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History His-Story of "Stan Back" the Roadster

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

  1. This is about a '29 Ford Roadster, with a history going to back to 1947. This latest bit of information, was just recently introduced to its current owner of 55 yrs, Jim Kitchen. These newest tid bits, come from a friend of Pat Ganahl's, that enjoys tracking down the his-tory of vintage Hot Rods. It was at one of our recent monthly, SCTA Road Runners meeting, where I overheard Jim, telling our current hero driver and Ed Martin Garage business owner, Willie Martin, about these timeless snapshots of the day. I was told there were pictures of the car, with the rear pitched out, sliding around a dirt track. It still does this, more on that later. I couldn't wait to see these photos. I would ask about them and last I has heard, they were in Norm Porters, possession. Which is who made the aluminum tonneau cover, intake and plenum, for its current configuration. While seeing the photos for the first time, Norm became quite emotional. Saying.. 'people just don't care about things like this anymore'. It had a '41 Ford 6 in it, which in it's stock form made more power than the V8 flathead, Henry was producing at that current time. Yet they claimed the 6 cylinders power to be lower than the V8 flatty, by advertising it's power at lower RPM then it's actual peak power. So as to not undo the V8s, illustriousness. Then the provenance gets even thicker, with the car being a car from the, Pasadena Roadster Club. Knee toe!

    Now skip to today, when I went up to Jim's to get back on the rustoration, of good ol' Stan.(Salt is a killer!) One of the first things out of my mouth, before getting right to work, was if he had the pictures back. A quick yes, and the day had just got better.

    So here's what I saw..
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  2. Then there's a six year gap of info, from '47 to '52. But what is known, is that Bill Freeman turned it into a street roadster in the 50's, later to be owned by Burt Leithold and son. There's even more his-story printed in the April of '56 HotRod magazine, when Burt owned it. I even have a copy of the magazine, Kitchen gave me. It hangs on my wall in case.
  3. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 18,201


    HAMB membership has its privileges. Great story. Great Hotrod and quite the innovative drivetrain. Thats a big hunk of motor stuffed in there and it looks right at home. Priceless stuff and thanks for sharing. It does matter. This is a part of Hotrod history.
    kiwijeff, hipster, volvobrynk and 2 others like this.
  4. Now skip to 1961 when a young man, in San Bernardino, was standing on the side of Cajon blvd, watching the street races running that night. As cliche as it sounded, what he witnessed, changed his life that night. A 59 El Camino ( I have a couple of those) at the starting line, sitting next to a dark blue, 1932 Ford cabriolet. So picture this, with both cars having their headlights on, jumping forward as they inched towards the start line. The 32's headlights close and low, while the 59's lights so far apart, it could be two motorcycles next to each other, moving in unison. The flag man starts the race, and both cars leap off the line, roaring down Cajon. Jim watches as scream past, an at that moment he knows he has to have a ROADSTER. Being a young man, starting out in life, he didn't have the so called necessary money it would require. So he borrowed from everyone he could, when he found this roadster in the classified ads of Drag News magazine. One thousand dollars was the price.. (Yes please!) It was red with a 283sbc an a 6 carbonators manifold on it. He had to have it, and still has it. So by 1963, equipped with a blank P.O. from Scotty's Muffler, he went to the local Chevrolet dealer, and ordered a 1963 365hp 327 crate motor, and mated it to a Hydromatic trans. Went to the speed shop and bought a new 8stack Enderle injector. (which I now own, thank you very much!) And proceeded to drive the car, everyday on the street for more than 20yrs.

    That's where my dad, from the late 60's/70's drag racing fame, comes into the story. My dad painted Nanook AA/FA, before it became super Nanook associated with super shops. My dad was somewhere parked in his roadster, catching Jim's eye, he turned around and made his way back to see who owned and get a better look see. From then on, which was the early 80's, they were friends. Jim took a liking to me, an I'm glad to be able to call him a friend of mine. He introduced me to LandSpeed Racing, an i've been hooked ever since. See, the first time I ever stepped foot on that dry dirt hole, we call El Mirage, was at the May meet of 2009. Jim already held the record for his class C/STR at 189 and change. But that day he beat it, upping it to 193.93mph. I thought, wow.. you just come up here make records just like that! WRONG. Our new driver, Willie "BOCK" Martin is almost there. Last November, we went 193.26mph. Less than 6/10's off.

    Anyways, that's how I became involved in this HIS-STORY of 'Stan Back' the Roadster. Now what does this whole thing of 'Stan Back' actually mean? When you drive a roadster on the public roads, and park where the general public has ready access to it.. you have to deal with random people jumping in the passenger compartment, making engine noises, while yanking on the steering wheel from left to right. without permission or regard to the owners wishes. So as time went on, after numerous run in with said experiences, you have to get a sense of humor about things. So Jim had 'Stan Back' lettered on the drivers door top. So when people would ask if he would mind, if they sat in it. He would quickly tell them he didn't, but Stan might. As he pointed to the lettering on the door top, that reads.. "Stan Back"

    When Burt Leithold used to drag race the car, with his son

    Then Jim joined the San Bernardino Roadster Club.


