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Folks Of Interest The Shifters - Part 2

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Great read, both parts ! Am honored to call these lunatics friends, and proud of their recognition in the traditonal movement. Nice interview Ryan.

    Lets not forget that there are some great gals behind these guys too. Women who, like my wife Laura, are an asset to this obsession of Hot Rods & Customs, and not an obstacle to be worked around, or overcome.

    Don't know them all.....but to: Celeste, Daisy, Priscilla and the rest of you girls, thanks for letting these guys be themselves. And supporting them in their efforts, we are better off for it.

  2. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,595

    from Garner, NC

    stand up dudes...
  3. randingo8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2004
    Posts: 110

    Member Emeritus

    Ryan, Great questions and great article, both parts. I appreciate the insight and it's great to see what the Shifters are about (then & now).
    See Ya!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  4. Brewton
    Joined: Jun 24, 2005
    Posts: 884


    Cool feature! Thanks Ryan!
  5. Nice story....Axle smells funny
  6. Doctor Destructo
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 418

    Doctor Destructo

    As the years have passed, we have come to really enjoy the craftsmanship of the Shifters CC. I might add a note of thanks (again) to Axle for his excellent management of the Suede Palace at the GNRS. Each year, the SP gets better and better. We (Turks CC San Diego) were so pleased to have 3 cars in the SP last year and particularly respect all of Axle's hard work. I think it is so evident that like-minded folks (be they in a club or not) who share the same interest in building traditional hot rods and customs can synthesize friendships that span the test of time.
    Cheers to the Shifters, one of the SoCal CC's that deservingly receives respect for their longstanding contribution to our culture.
  7. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094


    Secretly, like every guy in this town, I've always wanted to be a Shifter!
    If you weren't around at the time, it's hard to understand how against the grain and oddball guys like the Shifters seemed to the general public. Although on the other side of the world, I remember getting into fights most every Saturday nights in the mid to late '8o's. We'd roll into which ever club/pub our favorite bands were playing that night and the place would freeze as everyone stopped to check out the weirdos runnin' crazy old cars and sportin' leather jackets and duck-tails. Alien invasion! It was always the same, the locals would be offended by our presence and a fight would eventually break out. The Muscle Car/ Pastel Rod scene didn't get it either, to them we were just backwards. On the positive side, vintage parts, clothes and furniture were plentiful and cheap. Most of the original Rockers were still alive too!
    Like all of us, the Shifters are getting older and perhaps more mellow but they've stuck with it. Most of them have been "living it" for more than twenty years. The Shifters are the real deal and like good wine they're gettin' better!
  8. Alex emails from time to time to BS about Pontiac engine stuff...hope to actually meet up with him and the rest of the gang some day before I die....Hey alex..if you're reading up with me at the HAMB drags this year. We can shoot the breeze on a first-person basis fro once...maybe I'll buy ya a beer.
  9. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733


    Thanks for the insight Ryan! Great read as usual.

  10. zealot9802
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 894

    from SoCal SFV

    BASURA! I wanted to read about Buzz Buzzard and Woody Wood Pecker. Great write up Ryan on some good folks.
  11. silverdome
    Joined: Aug 23, 2007
    Posts: 553


    I don't feel so weird now. I like Elvis, Johnny, Carl, The Stray Cats all that kind of music plus the Old Cars. The Coupe in American Graffitti was just Bitchin'. It's good to hear that Axle wants to spread credit, that shows they they have a strong club and mutual respect for one another. And that '40 ford coupe is really nice too. Hopefully we'll see the Purple People Eater at the HAMB Drags someday!
  12. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,633

    from Hypocrisy

    I became friends with with you in about thirty seconds flat.
  13. 4tl8ford
    Joined: Sep 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,087

    from Erie, Pa

    Good read - captured the essence.
  14. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    Another article that makes me feel like I'm right there.Thanks,Ryan.
  15. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    I'm with Mark Twain, who said "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

    That purple people eater looks undriveable. Crap rod.
  16. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,555

    from UTARRGH!

