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Folks Of Interest Gray Baskerville

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wetatt4u, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Mr. Baskerville is someone I would have loved to have met. His writing style somewhat influences my own,as far as the occasional "tweaking(twisting?) of our under-appreciated language.

    As a fan of,and occasional(Shhh...) "participant" in nocturnal speed contests,I loved his articles on the really fast street cars of the late 1970's and very early 1980's. A couple that stood out in my mind were Lou Mancini's '68 Hemi Dart, and Nick Zuk's '71 Ford Maverick(with a 427 Tunnel Port mill under the hood). I spoke with Nick back in the late 1980's,(and if you're out there,I hope you're doing well! Same to you,Lou!))and the subject of that article came up. He said that they had a ball together,laughed long and hearty,and Gray loved the fact that Nick's car was pure Ford hot rod. That is evident in his writing in the article. I still have that issue of Hot Rod,and often go back and check that and other similar articles by Gray for the sheer pleasure of a good read gone better.

    Damn;I would have enjoyed a ride with him in the roadster,whatever the distance. He probably would have chastised me for consuming rye spirits,though... RIP,Mr B'ville!
     
  2. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,894

    S.F.
    Member

    His writing warped my mind from a young age...R.I.P.
     
  3. philly the greek
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,863

    philly the greek
    Member
    from so . cal.

    I used to see him at Chrismans shop quite a bit . Always fun to be around with an infectious laugh ! Art and Mike did the frame up refresh on the roadster just before he passed. Art took him for a ride in the roadster a few days before . RIP
     
  4. WhitePunkOnNitro
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 324

    WhitePunkOnNitro
    Member
    from Middle Tn

    Gray Baskerville was a huge inspiration for me both growing up, and later when I began doing magazines myself. I only got to talk with him a time or two on the phone myself...experiences that were both huge and intimidating at the same time. His pure love and enthusiasm for all the sacred elements of our culture, made him, in my eyes, a holy figure.
    I can remember many times being wrapped in the middle of a story, banging away at the keyboard, channeling the vibe I caught from reading his stuff as a kid and hoping it wasn't going to be too obvious in the finished product.
    It wouldn't be a big reach to say that any success I had a a writer, I owe directly to him, and for that I am eternally grateful.
     
  5. I had a friend that lived in Pasadena. Restorer guy that was into Packards. I would go there and help him out now and then. Mr. Baskerville lived around the corner.

    Every few weeks or so, Mr. Baskerville would show up and hang out a bit. Pretty much anything that was going on could inspire a story from the man. He had seen it all. Super nice guy that loved rose bushes.

    R.I.P. Mr. Gray (don't call me Gary) Baskerville
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  6. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384

    29AVEE8
    Member

    Used to talk with Mr. Baskerville when he was at Peterson pub. about a myriad of hot rod stuff. He was always eager to talk to anyone who understood the culture. One time in the mid nineties I took my son Pat, to an El Mirage meet and as we walked up to the start line I recognized the roadster, primer spots and all and said to my son "Yer ol Dad is here" my son already knew who I referred to. Sure enough about 200 feet out was Gray, shorts and sandals shooting cars as they left the line. When they shut down for lunch he walked back to the roadster to get his thermos which was laying on the seat, I introduced my son to him and he was as always very graceful.

    A couple of years later I called him at work to discuss something, Track roadsters I think and not realizing what week it was I got directed to his voicemail. Ring, Ring, Ring, silence, then WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.........(simulating the time span of a Bonneville gear change) then ...WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa........(simulating the doppler shift of a car going away) all in gray's voice. And then the voice message: "I am at B'Ville leave me a message, call you when I get back." I did'nt leave a message but wish I had recorded his voicemail announcement. Still miss him and Tom Senter and Don Fransisco and Frank Oddo. They wont be replaced.
     
  7. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Baskerville on Hot Rod's Power Tour '99. It seems one of the Hot Rod staffers had taken off in a participant's car with the keys to the company rental van in his pocket. They had to drag the rental onto the back of a flatbed tow truck to haul it to the next stop so the rental could be re-united with its keys.

    Grey was giggling his ass off, and snapping about 1,000 photos of the rental being loaded onto the tow truck, I hung out with him for about fifteen minutes, just bullshittin' before we had to go our separate ways...

    I never saw one of those photos in a magazine, but it's a memory that will remain with me for life.
     
