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History The Birth Of Outlaw Hot Rodding

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ryan, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Sancho, yes they have the wall on display along with tons of historic photos, stories and memorabilia.

    Mick
     
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  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,051

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Here's something else I found in a very old issue of Motor Age. Frank (as a really young kid) ran in the first ever Nevada 1000 (In a Hudson of course)... His driving partner? Roy Craig. Roy was busted in the 30's for printing fraudulent checks... And then broke a sports car record at Bonneville in 1954 or 55... I think? I do know he was a regular around Tom Cobb and Stuart Hillborn and that he worked with Ab Jenkins in setting up Bonneville as a racing venue.

    01.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  3. Fascinating.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  4. HRS
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 361

    HRS
    Member

    How many years of the HAMB and we just now hear about this story!?! Awesome. Just awesome. Please continue to read, write, research and report on Frank!
     
  5. Roger Roadster
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 21

    Roger Roadster
    Member

    Great story Ryan!! I have a small cabin on a lake in Mercer Wisconsin, When my grandparents bought the place in 1942 a new neighbor moved in across the way, Ralph Capone ! All the town people loved him and couldn't say enough good things about him. He was always involved in the community, was an active member of the lions club ect! He was the first to help a family that was down on their luck by buying them a bag of groceries! But they all forgot the money he used was dirty, Prostitution, Dugs, Booze, Rackets, Gambling!! After his life of crime and spending a few years in the big house, he lived his retirement in the beautiful north woods of Wisconsin. By the way, Little Bohemia where the great Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson shootout and escape is just 10 minutes away from my cabin.!!
     
  6. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,955

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What a great read! And to have a familial connection must make you secretly smile, just a little, in spite of publicly being politically correct. Labeled as "Public Enemy #1" certainly qualifies for the title "Outlaw" and by extension those who enabled and supplied them were "Outlaws" too. But I think the elephant in the room may be the "outlaws" (with a small "o") a solid decade before this who were running bootleg hooch in souped up cars to try and make a dishonest buck during the prohibition times. Their casual competitions to see who had the fastest stock (bootleg) car evolved into Stock Car/NASCAR racing, after all.

    That's not to take anything away or diminish the story. There's definitely a different fork in the road here, leading to bullet proofing, heavy duty armament and a darker shade of outlaw. The moonshiners and bootleggers have been done to death on television and movies, but I can easily imagine the possibility of a movie deal script from a totally fresh perspective. ;)
     
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  7. i found a book that a family member never returned to the library......
     
  8. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    steinauge
    Member
    from 1960

    Great story! Thanks Ryan.
     
  9. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,733

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is a book in there for sure and you need to write it. Don't let anything stop you from pursuing your talent with the written word.

    -Abone.
     
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  10. vetteguy402
    Joined: Oct 27, 2009
    Posts: 145

    vetteguy402
    Member
    from omaha, ne

    I agree. I'd be in line to buy it.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  11. That's a great story Ryan.
    I have roots down there. Mom born in Holdenville. Grand father a farmer and buried near there. Big money flowed into it at one time. Oil boom opened up the farm country. Plus big rail road culture. Gave us the "Wewoka Switch". Don't forget the "Green Corn Rebellion" back in 1917. Books written about this.....................
     
  12. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,051

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Maybe because he was talking about Ralph Capone... Not Al Capone... Ralph was Al's brother.
     
  13. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Thanks. I missed that and deleted it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  14. Five.0Forty
    Joined: Jan 19, 2017
    Posts: 15

    Five.0Forty
    Member
    from Oklahoma

    Great story and history Ryan. Reading through the comments reminds me of a story my father used to tell me about boot legging moonshine in Arkansas in the late 1930's. My grandfather was a moonshiner and my dad used to help him make it, after my grandfather got drunk one night and scared my father to death making a delivery in the family model-t at about 40 mph, he decided to start stealing the T to make delivery's himself. He told me he caught a few beatings for it ,but after being successful, he was the driver. Within a year my father had modified the T and by his account could do nearly 60 mph and proceeded to return the scare of a lifetime to my grandfather. He told me it wasn't long after He left home to become a truck driver, that was 1940 he was 12, he didn't see his family again until he was in his 30's after serving 2 tours in Korea. There is no glory in outlaws and bandits, but I am proud of my father and the man he became and was.
     
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  15. texastramp
    Joined: Jan 11, 2002
    Posts: 81

    texastramp
    Member

    This is some really Cool shit .... !!!
     
  16. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 439

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    A few more details for your family history;

    Air Service Company was located at 241 South Virginia Street in the mid 1960s. At the time that was the center of auto dealers and services in Reno. I recall the black and white sign on the brick building, long since gone and not many photos exist of that area or era from my research. According to a 1964 city directory your notable relative lived at 1445 Monroe St. in Reno, a pretty nice area then.
     
