The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Clik, Jan 3, 2010.
Does anyone remember the Mighty Mo in Hyattsville, MD?
Does anyone have pictures from those days?
Are ya sure you don't mean the Mighty Mo sandwich that they used to serve at Hot Shoppes? Man, I'd kill for one of them. Or a "Sir Loiner" from Tops Drive In. Good days, they were.
I cruised through the Mighty Mo more than a few times but most of the folks I hung with were at the Capital Plaza Hot Shoppes. I would dearly love to see any old photos from either venue but I've never seen any nor do I remember many being taken back at the time. Lots of great memories from that period, for me it was about 1966 (when I got my license) on through the late 60's.
I don't recall a place called Mighty Mo but, then, I mostly stayed in Virginia. Did it have something to do with Hot Shoppes or a stand alone place? I remember going to the Capitol Plaza Hot Shoppe a couple of times. French Fries with gravy....mmm, mmm good eatin' lol
I think it was connected with hot Shoppes and JW Marriott, Company. The one in the Queenstown section of Hyattsville, MD was probably the most active Rod site around and was a lot like American Graffitti with the car hops girls and all or more like Hollywood Knights . There was a Tops Drive-in a few miles up the road on New Hampshire avenue and something at Capitol Plaza. The one in Hyattsville had a Rod Club (can't remember the name) that was right behind it and an adjacent Drive-in Theatre. There is a Mighty Mo reunion every year in Antietam, MD but I keep missing it. I was just old enough to cruze the Mo on a bicycle when it closed but the cars and motorcycles that went there and the B movies at the adjacent drive-in got me hooked for life.
The Mighty Mo, Hot Shoppes, and Hot Shoppes Jr. were all owned by Marriott and shared similar menus. (Mighty Mo, Teen Twist, Orange Freezes, and the most decadent hot fudge cakes you could ever imagine.) I believe that was the P.G. Lakers clubhouse that you remember. I think they had a "club" drag car, a Henry J dubbed the Green Weinie if my memory hasn't failed me completely. The Queens Chapel Drive-In was nearby. If anyone else has any memories from this time and area, please chime in. Photos would be great but doubt that many are around....Don.
I thought that Mighty Mo was Marion Owens from Ok City Ok . Twin engine Harley dragster pilot ?
I'm a genuine "Mo rat" from what we called the Queenstown Mighty Mo. It was beyond west Hyattsville. I was born and raised in Hyattsville. I hung out there almost every nite. This is part of the original sign from that location. There were several Mo's. The New Hampshire Mo on New Hampshire ave and several more around the suburbs. Queenstown was a pretty big street racing center in the late 60s. Every drive in restaurant had their set of street racers. Queenstown had some fast cars back then and had that reputation. If you cruised through the Mo in the late sixties until it closed in the early seventies, I was probably inside BSing and drinking coffee. Lots of street racing originated there on Fri and Sat nights. We had guys come from all over the Washington D.C. suburbs to try and knock off the big boys. We raced on Rte 50 before it was done, in front of NASA on Greenbelt rd., Rte 29 near Beltsville, on V st. NW in the district and down by the Blue Plaines sewage treatment plant. among other places.
I went to this years reunion...what a waste. I was the only one there that was from the Mo. There were a few from other Mo's. I knew nobody and none were street racers. If any one has a picture of the front that shows the sign with the cowbow on top, I'd sure love to get a copy. I spent a lot of time in there.
PG Kustoms had a club garage right behind the Mo. I was a member until it burnt down. There was no club drag car during my time...64ish on. It was an old airplane hanger that was purchased by the county. The club was sponsored by a county police man and we rented the whole property for 1 dollar a year to keep us derelicts out of trouble. It worked.
If you were into cars in that era, you knew about the Queenstown Mo and probably cruised through a few times.
I'm pretty sure there are a few lurkers here that could be called Mo rats.
Thanks for posting this up, Tommy. Was there a club called the PG Lakers around in the 60's or am I geezing? I know I remember a green Henry J and I thought it was campaigned by them at Aquasco. Seems like they may have also displayed it once or twice at the old Ram Rods show at the D.C. Armory....Don.
I don't remember any by that name but that could be halfhimers on my part.
There were many small clubs but only the Ram Rods with their show money and our sweetheart deal with the county had a club garage that I can think of. I do remember a Henry J with a dual quad Cadillac that came through the Mo a few times but not any race cars.
I met smoker(Bob), and Don at the Mo and there are lots of guys still around that were Mo Rats.
There was a real Queenstown Mo reunion in Cheverly for a few years. I never was able to make any of them. Most of my old friends participated in one way or the other at the Mo back then.