  8. 6t5frlane
    Joined: Dec 8, 2004
    Posts: 2,381

    6t5frlane
    Member
    from New York

    X@ Just had a colonoscopy done, as all over 50 should. Not fun but worth it
     
  9. SuddenDeath
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 186

    SuddenDeath
    Member
    from Florida

    Would have been great to meet him and share his memories of my car. A couple of the photos taken that cold day in January of '77 with him behind the wheel of my car, you can tell he was having a grand time with Roush that day and putting the car through its paces. The article kind of said it all with his colorful commentary!

    Funny, one of the seats was busted up badly where it mounts to the frame/tracks. They're old Don Hardy seats. I took it down to a race/fiberglass shop to see if it could be repaired. First thing the guy says "why not just buy some new ones". Had to explain the history behind them, including the guys who drove the car...he understood and is helping save the original.
     
  10. WhitePunkOnNitro
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 324

    WhitePunkOnNitro
    Member
    from Middle Tn

    Wow, what a flashback. Your car...that story, were the very thing that turned me on to street cars back when I was 16. Up until then, I was completely obsessed with Funnies, Altered and Diggers. I remember reading that story..over and over and over again. I remember the night I dragged home my first junkyard carcass...my insanely irate mother cursing her head off at me while I read that piece again, sitting on the floorpan of what was going to be my version of your car. THANKS!!!
    It's great to know it's still intact...can you post any pics of it?
     
  11. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I have been wanting to say the basically the same thing since I saw your avatar. I'll have to pull out that particular issue and re read the article on your car again... 'cause it has been way too long! Nice to see it out and about!
     
  12. SuddenDeath
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 186

    SuddenDeath
    Member
    from Florida

    Guys...PM or email me...I can't post anything about my car on here. Too off-topic and I've learned there are those who are very sensitive to that kind of thing. I'd be happy to send you more history on the car prior to the Hot Rod article and up to date pics if you'd like them. In fact, just today I've managed to locate/contact the guy who wrote/photographed the article on the car in 1976 for Super Stock and Drag Illustrated. I'm hoping he has film or anything related to it.

    BTW...I did the same thing with that article years ago until I wore it out and spent many years searching for the car! I've heard from quite a few that it was that article that helped spark their car fever, as it did mine too.

    RIP Gray...you were truly one of a kind.
     
  13. WhitePunkOnNitro
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 324

    WhitePunkOnNitro
    Member
    from Middle Tn

    What I've learned about the HAMB is that truly cool and historic over rides O/T status every time. Just go ahead and post all you can about that ride!
     
  14. JimA
    Joined: Apr 1, 2001
    Posts: 4,796

    JimA
    BANNED

    Pretty sure when I worked at Petersen he had one that said "I'm out in my Roadster......getting my hair blown. Leave a message" I can hear his voice saying it. Never thought we would lose that voice so early. Such a great man.
     
  15. LOWDOWN2
    Joined: Jul 13, 2009
    Posts: 135

    LOWDOWN2
    Member
    from Ontario

    Seems kinda ironic this thread would be revived now...on the same weekend as the GNRS. One of the "great" stories displaying his non-conformist attitude towards any-and-all was the story of him driving up to Oakland to enter the Roadster Show, and being "declined"...

    Someone on here probably has first-hand knowledge of THAT story...

    Here's to Yer ol' Dad...
     
  16. JimA
    Joined: Apr 1, 2001
    Posts: 4,796

    JimA
    BANNED

    That story changed history so much! Look at all the unfinished cars in the show- and a whole hall dedicated to primered cars. He's havin' a laugh at it all for sure!
     
  17. LOWDOWN2
    Joined: Jul 13, 2009
    Posts: 135

    LOWDOWN2
    Member
    from Ontario

    Naming rites: "The Gray Baskerville Memorial Hall" ...

    An opportunity for Source Interlink, and Hot Rod Deluxe...

    Where's Frei-daddy?
     
