The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Mar 15, 2019.
David Lee "Cub" Barnett
March 14, 1934 - March 2, 2019
Cub's obituary from
Surrounded by the family he loved so much, Cub was calm and peaceful when he passed away last Saturday. He died in the same way he lived, with class and grace, just two weeks shy of his 85th birthday.
Cub Barnett was born in Warren, Ohio and in 1948, his family moved to Southern California where he attended Colton High School and was a star athlete in basketball and baseball, and graduated in 1952. After high school, Cub embarked on a 65-year career as a mechanic and high-performance engine builder.
After moving his own young family north to the Bay Area in 1963, Cub continued his work as one of the original pioneers in the world of hot rodding. Cub soon became one of the premier engine builders of his generation and his motto was "hot rods should be driven, not trailered!"
Having built engines for a broad span of different motorsports, Cub's most joyous professional moments came when his engines enabled his friends to achieve their dreams of winning a race, winning a car show or setting a world speed record. Cub's career culminated in 2015 when he received a lifetime achievement award and was inducted into the NHRA Hall of Fame.
Who Cub was as a human being is even more impressive than his resume— he was a bright light of warmth and kindness to everyone he ever met and has literally hundreds of close, dear friends. Put simply, everyone loved Cub. With a wonderful twinkle in his eye, he was quick with a smile, quick with a hug and even quicker to offer you a cold beer. Words cannot describe how much his family and friends will miss him.
Cub is survived by the love of his life and wife of 42 years, Sharon, his three children, Rocky, Patty and Mike; his brother Bud, sister-in-law Martha, nephew Chad and daughters-in-law, Anne and Chanhom.
Any donations may be made to UCSF Cancer Center. Stay tuned for future information regarding what is sure to be a very lively celebration of life in Cub's honor.
Published in the Sonoma Index-Tribune on Mar. 8, 2019
In 1952, Cub made the trip to the Bonneville salt, met Charles “Scotty” Scott and went to work running his dyno in San Bernardino.
In the late '50s, Cub (& brother Bud) drove Scotty's famous ARDUN-powered '23 T roadster:
at the 1958 NHRA Nats in Oklahoma City (with Cub's brother Bud behind the wheel) - photographer unknown
Best Appearing Car at the 1958 NHRA OKC Nats - photographer unknown
(left to right) Lloyd Hoving, Cub Barnett, & Charles Scott
at outdoor car show - by Ina Mae Overman ... c/o @Curt Six Iseli & Rik @Rikster Hoving
with a Paxton supercharger - photographer unknown
In 1960, Cub opened Barnett’s Garage in Bloomington working alongside his father before moving north to accept an offer to go to work at Gotelli’s Speed Shop in South San Francisco. That job lasted nearly a decade before he and close friend Andy Brizio became partners in Champion Speed Shop.
Cub built the engines in most all of Andy's "Instant T's" ... including Andy's 1970 AMBR roadster, his C-Cab, & Jerry Stitch's Tow Truck:
1972 NSRA Nats in Detroit
1971 NSRA Nats in Memphis - Cub Barnett in an ANDY'S T-shirt
photo from the McLennan family archives ... c/o Terri @Born a HotRodGal Hollenbeck
In the 80s & early '90s, the multi-record holder #333 Varni~Walsh~Walsh~Cusack Bonnevile Deuce Roadster was powered by Cub Barnett prepared supercharged BBCs:
the late Gray Baskerville shooting the #333 Roadster on the starting line at Speed Week '85
left to right: Dennis Varni, Tommy Walsh, Cub Barnett, & Tom Cusack
the #333 Roadster on the starting line at Speed Week '86
the "Master" at work on the #333 Roadster in the pits at Speed Week '90
(I think Cub was changing injector pills)
the #333 Roadster being pushed off at Speed Week '90
Sorry to hear this.
In the '90s & 2000s, Dennis Varni & Cub's brother Bud campaigned the old #360 Markley Bros. P-38 Belly Tank Lakester as the #909 C/GL ... with an Indy Chevy V8 prepared by Cub Barnett:
the #909 Varni-Barnett Lakester at the USFRA WoS '95
NOTE: That's Cub Barnett standing on the left side of the tank (in the white sweatshirt and white ball cap)
by @B Crall
After Dave Dozier & Ed Hegarty passed away, Ed's son @Mike Hegarty continued to campaign the #404 Hegarty~Dozier "On the Trailing Edge Of Technology" DeSoto Airflow ... with a Cub Barnett prepared Supercharged Chrysler Straight 8:
photographer unknown - posted by @no bux rod
Champion Speed Shop closed in the early ‘70s and Cub Barnett Engineering was born.
His clients included Reggie Jackson, Dennis Varni, Jeff Beck and Tim Allen.
