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Hot Rods List of Speed Equipment Manufactuers that Began in California?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SLOson, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. How about Clay Smith Engineering on Dale St in Buena Park. Been there forever.
     
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  2. Colin HD
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 269

    Colin HD
    Member

  3. Colin HD
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 269

    Colin HD
    Member

  4. Colin HD
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 269

    Colin HD
    Member

  5. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,665

    jimmy six
    Member

    Owens Orbit Cams...first cam I ever put in a SBC.
     
  6. Colin HD
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 269

    Colin HD
    Member

  7. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,985

    Marty Strode
    Member

    A friend of mine shipped a 330 Ford Truck crankshaft down to them. They wide-cut the throws to accept late Hemi rods, enabling him to de-stroke a Cammer to 395 inches, utilizing a vast selection of aluminum rods. That was long before you could order a rotating assembly.
     
  8. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,080

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Cyclone (HAMBer Kevin) LA since 40's(?)
    Appliance (A/P) Wheels Gardena
    Keystone Wheels N Hollywood
    US Indy Wheels

    So-Cal (original 1940's)
    Pete & Jakes
    Service Center
    Super Shops (started as San Bernardino Racing Equipment 60's)
    PAW (Performance Automotive Wholesale
     
  9. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,516

    RmK57
    Member

    Dougs headers. Weren't they on Whittier blvd?

    nevermind, I see it's in there.
     
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  10. ol55
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 475

    ol55
    Member
    from Virginia

    What about EMPI?
     
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  11. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 2,818

    Fordors
    Member

    Tom Beatty, blowers, drives and manifolds.
    Chuck Potvin, blowers, drives, camshafts and ignition.
    George Riley, equipment for Model T, A and B 4 bangers, OHV heads for 21 stud V8, the Riley Midget engine, marine equipment, carburetors, and the Riley SOHC V8, a fresh design that used the flathead Ford crankshaft and rods, everything else was unique.
    Harry Weber, cams, clutches and flywheels.
     
  12. Colin HD
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 269

    Colin HD
    Member

  13. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,304

    Stovebolt
    Member

    Nicson
    Sharp
    Heidelbrandt

    There's three I just though about that I don't see on the list
     
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  14. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,641

    jnaki





    Hello,

    Clay Smith was one of the early pioneers in camshaft design and manufacturing. The So Cal company started in the mid 1940s as Smith and Jones Camshafts. In the 1950s, it became Clay Smith Cams. By this time, they had a shop in Signal Hill area of Long Beach and then moved 3 blocks from our house in the Westside of Long Beach. It was a short bicycle ride to the shop from our house. After he died in an accident, his wife took over and continued with the company.

    My brother and I used to go there along with Joe Mailliard’s Speed Shop that was nearby for our daily or weekly drag racing fix. As we got older, a Clay Smith Cam was going to be in our early hot rods and in the 1940 Willys 671 SBC coupe. But for some reason, my brother got on this Howard Cam Company kick and purchased many parts for our build, including a Howard roller cam for the supercharged SBC motor.

    Jnaki

    Clay Smith Cams has one of the longest histories in the hot rod/drag racing world. It continues, even today…
    upload_2020-6-8_4-35-50.png SIGNAL HILL AREA OF LONG BEACH

    upload_2020-6-8_4-36-50.png WESTSIDE OF LONG BEACH LOCATION
    A friend of Clay Smith drew the original Woodpecker logo, was trademarked in the 40s and put on most of the vehicles associated with Clay Smith Cams. Walter Lantz, the Hollywood cartoonist, created Woody Woodpecker after asking for permission, as long as it did not interfere with motorsports or any automotive venture.