  17. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,051

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    From what I can tell, when he was working near the airport he called his company "Air Service Garage." At the time, he was retiring from the air and ending his career as a pilot instructor. And he was a pretty well regarded instructor. In fact, he was Aline Rhonie's instructor:

    https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/aline-rhonie-papers-1920s-1990s

    However, when he moved to a location near the casinos he changed the name to "Cochran Garage" for a while... And then, when he got out of prison he went back to the Air Service Company name... I'm guessing to lessen the impact of the name.

    As for his house on Monroe St, it's now part of some Reno Mob Tour... I guess they drive you by it and tell you the story of his shenanigans. Details here:

    FootPrints - Historic Reno Preservation Society
     
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  18. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,042

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Damn, you too? My ancestors were pirates from Scotland, had solid alliances with the Norsemen (Vikings) and lost their lands for it, most notably Kisimul Castle and the Isle of Barra. They earned it back by getting the Vikings out of Scotland. In the migration to the New World they ended up in Toronto and couldn't tolerate the winters there. They walked away from 80 acres just outside of the main city and ended up in Muskegon, MI. Out of the frying pan into the fire as far as winters go but they were close to water again. Fast forward to the generation before me, my dear departed Dad was part hoodlum and part hard working honest hustler. He'd buy a Model A for $5, burn it out in Ford Woods, then get $15-20 for "clean scrap". They burned out Cadillacs, Buicks, dozens upon dozens of Fords, even an aluminum bodied Packard towncar they paid $50 for and cleared almost $600 for the 6 tires, the aluminum body and aluminum Packard 12 heads (talk about a crime!). All the while riding with his "gang" of pals around the Oakwood area of S.W. Detroit on their bobbed Harleys and also tearing up the circle tracks in Flat Rock, Mt. Clemens and Toledo in later years. Hoodlums? Y'all tell me, Dad at the back, my uncle Tony at the front.
    lastscan.jpg
     
  19. Cool story...and I pass by the Barrow family station nearly every day in West Dallas.....the levee's just a few blocks away...
     
  20. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,051

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    I've been desperately seeking a photo of Frank Cochran and a lead popped up on ancestry.com. A closer family member posted this shot in 2013:

    frank.jpg

    In the foreground is Ab Jenkins. In the background, wearing aviators, is supposedly Frank Cochran. I'm hoping someone here can confirm that it is someone else? He certainly looks like a Cochran with his big head, short neck, and barrel chest... I believe the shot was taken in 1935, but I'm not even sure of that.

    I'm learning that these kinds of things are REALLY hard to verify... and that Frank Cochran did not like to have his photo taken.
     
  21. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,051

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Oh... and here's two separate physical descriptions I have of Frank:

    From the Baby Face Nelson: Portrait of a Public Enemy book:
    "...a slender, square shouldered ex-pilot with an angular face and narrow, dimpled chin..."

    From his FBI profile:
    "6', broad shouldered, medium build, barrel chested."

    They sort of contradict each other when I read them.
     
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  22. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,042

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

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  23. Imagine that!
     
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  24. Wow.......That was a good one. You sure can tell JB was you Granddad.......
     
  25. Hey Ryan, you're not even Italian.:oops:

    Cool Story! Thanks
     
  26. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200

    flamingokid
    Member

    Aline Rhonie was pretty easy on the eye . aline_rhonie_1.jpg
     
  27. Ryan - You sir, have a genuine hotrod pedigree. I hope you keep sharing as you discover more. I find this kind of thing to be very interesting. Don't be too hard on old Frank. Those were tough times. If an opportunity to make some good scratch presented itself, a lot of folks took it. My family was mixing up liquor in the bath tub (grain alcohol with coloring and flavorings), putting it in fancy bottles wrapped in straw, transporting and selling it. They were assisted by members of the Los Angeles Police Department.
     
  28. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,051

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Providing moonshine to a thirsty public is one thing... Helping scum bags like Nelson and Dillinger is another thing all together. Think of all the kids that grew up without a dad simply because those two existed... Frank Cochran enabled them to exist.

    Remember, they weren't just bank robbers. Those guys were murders.

    Further, Frank Cochran was tipping off Nelson as to what the FBI was up to. He was playing both sides of his hand. Had he come forward and been straight with the feds, there's a real chance that the last two FBI agents that Nelson killed would have lived their lives.

    Yeah, it appears Frank was a pretty good hot rodder for sure... And I think he had a whole lot more to do with early Bonneville racing (and I mean a WHOLE LOT more) than I can prove right now, but that doesn't change the fact that he made a portion of his living supporting murderers.

    I haven't slept much in the past week because I've been doing so much damned research on this stuff. I think I've finally reached a point where I can stop searching for a while... and that's mostly because I don't like a whole lot of stuff that I've found.
     

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