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Art & Inspiration Henry Gregor Felson

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dan, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. A COOL thread Dan. I read all his paper backs books also. I checked them out of our school library. But instead of returning them. I just paid for them as lost books. I still have them all. I'd like to see George Lucas, or someone, make a movie from one. I know it'd be a big hit. I also drew pictures of Hot Rods back in school. So here's an old one of Rick's Hot Rod, at Jake's garage. I can still hear the sound of Sharon and Rick's heads crashing together. As the little Rod leaped into the air, and then falling into the dark water below the bridge. I'm gonna start reading them all again.:) Ron...Sorry fur da double pictures, one's bad enough lol.:eek: 20190201_145802.jpeg 20190201_145802.jpeg Also posted on the FAS

    Sent from my SM-G920P using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  2. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,003


    I have that set also and it is autographed to me. I was at SEMA the November before he died and he and his wife had a table set up in the main concourse. I stopped to tell him how much his books meant to me. He explained that he wrote the books, not as car books, but as youth stories that also included cars. He did that to capture the kid's attention and then learn the moral of the story. He signed the jacket and each of the books inside. He also told me that Steven King told him that he was King's inspiration to write. Maybe Christine was his tie in too Felson!
    catdad49, czuch and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  3. NOTE: Placing an "at symbol" in front of a HAMBer's username will notify the member that they have been "mentioned" in a thread. Holly's H.A.M.B. username is hjfelsen ... so by typing "@hjfelsen" in this post, Holly will be notified (by e-mail and/or the next time she logs onto the website) about this thread.
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  4. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,380


    Wrote a couple of books myself...two of mine are about life in a small Iowa town in the early 1960's...personal "adventures" and getting into and out of trouble with a three year old 1957 Chevy..."Bangin' Gears & Bustin' Heads" was my first, released in 2004. "Fast Cars, 4-speeds & Fist-fights" was the second, released in 2006 and available on Amazon as used or Kindle books... When those books first came out, my writing was compared to Felsen's altho I don't know if there was anyone better than him at writing about cars and car "adventures."

    So, IF you want true stories of the 1960's, pick up a couple of my books...FWIW, I've written seven automobile oriented books and one fiction book...all available on Amazon...

    COVER 1.jpg

    Caligraphics fast-cars 2.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  5. This was one of my key references in building my Mysterion clone. Has some pictures I found nowhere else in the historic literature.
  6. Piledrivin'Joe
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 49


    Especially Road Rocket - it shows that in the end cars don’t keep the girl, personality does. I was really surprised. His themes were so specific to gear heads: what it’s like to get your tools stolen, how it feels to see someone buy a rod outright that would take you years to put together, etc. I’ve never known another fiction author to address these ideas.
    SquintBoy likes this.
  7. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,591

    from Berry, AL

    I remember reading Boy gets car several times, it was a plain hardback book with a dark red or brown cover, well worn I might add. I think I read Street Rod or Hot Rod or maybe even both of them, but it's been too many years ago. I read anything car related. Haven't seen a copy of any of them in years, nor even thought about them for that matter.
  8. I also read all Henry's books and my brother became friends with Holly. We were invited to the annual Henry Gregor Felsen rod run in DesMoines and stayed with Holly. My brother, Scotty [Janglehead here] and I drove Hollys 32 around a bit trying to straighten out a carb issue. Found a little hunk of black rubber in the needle and seat. Here's a photo of Scotty finishing up the repair job...
    Thanks for putting up with us Holly! Oh yeah, I had a photo I took of Holly's cat drinking from the kitchen faucet but my computer ate it. scottyfelsencarbsmall9_15.jpg Hollyfelsenweachdeuce.jpg
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  9. deuceman32
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 281


    Cool thread. Looks like I missed a couple of these growing up! Below is another title from another author, R.W. Campbell, which became the subject of an 8th grade book report for me. I'll post the cover shot because, if you google just the title, things get a little weird.


