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Hot Rods The Traveler

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by J.Ukrop, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,818

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    The Traveler


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    Inked Monkey, Stogy, Lazy A and 8 others like this.
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,332


    Probably from 1963, since they have black plates with no stickers. Beautiful scene. I'm no help at all.
    Stogy, kidcampbell71 and olscrounger like this.
  3. That roadster is fantastic!
    Stogy and kidcampbell71 like this.
  4. pgan
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 219


    Joey, I was going to write to let you know someone was reading, that I LOVE that Model A, and that black CA plates came out in '63, so I'd have guessed '63-'65 time period. But Squirrel beat me to it and narrowed it down. As for location, I'd guess this is the then-new Ridge Route, looking west to see the 4-lane portion of the old R.R. in the background (still there, scene of one HRM/Boyd cover). You can see the Nomad was originally green, painted what looks like Cordovan Brown over it...but it looks "flat," which wasn't at all common then. It also has very cool trimmed '56 Buick taillight lenses. Given the tow bar and slicks on unchromed rear rims, my further guess is that they might be taking the A to weekend drags at Famoso (from L.A., heading north), and the bikes (Honda 50s?) would be used as "pit bikes." Other than the 'cycles, everything in that picture is what I loved about rodding at that time. But I've sure never seen that '28/'30 Model A before. Thanks for showing it.
    Cheers, Pat G.
    Stogy, Old-Soul, Rolleiflex and 6 others like this.

  5. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,007


    "Here We See The Roadster Under Tow On The Grapevine Waiting For Other Club Members Before Heading To The Drags In Bakersfield. Tom And Bill Would Tune The Car Ahead Of Time So They Didn't Have To Do It At The Track. They Took Off The Exhaust, Adjusted The Carburetors And Timing, And Added The Custom Tonneau Cover For These Trips. Tom Really Did Make It An Event, Even Taking Motorcycles Along For Some Added Fun In The Pits. (See The Two Bikes Stuffed Into The Back Of The Nomad.)"

    In one of the Hot Rod Network sites, they had a nice article on this roadster. (license plates match) Having been to Bakersfield in 1960 for the 2nd Smokers March Meet, despite being teenagers, it was a big, long walk from one side to the other viewing places on the dragstrip. Add in the huge pits area and it was tiring. A small scooter or m/c would have been helpful.

    Also, for those that have not been on the Grapevine area (I-5)through those mountains, it is a long up and down hill slog. It has been known for plenty of overheating problems on single cars, let alone one towing another. The two El Caminos we have owned and have driven up/down this long road from LA to the Bay Area, goes right through some nice scenery, but we always watched the gauges.

    It is a rest stop, but the billowing steam is not a nice sight.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
    Stogy, Rolleiflex, HEMI32 and 3 others like this.
  6. @pgan I don't think it's flat.
    Looking at the reflections under the driver side tail light and especially between the driver side tail light and the tailgate....
    I think the lighting (lack of) makes it look flat. The open tailgate and passenger side of the car are not in direct sunlight.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  7. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,072


    Finally, the little roadster gets some Fame! Viva La HAMB (and Joey/Jnaki).
    Stogy and jnaki like this.
  8. Sheesh, the Nomad is a '55! Is the HAMB slipping??!!
  9. Just an FYI ...

    Using the Google Chrome.JPG browser to view TJJ Blogs / H.A.M.B. threads, one can simply right-click on an image and select the "Search Google for image" menu item:

    Search Google for image.jpg

    ... and in less than a second, the "Google Search" results page will reveal similar and/or exact matches of the image elsewhere on the Internet.

    In this case, there were several exact matches ... including this one on the HOT ROD Network website:

    Found It.JPG
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
    Stogy and catdad49 like this.
  10. For those who don't like clicking on links (e.g., the links @jnaki posted) ... Here's some vintage photos of Tom Booth's '30 Model A Roadster:

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (Compton Car Show).jpg
    The Booth Roadster after a local car show in Compton (early '60s).

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (Under Tow).jpg
    Here we see the Booth Roadster under tow on the Grapevine waiting for other club members before heading to the Drags in Bakersfield. Tom and Bill would tune the car ahead of time so they didn't have to do it at the track. They took off the exhaust, adjusted the carburetors and timing, and added the custom tonneau cover for these trips. Tom really did make it an event, even taking motorcycles along for some added fun in the pits. (see the two bikes stuffed into the back of the Nomad).

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (Gas Station).jpg
    Tom's brother Bill and a friend with the Roadster at his local gas station shop, where both Tom and Bill worked part time in high school. Note the racks of whitewalls secured by a wire in the locker beside the Roadster, and the casual bare feet of these So Cal rodders!

