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History My grandpa, 40's hot rodder Powell Dickerson

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by TWKundrat, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    Hi fellas,

    I'm looking to see if anyone might have any info or photo's of my grandpa or his car. His name was Powell Dickerson and he was a hot rodder who grew up in Hollywood. He was a member of the Glendale Stokers car club and also the Autocrats at some point. Gramps had a '32 Roadster powered by a '42 Merc that he used to run around town in and run at El Mirage.

    I have several of the S.C.T.A. 1947 El Mirage programs that he is listed in. He ran #568 in the "C roadster" class and his fastest time was 120.0 mph. I'm not sure if he ran any other years at El Mirage. I know it's not likely but I would love to run across one of his timing tags one day.

    I sure wish I could go back and ask my grandpa more questions but he's been gone for over eight years now. I do remember that he said he was friends with Doane Spencer and they used to work on their cars together. He also used to pit crew for Bud Meyer when he was racing midgets. I remember one story that Gramps got a ticket one day for pouring oil down his carb and driving down Hollywood Blvd. , smoking out the entire block.

    In the photo taken at one of the El Mirage meets, the people from left to right are Larry Gough, Powell Dickerson (My Grandpa with the big ol' shit eatin' grin in the car), Marshall (Whitey) Netland, and George Stahlman. Don't know if any of these names would ring a bell for anyone. I have no idea what ever happened to the roadster. I don't think he had it for very long.

    IMG (1).jpg Gramps Roadster_0001.jpg Gramps Roadster_0002.jpg Gramps Roadster_0003.jpg
    Every time I run across any photos or movies from the late 40's at El Mirage I always look for his car. No luck as of yet though. Maybe some of you guys might have some old dry lakes photos with a '32 roadster with the number 568 on the side stashed away somewhere?

    Anyway, any help or info would be much appreciated.

    -Tim

    (P.S.-Please give me a round of applause. It only took me a half hour to figure out how to post pictures. Damned computers...)
     
  2. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,328

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There are some very knowledgeable people... @woodiemike, @Rockerhead, @Jimmy B and many others here that may help you find some hits on info. Thanks @TWKundrat for the story and those are fantastic photos. Oh...a huge amount of applause your way by the way.
    @paintslinger805 is building a 32 like his gramps used to race on the dry lakes...perhaps his gramps who is still with us may have met your gramps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  3. Thanks for the fascinating pics. Look at that big grin!
    Those boys were having some fun you bet!!
     
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  4. woodiemike
    Joined: Jun 19, 2010
    Posts: 313

    woodiemike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hello Tim; Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures of you Grandfathers Roadster. Great looking car. I have checked through what I have and can only come up with a program that he is listed in from September 21, 1947. You mention that you have several from 1947, but not sure if you have this one or not. I'm sure there will be others that will have more info for you. Just takes time for them to "get on board". Lots of people out there that are willing to share what they have. This is what make the HAMB so great!! Best of luck.

    Scan0005.jpg Scan0004.jpg
     
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  5. IMG_0792.JPG Good for you Tim posting this up. I'm sure we will come up with some more pictures. Tim is a talented machinist and just helped me build some 18" 1940 Ford rims today. Big thanks to him for making my lil' dream come true. I will be posting a tech thread when we have another tech week. They turned out bitchin'. If we can't come up with his grandfathers roadster then we gotta spark an interest into building something. Here's a picture of Tim checking the width of the 40 Ford centers we used. Big thanks to Kevin Potter for the use of his fantastic shop as well. His such a great guy and hotrodder to boot. Cheers
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  6. clap clap.....thanks for posting Tim....and also to Curbspeed for the pat on the back !
     
  7. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    Thanks for the responses guys. I appreciate the mention on the wheels Dale. I'll be looking forward to your tech thread when you get it posted. Woodiemike, I do have that September 21st program but thanks for posting it on here. I'll have to look through all of the programs that I have and list which ones my grandpa was in.

    Also, if anyone has a Glendale Stokers club plaque that they'd like to sell, I'm interested.
     
  8. Back to the top. Historians where are you?
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,884

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great story. That name sounds familiar and it may come from an old special editon magaine I have from the 50's if it is still in my stuff in storage. I got that magazine used when I was pretty young at a used book store if I remember. It showed a bunch of cars in front and around Bair's speed shop in a story in it.
     
  10. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    Well I finally dug through the old S.C.T.A. programs that I have and came up with a list of when Gramps ran at the dry lakes.

    May 25th, 1947 El Mirage dry lake-pre entered in C roadster class with car #518, Autocrats car club, Mercury engine, Denver heads, Weiand intake. Top speed 118.26 mph.

    July 6th, 1947 Harper dry lake-pre entered in C roadster class with car #511, Autocrats car club, Mercury engine, Edelbrock heads, Edelbrock intake, Winfield cam. I couldn't find results for this meet.

    August 10th, 1947 Harper dry lake-no pre entry or results

    August 31st, 1947 El Mirage dry lake-no pre entry but I found results. Car #568
    C roadster, 115.38 mph.

