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Folks Of Interest Leroi Tex Smith.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTFR8, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Old Car Illustrated was bitchin'.
    509garyd likes this.
  2. TerrytheK
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 833


    Another great one has passed on.
    I did have the pleasure of meeting Tex (briefly) a couple of times. First time, he was the guest of honor at one of the early MSRA winter banquets. Check the smiles on the faces you can see (including NSRA pres. Dick Wells!) and you can tell that this was hotrodding's master storyteller in action:

    The second time was in the '90's I think, during the HRMx years, when he had a booth at Back to the Fifties. No flashy indoor exhibit, just an outdoor tent and a table with some books and magazines. And, his roadster - its primered hood was peppered with autographs from a bunch of hotrodding's most well-known folks. You could easily walk by and miss it completely if you weren't paying attention. I talked to him for a bit and he was as down-to-earth and genuine as they come.
    Thanks, Tex, for everything. You'll be fondly remembered.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  3. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    I met Tex in the shade at Motel 6 in Wendover. His writing helped me get there, and to where I am today. Really a fun dude to visit with, in print, pictures, or in person. Many of us learned a great deal from visiting with him. He will be missed by all of us.
  4. Huge loss to all, especially those who knew him. An inspiration in low-buck building, Tex led many to this hobby with his guidance and encouragement that you could build something, yourself, for not a ton of money and still have fun.

    He will be sorely missed - Godspeed...
  5. Never got to meet him, but I wrote to him when I was 14. He was working with R&C at the time, and I had just bought my '38 Ford pickup. Received a very helpful and encouraging personal letter from him. He took time to respond to a 14 year old boy with his first old car project. That says a lot.
    pitman, seatex and brad2v like this.
  6. Some vintage "Tex" photos from the Petersen Publishing Archives:

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  7. 011-tex-smith-passing-.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  8. ... the XR-6:

  9. A pic from the Auto Traders Classics "HOT RODDING LEGENDS" article:

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  10. Tex-Pat-Skip-1.jpg
    Tex was a good friend. I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend the better part of the day with him the last time I made it back to OZ (a couple of years back)

    While his passing was devastating, it was inevitable given his recent health issues. I wish I could have gotten back this past Easter to visit again but couldn’t get the time off.

    Fortunately, I have a lot of things to remind here me of his unmistakable influence of hot rodding…... All those old Rod Action magazines, Rod & Machine Gazette, a couple of his old Chryslers (yes, I have “Walter P”) and complete collections of his How-To books, as well as Hot Rod Mechanix and Custom Cars, both of which I was a small part of.

    Rest in peace, dear friend.
    brad2v, bowie, Baron and 1 other person like this.
  11. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


    Some great photos Hemi32.
    Desoto, looks like that photo was taken at Geelong.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  12. Tex.jpg

    a few years ago
  13. a really neat old car-r.jpg

    I shot this picture on the way home to Massachusetts when I bought Walter P
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
    Chrisbcritter and Baron like this.
  14. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,594

    from Colorado

    Anybody know the status of the book Tex was writing? Last I heard was that it was ready to go to print.
  15. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


    Graffiti Publications will have it available at the end of this month. I guess it will be available from any one that sells their books in the US. I pre-ordered mine a couple of weeks ago.
  16. This pic:

    tom & tex fishing.jpg

    ... reminded me of the last conversation I had with Tex.

    It was in August of 2010 at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, CA ... Tex had traveled from Australia to surprise his (then 90 year old) buddy Tom at the event ... and was "hiding out" in the Goodguys event office for a couple of hours (so as to not ruin the surprise for Stroker).

    I had stopped into the office (to pick up the paperwork for my father's memorial award) and struck up what I thought would be a short conversation with Mr. Smith.