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (Fancy Campus Cloth for Hip Guys - Sept '63 HRM).jpg
    The Booth Roadster appeared in the September 1963 HOT ROD Magazine "FANCY CAMPUS CLOTH FOR HIP GUYS" article by Eric Rickman

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (Hal Blaine Album cover).jpg
    Booth’s Roadster also appeared on two album covers, including this one for Hal Blaine And The Young Cougars. Booth’s Roadster appeared beside Hal, with Dick (@scritch) Scritchfield's Deuce Roadster, Fred Steel's white T Bucket, and Jim Tradeway's yellow Model T.

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (The Tokens Album cover).jpg
    This image (obviously from the same photo shoot) was used for The Tokens "Wheels - Let's Go To The Drag Strip" album cover artwork.

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (LA Roasters Motel).jpg
    The L.A. Roadsters club was always happy to go out to the high desert for a little weekend fun. Tom McMullen knew that the club could find overnight accommodation in the old motel up by the Yellow Aster Mine. Here we see club members getting ready to go out for some desert target practice early one morning. Tom McMullen is in his white coveralls, and Tom Booth is on the far left.

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (LA Roadsters Mine).jpg
    Out at the Yellow Aster Mine site, club members would set up target practice and spend time searching around for vintage goodies. Here we see Walt Pierce in the ’29 Fred Steel Roadster Pickup leading the way out, with John Montaro's blue Phaeton behind, Booth's Roadster parked to the right, Jim Travis's yellow Deuce left, and Duane Kofoed's red (Dick Flint) '29 Roadster in the foreground.

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (LA Roadsters Motel - Tinkering).jpg
    On another trip to the high desert they stayed in yet another mine bunkhouse. Every trip always meant tinkering with one roadster or another. It was a great way for everyone to learn more about Hot Rods. Here we see Tom McMullen's Roadster with its wonderfully outlandish Ed Roth pinstriping across the trunk, Jim Tradeway's yellow Model T, another yellow Deuce, and Booth's Roadster at the end of the lineup on the right.

    Tom Booth '30 Model A Roadster (LA Roadsters Group).jpg
    On yet another weekend trip to the mine, we see some of the club roadsters lined up with McMullen's Roadster right up front, Fred Steel’s white T Bucket, Dick (@scritch) Scritchfield's Deuce Roadster and Booth's at the far end again.

    ... and here's the “Dwayne Lidtke / Tom Booth Roadster” today (as driven by current owner Tom Cavoretto):

    Tom Cavoretto's '30 Model A Roadster (Restored to its circa 1960s Tom Booth configuration).jpg
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  11. Looks like the roll bar was removable. HRP
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  12. kidcampbell71 likes this.
  13. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,072


    Danny, rollbar was just for "looks".
  14. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,704

    from KCMO

    Joeys gonna wake up and say “whoa”
    Haha power of the hamb
    Stogy, Sancho and kidcampbell71 like this.
  15. Here's the text of the HOT ROD DELUXE logo.png article:

    Telling the Tale of this Historic 1930 Ford
    Model A Roadster is Decades Overdue!

    Written by David Featherston on January 12, 2017


    Ever look at an old magazine and see a rod that piques your interest? You wonder, where is that machine now? Or why does that look familiar? About 14 years ago, Tom Cavoretto saw a photo of a rumble seat roadster for sale in the classified section of a magazine. When he called the number, he found it had been sold and was awaiting transportation to its new owner in Wisconsin. It was a golden opportunity missed because of some unfortunate timing.

    Several months later, while he was reading a different magazine’s classified ads, the roadster popped up again for sale. Could this be the same car back on the market so quickly?

    It only took one call and the all-steel, fully fendered roadster was soon on its way from Wisconsin back to California. Apparently, the buyer did not realize how snug the interior was. He did not fit behind the steering wheel, so he put the roadster back up for sale.

    At this point, Cavoretto did not know that the car had any significant history, but in the back of his mind, he thought there was something special about the Model A roadster, despite the changes it had undergone over the years. It was clear the roadster had many features that made it unique.

    In actuality, the roadster had a flamboyant past with plenty of notoriety, but it just didn’t stand out to hot rod journalists in the day. The roadster did appear a couple of times in HOT ROD, Rod & Custom, and other magazines, but always as a one-shot or prop in a feature shoot. As one of its owners, Tom Booth, admitted, “She was always as the lady in waiting, never the prom queen.” Her fame came from other places. Booth drove the living daylights out of her and drag raced her all over Southern California. He showed her at the Winternationals Car Show at the Great Western Exhibition Center in Los Angeles where he took home trophies every time. She even appeared on record covers and in TV shows.

    The Model A was originally built as a hot rod in 1956 by Dwayne Lidtke, who worked for a Buick dealer as a mechanic, hence the Buick engine under the hood. Before he installed the V8, he boxed the frame to take away the Flexi-flyer feel.

