Thursday, April 23, 2009

NHRA '34 Ford Exhibit

NHRA Museum exhibit – 75th Anniversary of the 1934 Ford
Custom Garage Magazine #5 - Text & Photos by Alex Maldonado (Transmission77)

In a nation that so easily destroys the old to make way for the new, it’s a relief to see that so many are dedicated to preserving automotive history. One fine example of such dedication is the Wally Parks NHRA Museum. For years the museum has exhibited automobiles essential to the history and the future of hot rodding. This year the museum is helping celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 1934 Ford. Under the direction of Tony Thacker, the museum’s Executive Director, some of the most famous ‘34’s were gathered for exhibit. For starters, Tony had the ’34 Piersen Brothers’ Coupe and the ’34 SO-CAL Speed Shop Coupe displayed side by side. These two machines were vital to early hot rod speed and styling. Next on the list were a couple of ‘34’s that Henry Ford himself would have been envious of, The California Kid and Jake’s Coupe. These were the creations of masterminds Pete Chapouris and Jim “Jake” Jacobs. These two buddies took their passion for hot rodding and turned it into life long careers as founders of Pete & Jake’s hot rod parts. Not bad for a few guys looking for kicks. Let me just say that seeing cars of this historic magnitude, all under one roof is a little overwhelming. To top it off, it just gets better. Jim Lytle had his “Big Al” ’34 Tudor Sedan present. Talk about rare vintage power, this monster is outfitted with a 1,710 cu. in. Allison V-12. For those who don’t know about Allison motors, google it! They’re WWll aircraft motors, capable of 2250 horsepower. Here’s where things really kicked off, Billy Gibbons “Eliminator” was on exhibit. Most of us have only seen this car in ZZ Tops “She’s got legs” video. I kept hoping some long legged blonde would step out of the car dressed in 80’s attire and stockings. As if it wasn’t enough that the Eliminator was here, Billy himself was in attendance. While the night’s entertainment played, Billy made a very rare move. He walked up, grabbed a guitar, and started jamming. This was the only way you could have topped an already amazing night. I credit one man and his team, for having the vision to make it happen. Congrats Tony on a great exhibit and the free Billy Gibbons concert (sorta).

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