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  10. j3harleys
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 768

    from colorado

    I read Hot Rod in 1959. I was in 6th grade in Derby Colorado. It changed my life, As it probably did for a lot of us. I bought a copy for my Grandson for his 10th Birthday. There was a hamber that passed away a few months ago who's user name was Bud Crane. I did not know him but just seeing his avatar when he posted would get me day dreaming. I did how ever wind up with his 2 32 Roadsters in december But just got to see them in person 2 weeks ago. Ok Sorry I'm done rambling now.:)
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
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  11. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,467


    When I was in high school in he late fifties, there was an attempt by a group of parents to remove the HJF books from the library, stating they were a "bad influence" and "distracting". If I remember correctly, they succeeded for a while until cooler heads prevailed. There were enough privately held copies around that what they did is make sure everybody read them.:rolleyes:
    RidgeRunner likes this.
  12. Chrisbcritter
    Joined: Sep 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,791


    I've asked about this before, without success, but...
    Felsen's book Rag Top, the sequel to Street Rod, was originally titled Cup of Fury. Has anyone read it under that title? And if so, is it true that the original book had a different ending in which the protagonist was killed? I've always wondered what happened there.
  13. Atomic Kustom
    Joined: Feb 5, 2010
    Posts: 188

    Atomic Kustom

    Can anyone tell me witch book this is???
    In Jr. high I remember reading one about a boy that gets a old '46 to '48 Ford. Hops it up and customizes it, if I remember right he painted it pink. Worked hard to get it ready for a big car show. Took place in Iowa or Nebraska and the kids rat raced around on the gravel roads.
  14. j3harleys
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 768

    from colorado

    I believe that was Hot Rod.
  15. Atomic Kustom
    Joined: Feb 5, 2010
    Posts: 188

    Atomic Kustom

    Thanks I need to get a copy and reread it. Made a big impression on me back then!!
  16. 36cab
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 598


    I don't think it was Hot Rod. I think the book you are thinking of is Street Rod. In Street Rod, Ricky Madison buys a 1939 coupe and customizes it for a big car show. His girlfriend talks him into painting it pink, brown and copper. In Hot Rod, Bud Crayne makes a speed run to Trenton to take his friend Chuck to hospital after Chuck is in a car wreck.
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  17. Atomic Kustom
    Joined: Feb 5, 2010
    Posts: 188

    Atomic Kustom

    Thats it THANKS!
  18. Like others I read as many HGF books I could find and read them over and over. Envious of those that met him - I know I always wanted to .....
  19. Oscar in Hot Rod rocked....and he thought he was nerdy!
  20. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 991


    I read all these and more. I used to sit in church and daydream about "the Trenton run".
    Another author that wrote some racing books was William Butterworth.
    Great post.
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  21. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,479

    from swanton oh

    Another author you might read is Jay Carnine. He was a member here until he passed in 2009 He wrote two books, Pinky, and California Hot Rodder. They are both available on Amazon.
  22. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 832

    Nailhead A-V8

    Absolutely pivotal! discovered them in our high school library I was already a car guy but they turned me on to life in the '50's and the Hot Rods that started it all then I really started digging in to the past from the pulp fiction books to the odd car mag article with b&w pics really stoked my imagination. I'd be talking about flatheads (which were considered boat anchors at the time) while all my buddies talked about was muscle cars.... without these books I would be driving a '76 Berlinetta with centerlines jacked up two feet in the back with stacks though a hole in the hood to this day!

    *I got the 3 I didn't have last Christmas I initially wanted originals but when I heard his family was still publishing the books we decided to buy them new instead so the money goes back to the family. The new books include bonus intros and other trivia written by his son and daughter. One thing to note is the original titles of The Cup of Fury is now Rag Top and Boy Gets Car (about his sons first car) is now Road Rocket

    ** Fever Heat was made into a movie in '68 as well
  23. Grandadeo
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 778


    Finally finished reading Street Rod today. Seems his hero's always get killed in the end.

  24. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 656


    My old friend Albert "Al" Drake credits H.G.F. with being a huge influence on his career choice.

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