there was a 32 roadster at the stop light infront of us and he was like hey that's what I had right there even had those tail lights 39 ford if I remember right. I passed it and it had an open hood. He was wow it's got a flat motor in it. Neat I'm inside just goin this is gonna be awesome once we get there he's got no idea what were doin yet. So that sparked the talk again about his car. So as we come around a curve the road is stopped as the roadsters were all turning in the picnic. He was like wow look at all those cars. I told him it was the Pasadena roadster club picnic. He said WHAT! I said yep some guys started it back up and this is where we are going. We started lookin over all the cars and some things were coming back to him. I had those I had that and at 80-81 his was even down I his knees looking under the car. I didn't take to many pictures Iike a dumbass. There Richard introduced us to mr. Mike mcnatt. Mike had his dad's photo albums for the club and dry lakes that his dad and mom took. Inside his albums were more pictures of grandpas car then what we had. He even had timing programs that his mom penciled in the times of the guys from the club and theymatched my grandpas timing tags. Mike has been a huge part of this recreation as he has pictures and timing programs that listed the parts my grandpa had on his motor. Mr pat ganahl gave my grandpa a ride in his purple roadster. He was smiling for ear to ear. Awesome day thank you Richard mike and pat. The picture is mike mcnatt on left grandpa in middle and me on right. Mike mcnatt is the guy who started the Lakes Pictures P.R.C. Thread. If you haven't read that I don't think even a doctor with a hammer and nail could help you. More to come injoy.
  6. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg Here are some of the pictures mike has in his photo albums. The picture of the front with the top on is in mikes dad's driveway in Pasadena. Has to be 1947 as it still has mechanical brakes at this time. Iv studied these pictures for hours,days,and now a few years. Iv been collecting every exact part I can find. And now it's build time. I have found other pictures on the internet and just a few weeks ago found one on the 40s period correct thread here on the hamb posted by jimmy b. I pm him and he even had the one and only picture iv seen of the back of the car. Come to find out my grandpa had 41 chevy taillight not 39 ford. Or maybe he switched out at some point. Or maybe he had 39s on his 32 3 window that he traded for the roadster so he could join the p.r.c. I will be seeing him next weekend so I'm gonna see if the pictures helps him remember. His number was 370b untill he went to a bigger motor then they gave him the number 390 b. injoy
    heavydumper, Retroline, Tuck and 10 others like this.
  7. Here are the ones from jimmy b. I hope he don't mind me posting them. The first picture is of my grandpa and a guy named ray morisette, both of the Pasadena roadster club. My grandpa is the one standing by the front tire. Second one is the back of the car that iv never seen untill a few weeks ago. Check the licsens plate numbers. And the last one I think is my grampa lying down closest to the right. And I think his car is in the background. He had chromed his backing plates and his spreader bar and I can see a chrome spreader bar there but I'm sure others guys also did that. I would of if I only had to pay a few bucks back then huh? image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
    Mtn Goat, Tuck, rumblegutz and 12 others like this.
  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 21,214

    Jalopy Joker

    Wow - this is fantastic - true living history - need pics of your build
  9. OMG!!! What a story. That brought tears to my eyes. What a blessing to find this out while your Grandpa is still alive. SUBSCRIBED.
  10. Katuna
    Joined: Feb 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,793

    from Clovis,Ca.

    What an amazing story! Living history. Wish I still had my gramps around but we shared a lot of his crazy car stories before he left us.

    Your grandfather is in Diamond Bar? First 12 years of my life were spent there. Went through there about a year ago. Boy, things have REALLY changed. Wonder if I lived near your grandfather.

    Good luck with the project! Take lots of pics! Can't wait for the finished project to hit the dirt.
  11. ken bogren
    Joined: Jul 6, 2010
    Posts: 473

    ken bogren

    What a great story!
  12. You're truly blessed to have your Grandpa still with you, and then you find out that he's a real deal iconic roadster guy! What a story! Please keep the updates coming and get it done FOR HIM.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  13. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,746


    Great story and I commend you on your task.
    wingnutz and volvobrynk like this.
  14. Killer story and what a great surprise you made for him! Neat how sometimes things come together like this. for him and yourself. Quick question. Is that a P/F-82 Twin Mustang on his hat? My grandfather was a Crew Chief on those in Korea.
    wingnutz likes this.
  15. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,567


