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History hot rods @ Pomona - April 27, 1952

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LowKat, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,598


  2. HHRdave
    Joined: Jul 31, 2006
    Posts: 1,068

    from So Cal

  3. Limey Steve
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,523

    Limey Steve
    Alliance Vendor
    from Whittier

    If a picture is worth a thousand words we just o/d'd ;) thanks for posting them ,truly exceptional we can all learn from those images .
  4. That is "Jiggler" Joe Gemsa working on his car that was in the Clark Gable film "To Please A Lady. This picture was taken in his driveway on Rush Street in South El Monte. I drive by it every day as my shop is only a couple blocks away. Joe got those tattoos while in the service. We bought my first RPU from Joe for $175 in 1959. It was parked in the same spot with a For Sale sign on it. Those old garages behind him were loaded with an awesome collection of Offy and Miller engine parts and casting patterns. Joe lived in that little house 'till the day he died, a few years ago. Hard to find a more collorful character.
  5. Evel
    Joined: Jun 25, 2002
    Posts: 9,038

    1. 60s Show Rods

    found these under "car show"

  6. Evel
    Joined: Jun 25, 2002
    Posts: 9,038

    1. 60s Show Rods

  7. Bonesy, if that was a "slime ball" cop then I dont know what you would call the cops now? I could never in my liftetime remember any cop who went out of thier way to help street racers. Cops obviously were a little different then.

    Casper good info!
    If it wasnt for Bud Coons and Chief Parker I dont think the dragstrip would still been here, how many so-cal dragstrips have come and gone and Pomona is still around without even a threat of it getting shut down, even though some neighbors that live near the strip and Brackett field complain about "noise"

    Propwash, Those cars werent that old at the time, of course they were going to be in better shape, there were still people that had poor taste, just not as many...

    Anyway, love these pics!
  8. I'd like to see more of these type chicks at the shows rather than the Orca-Betty-tatt-fest frankensteins we get now.
  9. W




  10. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,040

    Alliance Vendor

    Cool story Dean Lowe!
    man it was really fun trying to hit jackpot in that archive :)
    Guess i have tried about 50 different keywords.

    Does anyone know about any other archives like this?
  11. Carlos Ramirez; Mike Nagem; and Joaquin Arnett were out of San Diego ....AKA:

    The Bean Bandits

    They were partly responsible for the opening of Paradise Mesa drag strip in San Diego.

    Here's a photo from a year later in 1953, of Mike Nagem, club president sitting in a different car.
    Front engined in this picture, it was later modified to Ardun equipped flathead, rear engine.


    Now a little more history on the Pomona officer in photos 5 & 6:

    Stolen from a StreetRodder article:

    "Bud Coons was a Pomona kid in a souped-up car going too fast on a back road in the late 40s.
    When pulled over by Pomona police Ralph Parker, he figured his day was ruined.
    Parker was interested in hot rods and helping young people. He didn't arrest Coons,
    instead suggests he becomes a police officer.

    A similar event occurred in 1951, after Coons had followed Parker's advice and joined the force.
    Coons was on patrol when he spied a hot rod Chevrolet. The car wasn't speeding,
    he just couldn't resist stopping the driver. "It was a real nice Chevy, and I told him
    I just pulled him over to look and talk to him," Coons said.

    After driver Manuel Vallejo was assured he wasn't in trouble with the law, the two talked racing and cars.
    Vallejo then invited Coons to come to a meeting of the Pomona Choppers car club. After a while, club members
    "accepted me as a hot rodder instead of just a police officer." said Coons

    Bud Coons saw a need to help these young men enjoy their cars without racing on public streets.
    The Choppers, with Coons' support, started meeting at the police station. Pomona officers
    helped put on the club's races at an old airstrip off Highland Avenue in Fontana,
    the only place they could race in the area.

    Then came the decision in 1952 by Coons and Chief Parker, to ask the L.A. County Fair
    to use their parking lot as a drag strip. Fair officials let them use the northwest corner of the gravel parking
    lot as long as they got insurance..........

    One of the Choppers members Dad was a paving contractor....

    Now, Pomona had a drag strip.

    Then came Hot Rod Magazine editor Wally Parks and his founding of the National Hot Rod Association.
    In 1954, the NHRA hired Coons to promote the sport. Coons sold his personal Studebaker
    to buy a '54 Dodge station wagon for towing the NHRA "Drag and Safety Safari" trailer.
    He began touring the nation, spreading the gospel of safe drag racing, one city at a time.


    stolen from the LA Times archives:

    "In 1954 Bud Coons, Bud Evans, Eric Rickman and Chic Cannon visited 16 U.S. cities,
    traveling more than 20,000 miles, and put on makeshift races with the supplies they carried in their trailer.
    "We carried thousands of feet of wire, amplifiers for a speaker system, timing clocks and lights,
    everything needed to conduct a race.” reports Bud Evans

    Bud Evans also said. “Once we got started and Hot Rod Magazine put the word out, the response
    was unbelievable,” “We were like the Johnny Appleseed of the hot-rod industry,”

    Eric Rickman reported. "In some towns, 15 or 20 cars filled with club members would greet us
    5 or 10 miles out of town and escort us in,”
    “We were surprised at the enthusiasm we found." “The response was so great that we extended our
    trip for a couple of weeks because we had so many requests."

