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Street-Rod Industry Icon Chuck Lombardo, 80

By SEMA Editors

Charles "Chuck" A. Lombardo Sr., the longtime street-rod industry icon andChuck former Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Board Member, has passed away. He was 80. 

Lombardo's passion was all about cars, primarily classic and street rods. Since the '60s, Lombardo has owned and operated California Street Rods Corporation, where he built high-quality cars for notable customers like the ZZ TOP rock group and TV personality Jay Leno. Lombardo also founded and served as president for Back to the 50s Inc., a local car show and production based in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

When he was the owner of California Street Rods in Huntington Beach, California, he co-founded the Street Machine Manufacturers Association (SMMA). SMMA merged in 1992 with the Street Rod Industry Alliance (a SEMA committee at the time) to form SRMA, the Street Rod Marketing Alliance (now known as the Hot Rod Industry Alliance). He served as both committee chair and as chair when SRMA became a SEMA council in 1994.

Lombardo also notably served on the SEMA 2005-2006 Board of Directors.

Lombardo was inducted into the Street Rods Hall of Fame and was named "Industry Man of the Year" by the National Street Rod Association.