    This is the street version of the car


    Then Al Simon built the chassis for the full race car, the way it sits now..


    Jerry Froelich an I, pushing the car from the pre stage area.


    I'm holding the tonneau cover, while Jim's putting the pins back in the fire bottles, after making the pass.


    L - R Team: BACK, BOCK, BECK & FROELICH 3076 C/Street Roadster


    More later...

    Attached Files:

  5. A friend 51Mercules an I, thought it would be cool to share the stories. There's more to this and hopefully i didn't mis-remember this too bad. Gramatical errors an all, Hopefully "Stan Back" himself, chimes in a tells it like it is.. He usually does!
  6. Fabulous History lesson!:D
    Stogy and volvobrynk like this.
  7. HotRods make history fun!
    Stogy, volvobrynk and lothiandon1940 like this.
  8. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,496


    Cool roadster and story
    volvobrynk and J.Fishbeck like this.
  9. Great story...Thanks for taking the time to post it so we all could enjoy it.
    J.Fishbeck likes this.
  10. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,320

    from oregon

    I concur!
    J.Fishbeck likes this.
  11. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,981


    You gotta love it.
    J.Fishbeck likes this.
  12. Thanks Rich. Looking forward to the May meet!
  13. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,152

    51 mercules

    JJ thanks for posting ,Such a cool story.
  14. Thanks, I have more pics. . But Stan has even more! I sent him the link.
    48fordnut likes this.
  15. Stan still likes to dance AND hang the ol rear out. Sometimes, just a little to much. You can ask Willie and Kitchen, they'll tell you first hand!

    Here's Jim's, spin.. 3 around one way, 3 the other way @ 190mph. June 10th 2012

    FB_IMG_1457887152425.jpg FB_IMG_1457887158546.jpg FB_IMG_1457887163902.jpg FB_IMG_1457887174335.jpg FB_IMG_1457887187276.jpg FB_IMG_1457887187276.jpg FB_IMG_1457887197253.jpg FB_IMG_1457887202519.jpg FB_IMG_1457887207542.jpg

  16. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 18,201


    Doin the evolution. That car likes fast. Hey J.F. is Stan-Back still on the top of the door...and keep on rubbing that history into us...and the pics even better. I see Bonneville and Soccer have some things in common. I'll betcha the car is snickering...;)
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  17. [QUOTE="Stogy, post: 11431133, member: 27904" Hey J.F. is Stan-Back still on the top of the door...[/QUOTE]

    Yep! 20160229_084156.jpg
  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,774

    Jalopy Joker

    Cool - Thanks - great story - so, that is what they mean when saying "I'm going to take my car out for a spin"
    Jet96, Stogy and J.Fishbeck like this.
  19. In roadster class (all classes, really) it's not if your gonna spin - it's when you're gonna spin!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  20. Love this car as much as jims Mercury Tudor! Great history on the car J!
    J.Fishbeck likes this.
  21. I'm stoked to be a part of all this. This was the last car my dad worked on, before passing. So I'm making sure to match his work, getting it ready for a car show in April. Jim's 28 Mercury Torpedo Salon, is whole other story. Lol
  22. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,391

    Marty Strode

    I met Jim at Wendover a couple of years ago, at the cancelled 2014 Speedweek. To say he is a character, would be putting it mildly, he is a great story teller and a fun guy ! How about Al Simon, last time I talked to him, he was thinking of building himself a land speed '27 Roadster. Thanks for sharing the history of the car with us.
    J.Fishbeck likes this.
  23. The things I learn from all those guys, is priceless. I've been going over to Al's, an I get to see the progress of his RMR. Al's been helping me with my own 30 STR landspeed rdstr.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  24. Bump, it is sad to say this thread full of history has 22 views when something about how do I change my oil gets 100s
  25. I about sh#t myself when you said that .... had to check myself .... 649 views, " 23 replies" .... but STILL ..... 649 views ?? Needs to be 64,900 !! Such a badass ride. Thank you for show and tell. Love it !!

    Screw those what color should my wheels be threads !!!!
  26. Car shows almost bore me, now. When I started coming to El Mirage meets, I realized. .

    Here's real HotRods, doin' REAL HotRod shit!

    I seen the fastest pass a roadster has ever gone at El Mirage, last November. The 911 went 277 mph

    Here's some of Stan, in action..
    fauj, 48fordnut, Countn'Carbs and 9 others like this.
  27. Here's the November meet, with our drivers (Willie Bock Martin ) fastest pass

  28. Here's ol Stan on the dyno. Don't ask the results, it's secret! But tuning told us where we were power wise. Can't wait till the may meet.

    I had ear plugs in, but couldn't hold the phone and my ears, too. That's why the video is so short
    Countn'Carbs, jnaki, grumpy32 and 5 others like this.
  29. Jet96
    Joined: Dec 24, 2012
    Posts: 1,235

    from WY

    Now, where did I leave that '41 Ford 6....
    Stogy, slv63 and J.Fishbeck like this.
  30. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,548


    What an awesome car all through the years ! Thanks for sharing it. The first pic I ever saw of it was with the injection on it (R&C ??) loved it then... Still do!
    Stogy and J.Fishbeck like this.

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