    EXTRA NOTES:
    “Pete Bertrand started grinding cams for sprint car racers. Pete was born in Mexico in 1902, while his father was the superintendent of a large silver mine. He grew up in Nebraska on his father’s farm, and by the 1920’s, Pete was racing throughout the Midwest in the P.E.B. Special, named for his brother Ernie and himself.“

    “Like so many other young men, the lure of Hollywood and Southern California was irresistible to a young man who was bored with farm life. By the 1930’s he was racing on the West Coast, and finished 8th in the A.A.A. Pacific Coast Sprint Car racing league in 1934, driving for the Morales brothers and other owners. He was a daring and dashing figure on the track until a disastrous accident in early 1935 put him in the hospital. That is where he met Esther, a nurse, who cared for him and married him. Esther asked Pete to quit racing after a second accident in 1935, and he opened up a cam grinding business in Long Beach, California, in order to stay close to the sport that he loved."

    "Pete’s main competitor in the cam grinding business was Ed Winfield. The local hot rodders and racers would buy cams from Bertrand or Winfield, depending on whether they were from the East side of Los Angeles, or the West side of town. Pete came down with pneumonia in 1942, and passed away at the young age of 40. One of his employees, Clayton Sherman “Clay” Smith, purchased the business from the estate and renamed the company Clay Smith Cams.”


    “He married Ruthelyn, a lovely and vivacious lady, and together they built up the business with the famous redheaded, cigar smoking woodpecker logo.

    She sold the business to partner Howard Jerome in the 1960’s, and Jerome sold Clay Smith Cams to George Striegel in 1968, who moved the company to Buena Park, CA.”


    By Richard Parks
     
  15. 65pacecar
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,059

    65pacecar
    Member
    from KY, AZ

    Thanks for the history, that is some great information. I knew Clay Smith was around forever but didn’t know the early history. I really found the divide of East/West LA influenced Cam selection. I love knowing the history of the hobby.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  16. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,510

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    Quick note......Clay Smith of Speedway Motors is the namesake of Clay Smith the cam grinder. Speedway sells a lot of woodpecker branded items and Speedy Bill was tight with Clay back in the day.
     
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  17. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,995

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sig Erson Cams. Long Beach, CA Later purchased by Super Shops (formerly San Bernardino Racing)
    Had a solid lifter one in a hopped up 289 I bought from a junk yard. Turns out the cam was bad. Drove to Long Beach and they replaced it and several lifters as well, no charge. Great customer service considering I wasn't the original purchaser of the cam.
     
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  18. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,985

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Here is a profile of Clay Smith, who was killed in the pits @ DuQuoin, Ill. in '54.
    https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/clay-smith
     
  19. Cal-Custom
     
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  20. abc123
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 429

    abc123
    Member

    J&E Pistons has already been listed but it should be JE Pistons. Before that name they were known as Jahns Engineering Pistons ...and they had a great decal.
    JahnsPistonsDecal.jpg
    "The origins of what we know today as JE Pistons can be traced back to 1912 and the Los Angeles foundry of William Jahns Sr. and his company W.H. Jahns. Employing the tagline, 'Nothing but Pistons,' the W.H. Jahns company produced pistons and semi-finished pistons until 1948, when Jahns Sr. retired. Meanwhile, Jahns’ son, William 'Uncle Bill' Jahns Jr., started and had been working on his company Jahns’ Racing Pistons since 1947. Shortly after, the business became Jahns’ Engineering Pistons, and was finally shortened to JE Pistons." from https://www.jepistons.com/about-us/our-history
     
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  21. Onemansjunk
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 167

    Onemansjunk
    Member
    from Modesto,CA

    Is P.S.E. to late for the game ?
     
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  22. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,117

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

  23. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,985

    Marty Strode
    Member

    I have a set of semi-finished pistons for a v-8 60, still in the box !
     
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  24. I can't forget my buddy Mike Kuhl Superchargers in Santa Ana.
     
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  25. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 329

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    It could be faster to list the ones that didn’t start in California .
     
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  26. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,665

    jimmy six
    Member

    I’ve a nice set of new JE forged flat tops for a 270 GMC with rings. The bore size is to match the easily bought rings since 270’s were a bastard bore...
     
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  27. mopacltd
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 854

    mopacltd
    Member

    Hays clutches along with Hays stinger ignitions
     
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  28. 270ci
    Joined: May 17, 2010
    Posts: 366

    270ci
    Member

    Jardine's Headers
     
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  29. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 803

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    C&O transmissions
     
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