    That was just the beginning. He topped the brand-new 322ci Buick with an Offenhauser manifold with two four-barrel Carter WCFB carburetors and air cleaners. He also fabricated a set of custom headers, which must have been quite a task back in those days to plumb down and around the steering box. Lidtke also added a Vertex magneto and an aluminum Schneider flywheel. Backed up to this was a ’39 La Salle three-speed transmission and Ford Banjo rear axle to put power to the ground. It was all simple stuff but rugged enough for solid pounding on the streets of L.A. Lidtke drove the roadster every day until 1961, when he sold it to Tom Booth.

    Booth was an 18-year-old California kid from Compton who was a snappy dresser and crazy about his new hot rod. He and his brother Bill raced the roadster at Lions Drag Strip, Bakersfield, and were known to run some of the odd street races at times. Unlike other competitors who trailered their cars to Lions, the brothers would drive the roaster to track, strip the exhaust down to the headers, tune it, and race in the A/Street Roadster class. Booth’s best e.t. was 13.53 at 112 mph, pretty darn quick for a street roadster running on pump gas and cheater slicks.

    Booth updated and customized the roadster during his time with it. He had Ed Martinez perform his sewing machine magic, installing a perfect 411-pleat front seat and re-trimming the rest of the car as needed. The interior you see in the roadster today is that original Martinez upholstery, circa 1963.

    Booth kept tinkering with the roadster, adding a steering sub-panel and instrument cluster, complete with a Sun tachometer. During this time, there were wheel changes and a faux rollbar made of chromed exhaust tubing.

    The roadster became a style icon to those in the know. It first appeared in print in a fashion spread in HRM in September 1963. Soon after, it was selected for use on two different record covers. The first was for Sundazed Music and legendary rock drummer Hal Blain’s Deuces, T’s, Roadsters and Drums album. Booth’s roadster appeared with Dick {@scritch} Scritchfield’s red Deuce, Fred Steel’s white T-bucket, and Jim Tradeway’s yellow Model {T}. This album had tracks including “Big “T,” “Gear Change,” “Pop the Cute,” and “Gear Stripper.”

    In 1964, the Booth roadster appeared on a second album, this time for the Tokens on their album, Let’s Go to the Drag Strip, which had such catchy hot rod tunes as “Little Hot Rod Suzie,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Shut Down,” “My Candy Apple Vette,” and “Drag City.”

    It must have been an exciting time for young Tom Booth as the roadster was “hired” for Beau Bridges to drive in a 1964 episode of The Eleventh Hour TV series {Season 2, Episode 19: “Cannibal Plants, They Eat You Alive”}. Booth also drove the roadster in a German TV show about the youthful American hot rod culture.

    Booth was soon invited to become a member of the L.A. Roadsters car club, a membership that became more of a lifestyle than just a car club. His brother Bill didn’t own a roadster, so with help from Jim Jacobs, they formed the Early Times car club in 1964, another SoCal club that is still going strong. Early Times was for hot rodders with sedans, two doors, and coupes, as the L.A. Roadsters only accepted roadster owners as members.

    Booth recalls when he was accepted as a member, the meeting was at the Petersen Building on Sunset. After the meeting, they all went cruising around Hollywood and Wilshire. Two club members pulled out and blocked Sunset Boulevard, while the rest of the roadsters poured out of the car park and headed east. “I was so excited,” he says. “My heart was pounding when we pulled out into the street with 30 other roadsters. I was just 19, and it was great to be part of this club.”

    The L.A. Roadsters made runs on weekends out into the high desert, with Tom McMullen leading. They went out there to shoot guns, visit old gold mines, and look for vintage tin. McMullen had property up in the Randsburg area, near Mojave. There were the remains of an old mine on his property, but they also found other gold mines to check out. These guys really did drive their hot rods anywhere, as some of the accompanying photos show.

    On some weekends, the club members would meet at Four Corners garage (Now 395 & Barstow-Bakersfield Road). From here, they would do some drag racing on Twenty Mule Team Road. Back in the early 1960s, these roads were lightly traveled and straight as a ruler.

    Sometimes they would tow the drag-prepped roadster, so they didn’t have to set it up. On one trip, Booth collided with Duane Kofoed’s {'29} roadster, half tearing the rear bumper off Booth’s roadster. What then? Well, they removed the bumper and buried it in the sand by a road sign so they didn’t have to carry it with them. On the way back, they stopped to dig it up and took it home for repair. The roadster’s bumper bracket still shows that repair.

    Other weekends, the Booth brothers would set up the roadster for drag racing, hitch it to Tom’s Chevy Nomad, and head to Bakersfield. During these travels, Booth became buddies with McMullen; and at times when Booth was not racing, McMullen asked for the Model A to be the stylish push-car for his girlfriend’s Wild Rose Corvette drag car.