    September 21st, 1947 El Mirage dry lake-pre entered C roadster, car #568, Glendale Stokers car club, Merc engine, Edelbrock heads, Edelbrock intake, Oglethorpe cam, Ford ignition. Top speed 120.00 mph.

    October 19th, 1947 El Mirage dry lake-no entry

    I know that 1947 was the first year that they were printing the S.C.T.A. Racing News programs. If anyone has results from 1946 meets, or even some of the prewar meets I'd be interested to see if my grandpa ran any of those. Same goes for the later meets. I've looked at a couple of '48 programs and didn't see him in there.

    I'm guessing it would be near impossible to track down the car. I think I remember reading that L.A. got rid of all of the old registration records a long time ago. I suppose I couldn't afford to get my hands on the car even if it could be tracked down.

    I'll have to start digging through books and the interwebs looking for photos of car #511 and #518 at old dry lakes meets. I had always been looking for #568.

    Everyone dig through your collections of old timing tags. If you have one for Powell Dickerson I will write up a contract promising my first born son in trade. On second thought maybe you'd just rather have some cash.

    -Tim
     
  11. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    My brothers and I went out to El Mirage for the November meet and while we were in the L.A. area we payed a visit to my mom's uncle George (my grandpa Powell's brother). Uncle George was a hot rodder back in the day also and he had a '40 woody that would "really go" according to him. George just turned 90 over the summer but he's sharp as a tack and he still keeps himself pretty busy with his gun club and other activities.

    George never ran out at the dry lakes, but he did a fair amount of street racing. He was good friends with Tommy Sparks and told us how Tom didn't talk to him for a week after George beat him in a street race in the woody against Tommy's '29 roadster!

    I took the opportunity to ask George about what he remembered about Gramps' roadster and anything else fro those days. He told me that my grandpa's roadster really was a good looking car unlike a lot of the other "junk" that guys had built back in those days. My grandpa had two different '32 roadsters; one that he had before going into the army, and the one in the photos that he got after coming back from Europe. George wasn't sure if he had run in any other meets besides in 1947. He did tell us that while Gramps was stationed back east before going overseas, he asked George to go get the first roadster from a guy that he had loaned it to. George and a friend went to pick up the car at the army base expecting to drive it home, but the guy had rear ended someone and busted the radiator. They ended up digging up some rubber hoses and copper wire from an abandoned filling station and tied the bumpers together on the roadster and George's mother's car that he was driving. They towed the car all the way home bumper to bumper and made it without any excitement.

    George also confirmed what I had thought about Gramps being good friends with Doane Spencer and Bud Meyer. Grandpa did a lot of the engine work for his roadster at Eddie Meyer's shop, and did most of his own machine work. I remember Gramps telling me that there was a whole wall covered with stacks of V8-60 blocks since Bud raced both midgets and crackerbox boats.

    Here's a picture of me and my brothers with George from our visit.
    IMG_20171110_145912.jpg

    Also, I'd still love to find more photos from El Mirage with my grandpa's car. I'm sure there's some floating around out there. Everyone get out your old photo collections and look for a deuce roadster with the number 511c, 518c, or 568c.

    Also, as a correction to one of my earlier posts, "S.C.T.A. Racing News" has been in print since 1937 not '47. If anyone has any other years besides '47 I'd appreciate it if you could look for Powell Dickerson in the entries and let me know if you find anything.

    And again, if anyone has an Autocrats or Glendale Stokers club plaque that they want to sell, I'd be interested.

    -Tim
     
  12. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,328

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Tim thanks for sharing this and give your Great Uncle George a big hello, handshake and thank you from all of us here and I'm sure you have let him know we at the Hamb are carrying on the tradition where they left off.

    Those guys as are many of the Elders here very pivitol in what the Hamb represents as they lived in the prime of it all.

    Did your Great Uncle George possibly have any pics to go along with the stories...or maybe a sibling through his family has some...Super cool stuff. its real cool the connection to the Hotrod world many of you have here...
     
  13. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    Stogy, I asked about pictures, but unfortunately George didn't think he had any. He told me he would look around the house and let me know if he ever finds anything though. It is really awesome to have that family connection to early hot rodding. I really wish I could have lived it all with them. I really do miss all of my family and people I've meet through the years from the WWII generation that have passed on. More than any other group of people, I really have enjoyed time I've spent with those old timers. Seems like I'm living in a world full of meatheads these days. Anyway, I'm starting to ramble, but my hat's off to all of the WWII generation on this Pearl Harbor day.

    I do have one other picture that I had found with the photo's of my grandpa's car. This is a link to a thread that I started about it. https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/can-anyone-id-this-roadster.1080973/#post-12252482 .
    Turns out the car was built by Jimmy Summers. When I asked George if he knew Summers he said, "Oh yeah, of course." Pretty cool stuff.
     
  14. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,328

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    First off shared thoughts of Remembrance for those who lived and fell through the hell of it all.