I had my first Orange freeze in 40 years this summer but it was not the same as the original.
We used to get 1/2 O.F. and half vanilla shake to make a shake that tasted like a Dream sickle.
I got a letter in the mail this year with the reunion flier but the guy that sent it to me wasn't there. I really wanted to talk to him because he had an unbelievable memory for facts and trap times etc. from that era.
From the "Mo" in Queenstown to the Langley Hot Shoppe, then up New Hampshire to Topps and back to the "Mo." Over and over....sometimes venturing to the Silver Springs Hot Shoppe........
I'm not far from you. I'm in Calvert County. If you are interested in picking up a couple of bucks for the part of the sign you have, I might be interested.
The main reason I started The Mo thread was I am trying to locate pics of the Henry J that started it all for me. I was just a kid when I saw a red Henry J, set up in the gasser style of the day. It was parked not far from the Mo in Mt.Rainier where I lived.
I'm even more intrigued by finding out that the car club also had a Henry J.
My rust bucket HJ parts are slowly coming together. I expect to have it on the road by summer.
In the meantime I'm cruzin shotgun in the ol' lady's 56 rocket 88.
That could be the one that I was talking about. I seem to remember it being red. It had a severely recessed firewall to fit the dual quad Cadillac engine. The engine is what burned it into my memory bank. By this time the SBC had taken over but the Cadillac was very cool to me. The owner was not a regular and I only saw it a few times.
The HJ I remember had (at least at the time I saw it) sliding Plexi-glass side windows tinted blue. Maybe that will ring a bell.
I lived in Kaywood apartments in Mt Rainier from 1954-66. It was about the time period between 62 and 66 that I saw that HJ that gave me the hot rod curse.
Later moved to the neighborhood off Chillum Rd above the big gas tanks that looked down on the Mo.
Which Mo was your sign from and what would you take for it?
It's from the Queenstown Mo and no I don't want to sell it. Too many memories from that place. I know all of those places. There were a lot of hotrodders from that area.
Some of the cars in the PG Kustoms garage behind the Mo... 33 Chevy coach with a 394 Olds, a 34 Chevy sedan with a 394 Olds, a 50 2dr Olds with a 394, my 38 Chevy coupe with a 383 Chrysler then later a 327 Chevy after I blew the 383 at 75 and 80 Dragway. Lots of guys were buying the muscle cars but we were still building hotrods. I bought my 38 coupe off of a street near Kaywood. It was not from around here when I bought it.
This is not the car but with chrome wheels on the front it would be a perfect clone. I sold it when I was drafted in 1968. I got it with no engine or trans. It was supposed to have been a local gasser somewhere in the mid west but it had no lettering on it.
I was a little too young to really hang at the Mo. I'd sneak down once in a while to scope out the cars and motorcycles. I run accross a lot of guys that used to frequent it though. Hell, I may even know you but I didn't catch your last name. I'm at Clik123BAM@aol.com if you want to keep it private.
Sure do. Did most of my Growing up in Riverdale and Hyattsville. That place is partly responsible for my being a gearhead.
I was just cruising the net tonite and caught this on going discussion on the "Mo", Part of the discussion was about a Henry J with a Caddy engine with two-fours, well that floored me...guess what.. I believe that motor was out of my mothers 55 Eldorado. The engine was originally bought by a couple of guys from landover hills (PG Lakers I think) and originally put in an early 50's chevy (again I think). I saw the HJ in question at the Mo a few years later and asked the Guy where he got the engine as I remember he traced it back to the 55 Caddy of my mothers. Not sure about all the facts, too many years ago BUT some are pretty clear...Back in those days I had a Black 58 Big Block Impala and cruised up thru the late 60's ending up at the Capital Plaza Hot Shoppes....Still cruising in a 58 just not to the drive-ins
Thanks for posting this up, John. Great old memories. I hope you are right about the PG Lakers. I knew I wasn't crazy (well, maybe a little) when I mentioned them earlier in this post. I lived in Landover Hills from '62 to '75 and then in Bladensburg 'till '79. Do you have any recollection of the names of those two guys who put your Mom's Caddy engine in the Chevy?..Thanks, Don.
Man! We are getting closer to solving this mystery than I thought. Looks like we've found where the motor to the Henry J came from, now we need to find the car or owner.
Tommy, I too am a MO Rat from '59 on. I cruised it & the one on New Hampshire Ave in my '56 Austin Healey & later in my slammed 348cu '58 Impala.I knew all about the P.G. Kustoms but was never a member.Do you have any recollection of the "Power Packs" from Riverdale Md?