    Tom Booth sold the roadster in the mid-1960s, and for the next 40 years it went through four or five owners.

    When Tom Cavoretto acquired the roadster around 2002, he had a few issues, including how it rode. At some point it lost its classic quick-change, which had been replaced by a massive ’60 Oldsmobile rear axle with a set of 4.11 gears and coil springs. Says Cavoretto, “It was way too much rear axle for a car this size. Besides, it was way too heavy for a roadster that was never going to hit a dragstrip again.”

    He had a complete Jaguar rear IRS available, so he and Dan Linberg designed and fabricated a subframe to suspend a complete four-coil suspension. The wheel department also saw a change in style from steelies with baby Moons to chromed Daytona wire wheels. “If I’d known it had been set up this way, I would have put a quick-change back in it,” says Cavoretto, “but at the time, I knew nothing of its history.”

    A visit from a buddy to see his new purchase convinced him that he had a special car. Russ Waters looked it over and said, “I think I know this car!” He had recognized it from the old Tokens record cover, which he went home to find and came back to show Cavoretto.

    This led Cavoretto to do a lot of asking around. He spoke with Bruce Meyer, Greg Sharp, and others, which led him to Jim Jacobs, who knew the car after looking at the photos. Through connections, soon enough Tom Cavoretto was talking with Tom Booth, and so the true story behind the black roaster was finally revealed. Cavoretto had rediscovered a classic 1960s roadster that really did have a story to tell. Along the way, he has met a whole new bunch of new friends and hot rod buddies, who have made the journey even more enjoyable.

    Cavoretto has no interest in restoring the roadster. He says, “It still runs like a clock; it’s not a garage queen.” Tom and his wife, Renee, take it out for regular road adventures, and he relishes the sound of the eight carburetor throats gulping air as the back wheels put the horses to the ground.

    For you techies: The ’30 Model A roadster has a boxed frame with a Jaguar IRS posi rear suspension but still retains a dropped axle and transverse springs up front with 19-inch Lincoln brakes. It runs 15-inch True-Spoke chrome wire wheels.

    The powertrain is still headed by the ’56 Buick V8 topped with an Offenhauser manifold and a pair of Carter WCFB four-barrel carburetors. Behind it now is a four-speed Muncie transmission with a Hurst shifter.

    It’s been a long and wild road to prom queen. Tom Cavoretto is a now good friends with Tom Booth, who has enjoyed seeing his old roadster in the hands of someone who truly appreciates its part in the great American hot rod adventure.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  16. Although by today's standards, the "rollbar" would be considered just for "looks" ... in 1960 (when Tom Booth ran the car at the Bakersfield Smokers meet), some sort of rollbar was required to run down the track ... and so it was very common for a street driven car to have a removable (bolt-on) single hoop rollbar.

    Case in point, my father installed a single hoop "rollbar" bolted to the frame in our '32 5wd Coupe so that he could run it at the 1958 NHRA Nats in OKC ... that chromed rollbar is still in the car today.

    HEMI32 chromed rollbar.JPG
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
    Rolleiflex, Stogy, Dean Lowe and 4 others like this.
  17. AmishMike
    Joined: Mar 27, 2014
    Posts: 563


    Seems to me a jag rear took it from sweet old hot rod to modern street rod
  18. Those LA Roadsters photos of them in the desert are epic!
    HEMI32 likes this.
  19. Danekejt
    Joined: May 27, 2012
    Posts: 104

    from Pa

    Great photos and info. Thanks
    HEMI32 likes this.
  20. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,738

    from Nebraska

    What a great roadster -- thanks for the history lesson on it, guys!
  21. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,094


    Tom must have been a "bucks up" hot rodder back then. Owning a Nomad and a roadster, both painted and chromed not to mention a couple of new bikes. I was 13-14 then, just a few years too young to participate but totally consumed by hot rods and drag racing.
    When I saw Joey's opening shot I thought, "I know that car" then the clothing article in HRM did it. I just read through that issue the other day and admired the cars. That's a classic shot from what I consider the Golden Age of hot rodding.
    Thanks Hemi32 for the backstory.
    catdad49, Stogy and HEMI32 like this.
  22. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,094


    When I first saw the title I thought it was a blogpost about the old Altizer, Finders, and Kibler Willys gasser.
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  23. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 20,251


    Missed this Thread...Great Content and that is One Awesome A Roadster and he had one bunch of Cool Friends...Thanks for sharing that @J.Ukrop. Thanks also to @HEMI32 for the Icing on the cake...;)

    @RiffRaffRoadster don't know if you saw this thread but I'm pretty sure a pic or two of it was shared in your Thread...that early 60s look is very reminiscent of your Roadster despite some details and that give some rock solid inspiration to what you will be sitting in turning the key on in the near future...
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
    HEMI32 and J.Ukrop like this.

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