    “For 50 cents, they could buy a ticket from their local car club and get their car inspected
    and after making the necessary safety modifications, for a buck they could enter the stock class.
    Some days we’d have a couple hundred cars lined up.”
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  12. hershambob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,316


    are any of those young men and women in the first pics still with us????
  13. I believe the kid with the channeled 32 roadster without a grille insert is Lloyd Bakan, who later owned the 3 window that Don Orosco won pebble beach with.

  14. jesus valencia
    Joined: Jun 18, 2006
    Posts: 35

    jesus valencia
    from pomona

    The p-town. Puro party!!!
  15. Lstude
    Joined: Sep 27, 2008
    Posts: 173


    Thanks for posting those pictures!
  16. Pete1930
    Joined: May 5, 2006
    Posts: 321

    from Boston

    WOW!!!!! Man, chicks back then were sure nice and shapely. I just don't go for the waif look of today. Man, some reaaaaal nice curves on those girls. :cool:

    Thanks for posting!
  17. junk fiend
    Joined: Sep 16, 2008
    Posts: 430

    junk fiend

    wow those are great, i love old high quality pics
  18. P-townkustoms
    Joined: Jul 5, 2006
    Posts: 230

    from P-Town CA

    Those are some of the best photos I have seen! I LOVE Pomonas hot rod history!!!
  19. Badfella
    Joined: Jun 14, 2004
    Posts: 1,159


    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. rustydeuce
    Joined: May 26, 2006
    Posts: 855


    Those pics should be in a cool book. Awesome.
  21. Wich picture are you talking about? Im good friends with some of Loyd's family, I have the original issue of Hot Rod in 1957 when that car was on the cover with the two chicks by the pool, it was @ GNRS last Jan.
  22. Sorry, I jumped to a conclusion. Lloyd's roadster was a channeled '29 not a '32. His, like the photo of the '32 at the Marshall high car show didn't run a grille insert. I should have checked the '55 issue of Rod & Custom that featured Lloyd's roadster before making an assumption.

  23. EvansSpeedEquipment
    Joined: Oct 17, 2008
    Posts: 12


    Very Nice! Thank You.
  24. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,254


    What a bunch of great historic pictures here. Frame made out of water pipes, amazing it would be hard to do today since most water pipes are glass!! Oh excuse me I was confused!! Love that classic stuff seeing nothing newer in the lot than 50's cars. And the car show pix of the Hemi on the stand , and that cut away Hudson picture is super incredible, a twin-H beauty with a pair of bullet bra cuties in the photo.Thanx to all for the great post.~Sololobo~
  25. Rathbone
    Joined: Oct 14, 2004
    Posts: 480


    Those are a window into the pinnacle of human civilization. It's all down hill from there. Thanks for posting.
  26. That's right. Some folks hadn't been long back from a war and of all of them navy guys were prone to the odd tat. Not overly common, but they did get them.
  27. [​IMG]
    1954-55 NHRA Drag Safari (later changed to Safety Safari)
    [l to r]
    Bud Coons (show manager)
    Chic Cannon (tech inspector)
    Bud Evans (announcer)
    Eric Rickman (photographer)

    At the Desoto/Plymouth dealer, probably getting the wagon serviced?

    Drag Safari in the NHRA F1 panel delivery:
    Bud Coons & Eric Rickman going from L.A. to Oakland Roadster Show.
    OH SH!T, coming down the "Grapevine" near Bakersfield.

    Same F1 panel truck in the background at Wendover Utah.
    After the accident, George Barris hammered, Bondo'd, & sprayed it.

    (Sorry I don't know anything about the PU in the foreground)


    early 1950's
    Eric Rickman driving.
    This was Petersen's shop truck.
    Was stolen and not recovered.
  28. bttt
    for those who missed this thread
  29. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    picture of the drag strip pavement laid on top parking lot ...same as big willie's terminal island>>>see pic my personal"s was as much fun then as back in the day!!!
  30. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,261

    Deuce Daddy Don

    I was in the USN at that time, & eating up all info on drags & cars in general, these pix bring back lots of memories, especially the old packing house shown across the street, it was a landmark in future pix. The cop in the pix is, I'm sure is Bud Coons, he was very instrumental in getting drag racing started in, not only Pomona, but nationwide when he formed up with Wally Parks of NHRA fame, & went on nationwide "Drag-Safari" tours establishing new drag strips all across this great nation!---Yep,& thats the way it was---------& I'm still a gearhead at 75.---------Don

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