    We chatted for the next hour or so ... actually he did most of the talking ... and I did the listening :)

    He had some nice things to say about my Dad ... and we discussed a bunch of other topics ... including his life in Oz (& racing at Lake Gairdner) ... Pat Ganahl's "Nitti-esque" Roadster ... "Internet Hot Rodders" (I even suggested that he join the H.A.M.B.) :rolleyes: ... and of course his many fishing trips with Tom Medley :D

    R.I.P. LeRoi "Tex" Smith :(
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  17. Yup. Geelong was the last nats I was able to attend. no more long holidays with the new job. glad I told 'em to stuff it 2 years ago and came back for a couple of weeks.
  18. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


    Outside the Melbourne - Victorian Hot Rod Show !

    I made Tex aware of a few topics on the HAMB and we spoke about one of them just over a month ago.

    :) A great photo with Trish as well.
  19. hotrod37
    Joined: Aug 8, 2006
    Posts: 114

    from Indiana

    A sad day indeed. I just learned of his passing. I love to read anything Tex wrote. I ahd noticed he didn't have anything lately on HodRod Hotline. I will truly miss him. Will say a prayer for him and his family.
    I would say Rest in Piece, but I think he would rather be tearing up the hi-ways of Heaven!
  20. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,660


    God Speed, Tex! R.I.P.
  21. jammer
    Joined: Oct 18, 2003
    Posts: 72


    Sorry for your loss !
  22. Loss of a Legend.

    Only spoke to him over the phone, two or three times over the years but it
    was like talking to a longtime friend.

  23. I spoke to the Graffiti office yesterday and Mary-Anna said that they were able to show Tex a couple of pre production copies of his new book a couple of weeks ago and the rest will be available by the end of this sincerely looking forward to getting a copy, Tex will be missed.......Andy Douglas
  24. hugene
    Joined: Mar 10, 2014
    Posts: 20

    from pineola fl

    RIP Tex and thanks for HRM best hot rod reading ever
  25. From our friends at:

    TRJ logo.jpg

    The Passing of Tex Smith

    As many of you have undoubtedly heard, our sport lost a trio of greats this spring with the passing of LeRoi “Tex” Smith, Dick Page and Dick Spadaro. We'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate their lives and invaluable contributions to hot rodding.

    Tex & friends swapping flatheads (TRJ).jpg
    Tex (on the tire) and a few friends showcase their hot rod ingenuity while swapping flatheads.
    Photo courtesy of the Smith collection.

    Tex, a diehard hot rodder and automotive journalist, was as well known for his storytelling ability as for his love for all things mechanical–especially the Ford flathead. Throughout his illustrious career, his bylines appeared in dozens of magazines, from Hot Rod and Rod & Custom to Street Rodder, which he helped start in the early 1970s. He was a key player in the very first Street Rod Nationals in Peoria, saw the formation of the NSRA and authored numerous books about rodding, customizing and a variety of other subjects.

    His projects ranged from the AMBR-winning, slant-six-powered “XR-6” to his “Dollar A Pound” roadster — each showcasing his knack for innovation and attention to detail. In recent years, he spent most of his time in Australia and was active in the hot rodding scene. He passed away June 11.

    Tex on the salt (TRJ).jpg
    Tex and his roadster on the salt
    courtesy of Australian Street Rodding.


    Rodders from around the globe have taken to the H.A.M.B. to share their memories of these hot rod pioneers. Be sure to check out the thread honoring Mr. Smith here.

    Next time you take your hot rod out for a drive, take a second to think about the guys above and all they’ve done for our hobby. They’ll surely be missed.​
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  26. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


  27. Crosley
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,039

    from Aridzona

    Tex did so many things for the hobby, the business side and the people in hotrodding, the list just goes on. RIP Tex
  28. AZAV8
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 997

    from Tucson, AZ

    Tex was one of my favorite writers in the hot rod world. He had a way with words that drew you into the story or article and kept you interested to the end. His simple explanations of technical ideas or of machinery opened up the complex to so many readers. I first read his works in Hot Rod and Rod and Custom in the 1960's and helped me learn to love hot rods.

    One of his stories from Hot Rod I fondly remember was of an early meeting of the LA Roadster Club and the Bay Area Roadsters in Pismo Beach. It was hilarious and informative at the same time and the photography of the cars was his usual perfection.

    He will be sorely missed by our fraternity of traditional hot rodders.

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