I was a Wheaton Hot Shoppes guy,Sometime we would cruise over to Queenstown [fast cars over there], sometimes we would go to Bethesda Hot Shoppes, the Rich guys hung out there,had real nice cars. In Wheaton , the real bad ass cars hung out down the hill fom the Hot Shoppe at the Little Tavern,[Edwards brothers, John Vincent etc.}
No that rings no bells. I remember a Healey with a Chevy in in it. Chrome wheels on the back (narrowed rear) and the stock wires up front. I had a friend, Hank, with a black 348 Impala that we went from Mo to Mo more than a few times. In the early days they'd kick you out after an hour or so if you didn't order again at the teletrays so we rode up to the other Mo for an hour or two. Then it was back again. We eventually just parked in a parking place and went inside to the booths and counter. They got used to us and didn't kick us out.
My first club was a small club like most of them back then... 4 or 5 guys with big ideas. Most clubs only lasted a year or so before they faded into memories. I don't even remember the name of my first club. We bought a channeled Model A sedan altered and Hank supplied a 348 that we put into it. It was a death trap with the rear welded solid to the stock frame. We worked on it in the back yard with no garage. It never made it to the track, needless to say, like most of those clubs. It was a few years later when I joined the Kustoms. There were some cool older guys in the Kustoms that mentored us rookies. I owe them a lot.
I had thoughts of having some jackets made up... Mo rats Queenstown Mighty Mo. There are a few around here that might go for it but like most of the clubs...just big ideas.
Tommy, some of the guys I remember from that era include Jerry Ramey, Freddy Baker & Sonny Trainum. All had cool cars back in the day.I remember Jerry starting a club called "The Snails" , I even had a suede jacket at the time with that logo, but like you said non lasted to long.Great memories.
I think the jackets would go over better than you think. I wouldn't qualify to wear one myself as I only got to cruise The Mo on my bicycle. I was too young to drive. But I rememer the cool cars and the old airplane hangar car club before it burned down.
My first cruzin vehicle was a chopped Harley. I hung out at McDonald's University Blvd from time to time. That one and McDonald's Wheaton became the heirs to street rod hangouts in that area. I did the Harley scene for many years.
One of my younger employees joined The Phantoms Motorcycle Club a few years ago and didn't believe me when I told him they used to be a car club.
The last I was by the old hood the lot was still vaccant. Forever cursed I suppose. The old Burger King is long gone and that building too was vaccant.
My father-in-law owned Boxall's Amoco at Riggs and Chillum for many years. Some of you gearheads might have worked for him.
I keep missing the Mo reunion in Antietam but hear it sucked. That's a long way from the original site.
Anybody else ? chime in.
Correction: The other burger place close to the Mo was Burger Chef not Burger King. Then there was the Midget Grill which was a daytime working man's place.
Yes the regular inside guys went to the Burger Chef for a while when the Mo finally closed. The Kustoms had burned down (taking most of my worldly possessions with it) so we looked for a new place. It was never the same. It was just a place for old friends to get together and BS. on the way home from work. No street racing on the weekends after that like the golden years. Some of it could have been because we got older.
A lot of guys got in the generation, that I was at the tail end of, were sent to Viet Nam and never came back. Many that did, probably didn't find street rodding as exciting. My lottery number didn't come up and when I talked to a recruiter he said it wouldn't be a good career move at that point because the guys who had been "In Country" would always have seniority, and rightfully so.
There was also a cultural component where the neighborhoods were changing and the stret rod culture spread further from the cities and hence thinned out. Now-a-days to experience anything like that most of us have to travel an hour to hit a decent cruz night. But we're doing it!
I appreciate what you're saying, Clik, I just think there's more to it. Back then ( I'll be 60 this year) we really didn't think of it as a " cruise night ". It was just what you did. On a typical Fri. night people would gather at their local Drive-In, Burger Joint or whatever to socialize, hang out, check out the cars and the ladies, shoot the breeze and find out what race might be taking place later on or where a party might be going on. It was kinda like the mall is today for kids of that age, just a place to be. I remember that sometimes you might avoid going there on a Sat. night for fear everyone would think you were a loser with no date or no party to go to. We checked out each others cars for sure, to see who had something new, maybe a set of chrome reverse rims or Cragars, or hey if the Grimes Bros. had the slicks on the '55 Chevy, you knew there was going to be a serious showdown somewhere. Be prepared at a moments notice to cut out for Parkwood Street parallel to Rt. 50 or Geo. Palmer Hwy. or 295 by Blue Plains. It was just the culture of that time. I probably didn't even hear the term, "cruise night" 'till years later....Just my ramblings....Don.
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