The VIPs chosen for the ceremonial ribbon cutting to open the 1971 SEMA Show represented the past, present and future of automotive performance. Doing the honors with her “shifting hand,” as Hot Rod Industry News (HRIN) described it, was drag racer Shirley Shahan. She was joined by (from left) Willie Garner, Don Jensen, Doug Toms and Roy Richter.
In late September 1957, Hot Rod’s Eric Rickman traveled north from Los Angeles to the Douglas-Tahoe Airport in Minden, Nevada, (near Reno) for the final meet of the Nevada Timing Association’s drag racing season.
The film Ford v Ferrari gave us a taste of the turbulent relationship Carroll Shelby had with the Ford Motor Company. Despite nearly constant friction between the maverick in Los Angeles and management in Dearborn, there were great successes, to be sure. But there were also some missed opportunities. Such was the case with the Type 65, also known as the Daytona Super Coupe.
The ’49 Ford convertible ready to leave is typical of the mildly modified cars taking part—in this case, with a lowered suspension, shaved door handles and other body trim, and spinner hubcaps. Most of the cars were just a few years old. We spotted just two ’32 Ford coupes among the ’50s Chevys, Buicks, Fords, Oldsmobiles and even a pickup or two at the run.
The gentleman on the left—Winston Roche of North Hollywood, California—bought his ’34 Ford sedan as a new car. His job as a civil engineer took him all over the country, and the Ford’s trusty Flathead V8 carried him on his rounds for 20-some years, covering more than 300,000 miles in the process. By late 1956, though, the engine was just worn out, having been through several rebuilds.
So began Car Craft’s February 1967 coverage of “Mickey’s Meet,” what the magazine said was “the last big race of the season” and “the final chance for budding dragster hopefuls and proven pros to strike it rich in ’66. Top money for the winner was more than $5,000.”
It would be difficult to estimate how many lives have been saved and injuries averted (or at least minimized) by the pioneering work of Bill Simpson. Simpson, who passed away in December 2019, was one of a handful of members of the racing community who dedicated their lives to improving driver safety.
It’s February 1964 at the Grand National Roadster Show, and Petersen Publishing Company’s Bud Lang captures a rafters-eye view of crowds milling about some of the cars on display at the Oakland Exposition Building.
At first glance, this Motor Trend photo from 1959 looks like a very strange comparison test. Who would be cross-shopping a Volkswagen Beetle and a Corvette? And what’s that third vehicle hiding behind the other two?
Trend-setting custom car builder Larry Watson is credited with creating the first panel paint job in 1958, when he tried to tone down the bright silver paint on his newly customized ’58 Thunderbird by covering several of the car’s body panels in metallic burgundy, leaving the silver to show through as accents.