    Subscribed, I'm following this one with anticipation
  16. I believe it's a p-38 lighting. He loves ol planes. He donates money to the chino air museum and because of that they have givin him rides in p-51s p-38s bombers b17s lots of air time he still gos to the chino air show every year.
    heavydumper likes this.
  17. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg Here's more pictures. I blew them up so I can see better you have to look hard in these pictures. The picture with the 370 if you look hard enough you can make out that it says hypersonic on the rear quarter panel. I tried everything to figure it out and couldent so I took the picture to him and asked what it said. He paused for a sec and said it says hypersonic I asked why he put that on there and he said because it's faster than supersonic. It's pretty cool to see how he was thinking around that time. Right at the time of the race for air superiority, speed and rockets. Let's go faster and faster till we hit the moon. I'm going to be seeing my grandpa next sat. I'm gonna show him this web site and thread and see if he will join the H.A.M.B and maybe he can join in and tell us all about the good ol days.
  18. View attachment 3162701 View attachment 3162702 Here's some more pictures. I have spent many nights lookin at everything I could find out. I look at every dry lake picture I see very carefully to see if I can spot him or his car in the back ground. Please if any one has any old books of that era take a look back through them and see if y'all can find any of his car. I know there's books out there about dry lake racing but I don't have any. I'm trying to buy all the hot rod mags from the first issue to 1950 as they took lots of pictures out there at el mirage. His name is elmer omohundro. He's in the timing programs but iv only seen the months that mike mcnatt has. If anyone out there has el mirage timing programs please look him up. From late 47 till 50. Thanks everyone for the replys. I will be posting pics of the build after I fill y'all in with the history and pics first.
    Pat, volvobrynk, Stogy and 1 other person like this.
  19. Thanks for posting this. Looking forward to following this.
  20. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg Here's the only three timing programs iv seen. And I have tags that match the dates. I also have other tags so I know there's more programs out there with him in them. These timing programs have givin me a look at what he was doing as far as motor builds cubic inches and what speed equipment he had. Of course he had all the goodies that all the hoarders all ready nabbed up. That's been the hardest thing about this recreation. I know people who have 10 of the same part and won't sell me just one. I wish he ran a 28 roadster instead of a "duece". It would be a lot easier to recreate. And a lot cheaper. I did one up some hoaders in my same town last weekend buy getting to Sacramento first to buy a 32 chassis with a mor dropped 32 axel 40 brakes and some other goodies. The guy selling it said he had a bunch of calls with the same area code and asked if I knew so and so and their numbers. I said yep I know of them. I bought because the frame is way better than the one I have and it's got vin. Numbers. who knows maybe I will recreate his 32 3 window down the road since I got 2 frames now. Or put together this other chassis to help fund this one first. Injoy
  21. T.r.o.g is coming to my town In October. That might be the right time to have it finished by or sooner I hope. It's only money huh!
  22. You welcome I wish I could of started it a few years ago but I kinda gave up on trying. Every time I would look for parts I would run into hoarders and it finely pissed me off enough to say screw it. But I had found enough to keep it on my mind and said if it was ment to be it will happen. Then I met a few good real car guys who wants to help out and see this come to life. And now I got a freight train behind pushing like hell so I'm all in.
  23. fastmike
    Joined: Aug 6, 2013
    Posts: 270

    from Chicago IL

    What a great story! Definitely watching this one.
  24. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,645

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    What a great story and pics! Will look forward to following along on the build.

    I have to wonder if your Grandfather's Roadster and Coupe are still rolling Hot Rods. Did he happen upon them after he returned from Korea?

    As for early pics (and a great read), I highly recommend Don Montgomery's ("Rockerhead" on the HAMB) line of books on early dry lakes and Hotrodding. You may even catch a pic of the Roadster in one of them as they're chock full of pics. Well worth the price for you and Grandpa to read.

    Have you contacted SCTA? They may have archive info on the early time trials.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  25. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,620


    Many thanks paintslinger...just a more formal BIG like ;). Also great to have your grandfather along and thanks to you and all whom have captured this history on film. It really helps define and bring to the forefront, traditions of the hotrod/custom past.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  26. Watching. I am looking forward to see this come together.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  27. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 576


    Ya know that the H.A.M.B. is a pretty good place to look for some of the stuff you need. If you posted a parts list of what you need to recreate the car, you just might get some help. Some of us would rather sell some of the parts we have for less money and see them used for a worthwhile project than put them on the auction site. Just sayen.....
  28. Amazing family history to find out about! Looking forward to seeing this come together!
  29. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Every now and then, a real history gem pops up here, and this is very much one of them.

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