    Really great article. I love how a lot of the articles here distills what sometimes can seem like a complicated hobby into the true essence. Thanks for the inspiration.
  17. Low-n-Broke
    Joined: Sep 4, 2008
    Posts: 87


    good questions. amazing interview.
  18. joebuick
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 584


    great 2 parter ryan thanks for posting it
  19. Fordguy78
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 558


    That was great.
  20. Salt 2009
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 70

    Salt 2009


    Kudos for continuing to come with new material for the forum.

    I was at the GNRS and would like to know what engine is in Hudson Joes' Roadster?.. It is some kind of flathead but I cant quite make it fit with anything else I have seen.


  21. Salt 2009 - I believe its a Lincoln Flathead
  22. Greaser Bob
    Joined: Mar 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,325

    Greaser Bob

    I can still remember seeing the Sick Helpless Individuals F'n Tinkering Every Rotten Second in some mag in the mid 90's while dropping the kids off at the pool and going nuts! Ran into my wife and said" Look these cats are into the same shit as I am and Look at their cool cars!! And they're MY age!!"
    Course that was when all I could afford w/fenders were VWs. So I finished one and made enough to get into vintage cars!
    Told this story to Axle and he said" Heard that story a thousand times man" He then introduced me to a couple of the other guys and they were all very down to earth! They didn't even know me(hick from Iowa) but talked and partied for awhile.....
    Really miss those guys and the Riverside gigs!
  23. Ryan ... great interview ... I almost think this two-parter should be required reading for FNGs (actually any HAMBer) that doesn't understand the difference between a "Traditional Hot Rod" and what the "Rat Rod" label has become.
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 1,606


    Shifters rule. I remember the good ol days anti blessing ,paso sat nite shifters partys, bowling alley, elks lodge, the doll hut, many late nites and the fonz. We had some good times. Glad to call them my friends great guys . Billy
  25. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,498


    Great articles Ryan. It puts things into perspective as far as how we got to where we are now. Important piece of rodding history. I'm curious that you added Axle's note but didn't honour the request. Why's that?

    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 165


    Nice piece on a group of nice guys with nice cars.

    I met the Shifters in 2004 when I went to Viva for the first time. Here were these cool dudes in crazy orange jackets working the ramp up to the top floor of the Gold Coast's parking garage. You had to get by them to get your rod into the show. Billet was a no-no and primer was a go-go. They guys were polite but turned away more than one lawn chair-lovin' car owner. They were forgiving of works-in-progress but firm against unreal rods (no steel and no part a '50s hot rodder could have or would have put on his car). I knew I was home.

    I grew up in the 50s and 60's. The Shifters are the car club you wished had existed in your town, even if they were too cool to let you and your not-so-hot rod join the club. Hangin' with the Shifters at VLV is an experience not soon forgotten. They hold their own and do you one better. Even the newbie, Hudson Joe. Nicest guy you'll ever meet and with a track nose roadster to envy.

    Axle is often the public persona but is always upfront in stating that he's just one of the guys in the club. We've become friends through our love of GASSERS. He was recently my guest at our GASSER Reunion in Ohio. It was a blast to the past for him and he says he's coming back next year.

    My hat's off to Ryan for a enjoyable read about an enjoyable group of guys.

  27. sodaturk
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 186

    from san diego

    That was a great article. I was in the Sacred Karts in San Diego back in the early days. I recently had a chance to reconnect and talk to Axle about the old days when it was just a few clubs. Those were great times and strange times. We were all the outsiders of the car culture for a long time. Young, brash and out of control. Trying to make period cars with no money was a blast. I'm glad to see that the Shifters are still around and still making a mark on the scene!
    The Karts are gone as I knew them...long live the Turks!
  28. Jcbuck
    Joined: Dec 5, 2007
    Posts: 21


    Hey all!

    Hats off to Ryan for a great article and to the Shifters who are the real deal.

    I have been working with the Shifters for a few years now and they make it fun and real.

    I look forward to seeing both Ryan and The Shifters at the 2010 GNRS and the big 60th Sacramento Autorama this year.

    We loved the HAMB award and I really love the fun you guys had with the top secret award conspiracy. I run the show with my wife and kids as well as help from great car guys like Axle, Jim St Pierre, and Thumper.

    Guys like Ryan help us carry on the tradition of Traditional Hot Rods.

