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Who do you rate as a rodding writer

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RussTee, May 15, 2013.

  1. RussTee
    Joined: Mar 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,215


    Who is the best writer of our type of car articles? While I rate The Rodders Journal very highly I have of late been keeping an eye open for Street Rodder Premium why? My all time top writer would be the late Tom Senter for his knowledge of cars but also the coverage he gave to traditional rodding icons while building his roadster first with a 27 body and then a 32. He wrote about Ardun heads and Kinmont brakes giving their history and showing how he was fitting them to his build. Also the work of Pat Ganahl, Ken Gross and Spencer Murray who all seem to specalise in a type of car be it early trad, east coast or custom cars. Editors such as Steve Coonan our own Ryan who edits our posts has a bearing but of late Brian Brennan who I have watched grow from being the new kid on the block (like our own Greg Stokes was here in N.Z.) has grown to where he is producing some great stuff both as an editor and a writer his work is contempory but now and then dives back into history producing some great articles on traditional products and cars.
  2. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384


    You have put together a good list and I agree with all of them. I think Tom Senter was the real deal and a very nice guy, I still miss his wit. I would add some others, Don Francisco, Jim McFarland, Roger Huntington, Frank Oddo, Bill Burnham, and of course Your Old Dad, Mr. Baskerville.
  3. RussTee
    Joined: Mar 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,215


    Thanks 29AVEE8 forgot about Mr Baskerville
  4. fleet-master
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,774


    yer ol' Dad was may favourite, Pat Ganahl is great and so too is Joe Kress.

  5. customcory
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,832


    Pat Ganahl , Gray Baskerville, Bud Byran.
  6. GasserTodd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 419


    Steve Collision (SS&DI editor) and Tony De Foe (white Punk on nitro).

    Collision because he regularly and intelligently took on the heavy handed ones at NHRA and stood up for the little guys of drag racing, and DeFoe because his writing makes you feel like you were there (even when you were 13000 miles away at the bottom of the South Pacific).
  7. defeo, collision, baskerville ( not traditional but i like greg rager also)
  8. I remember talking to Joe Mayall, and telling him his son Louie was doing a good job writing. This was some time ago.
    Reminded me of Pat Ganahl's technical article style. Down to earth, and getting the point across.
  9. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    from Rome NY

    Our own Ryan Cochran is pretty damn good I must say.
  10. I haven't read any hot rod magazines in such a long time, that I have to give my props to the likes of Tex Smith and Tom Medley.
  11. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,709

    from Colorado

    I would add John Thawley to that list along with the late AB Shuman. Tex, John and McFarland all came out of Texas within a year or two to work for HOT ROD. Even though he was the long time editor of ROAD & TRACK, Dean Batchlor (sp?) wrote the great book, THE AMERICAN HOT ROD. He also was affiliated with SoCal Speed Shop in the late forties..

    Based on my experiences in the hot rod magazine business, the best writers were BC or before computers. We supplied typewritten copy to real copy editors through the mail or hand delivered. One had to outline the story, fill it in and present it to the editors. Today, computers let you cut and paste and it shows.

    Talk about traditional, I suspect that there are a lot of automotive writers out there today that don't even know what carbon paper is or how to change a typewriter ribbon!
  12. Thumper
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,610


    All mentioned are great writers..but I would like to add our very own Brad O'Cock to the list. A true gearhead. :)
  13. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T

    Looks like most everyone that popped into my head has been covered. You might throw David Vizard in on the tech side of things.
  14. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,692

    Marty Strode

    One that I would add to the list, although his specialty is the history of the parts that make up the cars we like, is the HAMBs own Jay Fitzhugh.
  15. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,654

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Coonan once told me that there are two types of writers in our genre:

    1. The REAL car guy that knows a little about writing.

    2. The REAL writer that knows a little about cars.

    I believe that to be the case with very few exceptions to that rule - one of those being Eric Rickman. He was so good at laying down a story in such a clever manner that I wonder if 90% of his audience ever bothered to read between the lines a little. There were always some jewels there. And no one that I know of ever considered him a "real" writer... just a car guy that wrote a little.


    As for me, I'm a car guy trying like hell to be a writer. And frankly, it's hard to do when all I write about is cars. Every now and then, I'll write something I'm really proud of... and then I'll go back to reading whatever book I happen to be reading at the time (Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, Thompson, etc...) and realize what an absolute fraud I am.

    And just the thought of all this reminds me of this quote:

    So, I like to think I'm just still fighting is all...
  16. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Add in Racer Brown, Barney Navarro...Roger Huntigton was a special case, almost totally incapacitated but kind of the theoretician of 1950's-60's rodding with his engineering background and worldwide research notebooks to catch new happenings.
    Our own A-V8...a spectacular roadster building book, eye-popping photography of flathead porting coupled with excellent prose.
    His pictures, the mastery of getting clear, sharp pics of labyrinthine port innards, put him over the top. Remember the pics we had in rodding magazines of the past?? Grainy pics with like two pixel dots of the part you wanted to see. In A-V8's stuff you can see the molecular bonds between the iron and the carbon if you look close.
  17. All of the above are good. I don't think he had anything published but what he wrote was close to my growing up & rodding around. I had the opportunity to met him once & had plans to visit him again & that was C-9. R I P man.
  18. Gray Baskerville, the best and most entertaining read,Tex Smith-is the tech Guru-Both Top shelf writers
    Gerry Burger has written some good articles from a Car Guys' perspective.
  19. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


    I know both Tex Smith and Steve Coonan and admire what they do.
  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Mine is a short list. Pat Ganahl and Gray Baskerville.
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    All you Thinking HAMBrs. You know who you are.

    The ones who start throwing out Ideas/R&D on how to to make a "Column Shifter for a T5", NOT the fuckheads that say, "You can't do that", Nor the fuck who asked for a "Column Shifter for a T5" in the first place.
  22. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    Bob Ryder. Wrote for a number of Peterson mags, then went to Truckin, and currently with Drive magazine. Bob has been a serious car guy all his life. He can work on a car, write about it, and take photos all the while. He does the whole 9-yards, and then some. He drives a 1959 restored Chevy Impala.
  23. spiderdeville
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,134

    from BOGOTA,NJ

    Tony Defeo--anti establishment counter culture guy
  24. michael037
    Joined: May 26, 2005
    Posts: 320


    Brennan's editorials sometimetimes make me laugh, as did a lot of Burger's in Rodder's Digest. I enjoy articles that are written as a tech piece and not an "advitorial" like som many these days. The guy who has done the "history" pieces like those in the recent past in R&C writes a good feature. I see that Tex is doing another book being an autobiography that is supposed to be out later in the year. I am looking forward to that one.
  25. acadian_carguy
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 793


    I have read some of the stuff you have posted here and I think you are a good writer and a good story teller. You need to be expanding your writing beyond the HAMB and just car stuff. Perhaps you are...maybe working on or towards writing fiction and/or non-fiction stories? Do it!
  26. RussTee
    Joined: Mar 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,215


    I dont know if any of you follow the posts of Michelley here on the H.A.M.B. but I find her work well worth reading as it gives a great vision of early hotrodding and the lifestyle of rodders at that time. It would be great if some of the older rodders here were to give us their experences of the times of themselves and their mates including how the start of the speed parts industry started out of backyards.

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