  18. JimA
    Joined: Apr 1, 2001
    Posts: 4,796

    JimA
    BANNED

    I'm sure current employees like Dave F. and Dave Wallace would be behind it, but not sure what the company (Source Interlink) would be willing to do for someone that never worked for them.
    Sad stuff like the recent picture in Hot Rod with the sign from the Petersen building laying broken on the ground during a renovation. I remember not a decade ago proudly pulling up to that sign to work each day while Mr. Petersen and Gray still worked in that building- now it's just some piece of trash to be hauled away. Very sad :(


    Read the latest Editorial in Hot Rod Deluxe if you want to know how the magazines really treat the people that do the work we all remember fondly. It's not a matter of what you know, or how passionate you are- it's bottom line, who will do the most amount of work the cheapest. Talked to many people lately who have told me time and time again- "You know, this is the first year in 20 (some 30 & 40) years I go to the news stand and I don't just automatically buy all the magazines any more". Can't blame them at all when you look at some of the 60 page weak efforts hidden in a plastic bag with a calender that's essentially just more advertising already paid for by the advertisers- and they want 7 or 8 bucks for it! Tech in most mags has been whittled down to the current editors welding in patch panels in their current projects- WOW! Love seeing that for about the 12th time! I think Gray would feel much the same way because I just can't see him bolting the latest ugly tilt-column or LED taillights in his Roadster and calling it a tech story.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2011
  19. SuddenDeath
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 186

    SuddenDeath
    Member
    from Florida

    Man, I'd like to, but last time I posted anything like pics or history even after being asked, it was deleted by the moderators.
     
  20. Killer
    Joined: Jul 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,569

    Killer
    Member

    well that just verified that I need to get a life.

    '97 if i remember right.

    BTW, I dunno if your question was answered or not but no Gray was never a member. he didn't like computers much anyway.
     
  21. ohiohotrods
    Joined: Aug 14, 2006
    Posts: 428

    ohiohotrods
    Member

    i had the pleasure of meeting gray in 1983 when he shot my 33 ford phaeton. course you dont get to know someone that well when they are shooting your car. over the years id see him and he would always say hi or something,anything in his squeeky kind of voice. him and bob bauder came to lobecks in cleveland, i drove up from cincinnati and alan ray came up from georgia. we all stayed at barrys and then we all went to the first americruise(i think it was the first) any way what a week that was. when you were around him and lobeck .wow ,it was great,2 sick individuals. what fun it was. after that week id see him and he would always stop and talk. what a great guy.he probably forgot more hotrodders than most people ever knew although i dont believe he ever forgot any one. if there is a hotrod heaven im sure it's a blast up there with him carryin on. RIP gray
     
  22. ohiohotrods
    Joined: Aug 14, 2006
    Posts: 428

    ohiohotrods
    Member

    i forgot to mention that i seriously doubt he was a member cause computers were young then and i seem to remember a conversation once that he didnt like them at all.
     
  23. In 2000 I had a long chat with him at the start line at Bville. He had on his classic red shirt,white shorts, and flip flops. A memory I will enjoy thinking about forever. He was just a cool hot rod guy as talked land speed and hot rods.
     
  24. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With
    Member

    Gray was a pure hotrodder and I enjoyed all his work. He is and always will be missed by thosands of hotrodders all over the world.
     
  25. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290

    94hoghead
    Member

    What a cool guy he was...
     
  26. bobbyb
    Joined: Jun 28, 2009
    Posts: 151

    bobbyb
    Member
    from ohio

    In the summer of 1989 Gray and John Beachtel took a ton of photo's of my car. In January of 1990 the 2 page spread appeared in Hot Rod Magazine. Much to my supprise, a neighbor of mine called to tell me it was in.....I had no idea IF and WHEN it would ever get published. The reason it says return engagement, is because there was a small photo of the car in an earlier issue under readers rides.

    I have since sold that car but am building one now......most likely not destined to be in Hot Rod. Thought I would just brag a little......:)
     
  27. bobbyb
    Joined: Jun 28, 2009
    Posts: 151

    bobbyb
    Member
    from ohio

    photos will not upload....
     
  28. N8B
    Joined: Sep 28, 2009
    Posts: 476

    N8B
    Member


    Thanks for the photos Spork! Nice shop.
    Where are you located?
     
  29. Rex Schimmer
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 743

    Rex Schimmer
    Member
    from Fulton, CA

    I meet Gray at Dave Kent's Creative Car Craft, in Hawthorne back in 79 or 80, Kent was working on a couple of cars for Hot Rod, one was a pretty neat 48 Anglia, anyway he did like his "clear" as he and Kent would down their share of "Wavy Davys" (gin and orange juice) after hours. Great guy, loved the way he wrote his articles and how he loved Bonneville. Sure better than the "whip dicks" that are there now. Like everyone I miss his contribution to hot rodding.

    Rex
     

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