    OK here is a shamless plug for our events.
    The GNRS will be held at the Fairplex in Pomona January 29-31, 2010. The 60th Sacramento Autorama will be held at the Cal Expo February 19-21, 2010.

    All the respect in the world to you HAMBers

    John Buck
  29. Great article. Really is insightful, and puts perspective on where I am and where I want to be with my rodding technique and expertise.

    Thanks Ryan and Axle!
  30. vonpahrkur
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 921


    I remember walking around at the Hotrod Reunion in 1995 or 1996 at Fomosa. There was nothing unusual until I went to this one area of the track. There before me, were these rougher hotrods that were in primer that had a raw look to them. They had all the right parts and serious attitude. I remember spending some “quality time” drooling over these creations. I hadn’t ever seen anything like this before other than in the little pages or in a Don Montgomery book and now I was seeing what I would call the real deal. Don’t get me wrong, I had seen plenty of hotrods and streetrods by that point in my life, but none of them came close to these cars. It is true that they were unfinished, but what stood out in my mind is these cars were unique and they had been driven there! More importantly, I could tell that whoever owned them had to be having fun! I would find that my assumption was correct as I got to know the owners later that Saturday night as we hung out at a common friend’s shop in Bakersfield and talked about all the things we had in common (Hotrods, customs, good music, all things of the past, and the list went on and on) over a few beers, okay we drank till the sun came up.

    That common friend was Squeak Bell (who is now a Shifter). In fact Squeak, Kevan (Sinus) and I hung out until the sun came up just talking cars, I remember this so well for several reasons. One of those reasons, that we still chuckle about to this day, is when I first met Kevan we were talking about hotrods there at Squeak’s and about the cars that were out at the races that weekend. I hadn’t realized at that point that the cars I had dug out at the races were there’s, one that especially stuck out in my mind was a Cadillac powered T-being that I was and still am into Classic Cadillacs. I thought this was one of the coolest hotrods I had ever seen and I remembered it had no front brakes. So I asked these guys, “did you see that T-bucket out there with no front brakes?”
    :) Kevan and Squeak looked at each other and smiled and they said, “why no. it had no front brakes?”
    “Man what kind of guy would do that?” One of them answered with a big smile…. I instantly realized what was going on and a little embarrassed I smiled and said,
    “Oh sorry, that must be one of your buddy’s cars”
    and Kevan promptly smiled and said, “Uh, nope.”
    Then as I pulled my foot out of my mouth, I said “uhh, that’s your car”
    and he said “yup”.

    We all laughed and Kevan and I went out and checked out his car and shortly after the sun came up, we hopped in his T and drove up the street to buy some smokes. I had ridden in plenty of old cars and driven them all my life, but there was something about rumbling up the street in that T that changed me forever, and I will remember that ride for the rest of my life. The last thing that sticks out in my mind and something that is just as important if not more is that night I began what has been a long and strong friendship with Kevan Sledge. Besides being a skilled fabricator, metal man and having an eye for style and a creative mind, he’s also a great guy and one of my best friends to this day! Mmmmm hmmmm!

    I first met Marky because he played Drums in a band called the Flamin’ Aces and a buddy had booked them in Bakersfield and I booked them a couple times myself to play some shows. Marky was like 16 when I met him, yet he knew so much about hotrods and how to do things, that I often forgot how young he was. We instantly became friends and are still best of friends today! Marky sold me the cowel section for my Roadster Pickup which will be on the road towards the end of the summer; I won’t say how long ago that was because it’s embarrassing that it’s not on the road yet! LOL Anyway, I remember Marky stopping in Bakersfield at the Sideburn Circus to hang out for a bit as he was on his way up north to pick up the basis for the engine that he built to put into the Purple People Eater, which he has ran down the dragstrip several times now! It seems like there’s nothing this-I want to say kid, because I still remember he was just a kid when I first met him, a kid that could easily put most adult “hotrodders” to shame with the knowledge and ability he already possessed back then! However, there’s nothing kid about him anymore and there’s nothing this young man can’t do! He’s super talented and creative and he builds custom cars, hotrods and motorcycles and has been since before he got his driver’s license! -continued
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009

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