The Cub Barnett Engineering Special roadster won the CHRR NE 1 class in 2007 and back-to-back 7.0 Pro titles in 2011 and 2012:
@ 2011 CHRR - photographer unknown
@ 2016 CHRR - image by Sherm @fuely32 Porter
@ 2018 March Meet - image by Mike Ward
Cub Barnett received a Lifetime Achievement award and was inducted into the NHRA Hall of Fame at the 2015 California Hot Rod Reunion:
Portrait of Cub Barnett & his "Wally"
Dave McClelland interviewing Cub Barnett
Greg Sharp, Cub Barnett, & Dave McClelland
Cub Barnett & Ed Pink
Thanks for adding so much information on some of the work that he did. guys like him often are off in the background of the well known racers.
Thanks for those great posts and my condolences to his family and friends.
My condolences, This is a man who's hot rod exploits I have followed since I was 12 or 13 years old.
RIP,he built my friend sprint car motor
What a great life , well lived to the fullest, RIP Cub.
Nice write up.....what a guy - one that sounds like you were always welcome around - sorry for the loss.
Last year at an event in San Luis Obispo I was fortunate to meet Cub Barnett. He was a very pleasant and attentive man that I would have liked to have known longer . RIP
Stumbled upon this article in the HOT ROD Magazine archives:
1923 Ardun T – Scotty’s ’23 Skidoo
by Gray Baskerville
Remembering The Newest Antique
Cub Barnett, one of San Francisco's better-known hot rodders and engine-builders, began his career many years ago working for Charles Scott, owner of Scotty's Muffler Service in San Bernardino, California. Scott, who remembers seeing his first hot rods from the porch of his home on Sierra Highway, the road that leads directly to Muroc, had opened a muffler shop and begun racing a belly tank at Bonneville and the drags in the early '50s. When Scott retired the tank in 1955, he loaned its 201-mph Ardun V-8 to Barnett, who put it in his '34-bodied C/Altered, then returned the loaner so Scott could race what Hot Rod called "The Newest Antique" in its Nov. '57 issue.
Barnett, Scotty's dyno and counter man, remembers the "latest Antique" (The Antiques were a local car club) as a shop project, one that cost around two grand to build. "Most of the work was done at the muffler shop," Barnett remembers, "or the chrome shop up the street as a public relations gambit. As I recall, the '23 T body came out of Scotty's wrecking yard, and we formed the frame from teardrop-shaped chrome-moly tubing that was intended for aircraft wing struts. I drove it first and then turned the wheel over to my brother Bud. We even took it to the Nationals drags at Okie City (1958) and won the Best Appearing trophy, but lost to Jerry Norek in the A/Roadster finals."
Barnett left Scotty in 1960 to open a repair shop with his father and then joined Ted Gotelli four years later to work in his speed shop. He would then team up with Andy Brizio to buy the Champion Speed Shop and build engines for Brizio's series of Instant Tees. But the last day of Scotty's T still haunts him. "I used to keep the roadster at my house," continued Barnett, "and I took it to the muffler shop to do some work. It was still sitting on the trailer when Bob Baugh, the son of a foundry owner in Illinois, was visiting Scotty and saw the car. Baugh offered Scotty $2,500 for the car and trailer. He sold it on the spot, and Baugh hooked the trailer to the back of his car, and I never saw it again. It still makes me sick to think about it."
Cub built the flathead in this Vintage Modified (restored by the late Jay East):
image by Robin LaGue
image by Greg Sharp
Cub Barnett and Jay East – there's a Colton pair to draw to!
Sad to see these legends passing rapidly. RIP Cub.
Pics from Cub's "Celebration Of Life" on Friday:
Great tribute thread. Very talented and he made his mark.
Nice article on Scotty's. This was one of the first things we saw as we walked into the PITS on December 20, 1959 at Riverside Raceway, for the famous East vs West drag meet. My brother and I had seen photos of the roadster before, but we had never seen it in person. It was amazing at the quality/detail of work. Sorry, I did not get photos/movies of it racing. But, it was a stand out on that cold morning, despite the bright So Cal sun.
It is a slightly fading color movie from those old days, 60 years ago. Kodak made a great product that keeps the color from fading too much from those years gone past. The original 16mm color film and the current HD digital version still allow us to enjoy those historic moments.
Scotty's at Riverside Raceway 1959
A caricature of Cub is painted on the side of Andy's famous C-Cab:
Condolences to the Barnett Family and Friends on the passing of Cub. He seems to have lived a fulfilling life around the Go Fast Scene and had a Very Respected Reputation in Getting it Right and he certainly did...That Ardun T is quite the Stunning Show/Race Machine...I never tire of seeing it...
Thanks for the comprehensive Memorial to this Giant in the Industry of Race @HEMI32 and to the others for sharing their memories of this Great Man...
RIP Cub, thank you.
. . . What a Great Guy . . . RIP Cub . . .
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