    Does he have any children that he may have passed pictures onto...and its great he is having a look around. Life is ever evolving realtime and we are most fortunate to have these elders around to glean from and interact with as well as having met the others who have left us. They are the windows to another time not so long ago. Thanks for the link these are some of my most favorite times for Hotrods. I love the driven dusty look of them.

    I remember that other thread now that is one beautiful unique Hotrod and that shop churned out some premium Hotrod...Thanks Tim
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    catdad49 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  15. Great hot rodding history lesson here. Thanks for posting and a big thumbs-up to you for keeping your Grandfathers legacy alive. Good luck with your continuing search for additional pictures, information, etc.........................Don.
     
  16. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 817

    chevyfordman
    Member

    DSCN2920.JPG And I have a good 42 Merc engine that I'm detailing out in a traditional style. DSCN2920.JPG
     
  17. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    How did you know that that's what I wanted for Christmas chevyfordman? I'll get you my address so you can send it to me!
     
  18. brandonwillis
    Joined: Aug 28, 2008
    Posts: 291

    brandonwillis
    Member
    from Tucson AZ

    This is awesome Tim, im glad you posted this, back up to the top because I want to see what people find on this.
     
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  19. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    Yeah I'm surprised no one has come up with any other photos. Seems like there's got to be some out there somewhere.
     
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  20. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    Found this picture on the 40's period correct hot rods thread. I'm thinking the roadster in the background on the left might be my grandpa's car. The mismatched color hood and the wheels and caps seem to match my pictures. Not very exciting I know, but I just thought it was cool to run across it. I'll have to keep digging through the 83 pages of that thread to see if I can find anything else. aa 128.jpg
     
  21. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,017

    sloppy jalopies
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    … can you borrow a plaque ?
    I made up a "channelers -east coast" plaque... had a local stove shop cast 27 of them...
    think they were $16 each...
     
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  22. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,162

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This is Great stuff, hope you are successful in your quest. Bet you made Uncle George's day wanting to know his hot rod stories and being surrounded by hoodlums again ( no offense intended).
     
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  23. hotrodharry2
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 632

    hotrodharry2
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great Story! I’ll follow along but unfortunately have no connections. However H.A.M.B. is the place for any chance of help. Good Luck Tim!


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  24. I hooked Tim up with a late Model A project that we are picking up on Sunday. The body needs a lot of work but I think it can be handled. 303 Olds motor too. Not as early as he would like but he wants a 1949 or ealier style build. He just bought a bitchin' Eddie Edmunds 2x2 intake for it out of the Hamb classified that I told him about. It will look perfect. Pictures will be next week. This car will have to do until he can find a roadster to hotrod in his grandpa's image.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  25. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,593

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    Mmmmmm...303
     
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  26. IMG_1573.JPG IMG_1572.JPG IMG_1572.JPG A couple pics of Tim's Model A coupe we just nabbed for him. It's pretty rough but we can fix it all in time. It will be a good project for him. I will be happy to help him as I'm jonesing to work on another project. I get to help him spend his money. How fun. it came with some new 32 rails,front crossmember, rear spreader, 303 Olds with a Hydro that will probably go away for a 4 speed. Some garnish moldings and a 32 grille shell and radiator. Price was fair for all of it and he is happy. IMG_1575.JPG
     
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  27. We are looking for a junky pair of aluminum valve covers for early olds. They don't have to be pretty and can have broken fins. I have plans for them.
    Just a good mounting surface and good stud holes. What have you got that you are willing to part with?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    kidcampbell71, Stogy and loudbang like this.
  28. Uncle Jack
    Joined: Apr 20, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Uncle Jack
    Member

    Hey I just came across this post of yours from last year - The photo of the 404B Deuce is my friend Bernie Couchs Roadster, unfortunately Bernie passed away at 95 yrs young just before Christmas this year. I am fortunate in that Bernie has allowed me to archive his old photos from the dry lakes and I came across this one of the 568 roadster - I will look for more when I get a chance. You can contact me at
    unclejackv8@gmail.com

    568C-PowellDickerson-GlendStrokers.jpg 568C-PowellDickerson-GlendStrokers.jpg
     
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  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,328

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @Uncle Jack that's a incredible gift for TWK...maybe that's Grandpa Powell and his Grandma in that pic...

    I extend condolences to you on the loss of your friend...there is a Memorial Thread here remembering Bernie...at link below...

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/rip-bernie-couch.1177575/

    Not sure about what your plans are for the the Collection of images from the Late Bernie Couch but perhaps you could Start a Thread in Remembrance of Bernie and post what you feel would be relevant here...

    It would be an incredible Compliment to his Legacy as it would be a priceless archive here...for generations to come...thanks for sharing and Happy New Year...
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  30. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 146

    TWKundrat
    Member

    Wow! What a great photo! Thanks so much for posting it Uncle Jack. I'm sorry to hear about your friend Bernie. I guess we can't ask for much more than 95 years, and I'm sure he left you with a lot of good memories.

    -Tim
     
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