Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by cbrunt, Sep 6, 2008.
Some more faves from the stash....
Vintage photos of a long history of auto racing in NJ
Photos of pre-war hot rodding are rare enough, but just this evening I discovered some pre-WWII home movies of hot iron in action on the dry lakes--something I thought could only exist in memory and imagination.
Edit: There's nothing new under the sun--Stanley Doble posted this years ago. Oh well, it's worth a second look if you haven't seen it in a while.
Found an early Model T coupe body for sale cheap and was attempting to entice some of my friends to contemplate building a gow job around it. I happened across a few pictures I thought I'd throw up here for kicks.
A photochop of the Multy Aldrich roadster into a coupe.
A 1917-'22 runabout.
The Multy Aldrich car before it had Buffalo wire wheels. This is very similar to the vision for my '23 touring car.
This 1928 Ford Model A roadster pickup is simple and sweet. Wouldn't it make chores easier? This theme would work really well on a roadster or phaeton also.
I'm slowly slogging along on a gow-job project and, of course, I'm keeping a good file of inspiration. Here are a few that have been on my radar today.
This was taken at some kind of race in San Jose, California, in 1933. Note that the Model A's in the picture are also hopped up and stripped down.
This car belonged to Bob Estes when he was a young man. Estes later owned several car dealerships in California and sponsored race cars in the '40s and '50s. Supposedly he raced against Clark Gable in this car, back in 1933 or '34.
I don't know anything about this orchard truck, but the raked windshield and full fenders are very much inline with what I want for my touring car.
I give up - what's a "gow-job"?
It's a slang term for any vehicle that has been modified in order to improve it's performance (i.e, speed), but more specifically refers (or used to refer) to one that has had that performance enhanced by weight reduction.
Well, a great thing about FL is the learning of "regionalisms". I have been working on race cars, hot rods, sports cars, etc. for over 50 years and have never heard the term "gow-job".
In modern use it's shorthand for a pre-WWII hot rod, since the term hot rod wasn't in common use until the late 1940s (and remained quite pejorative through the early 1950s). Gow job, hot iron, and hop up were all common terms for modified vehicles during the Great Depression--with speedster being a similar, but slightly earlier thing.
Model T Fords were being radically altered by college kids for racing purposes even while they were still in production.
This tricked-up car was regularly featured in "The Collegians," a series of two-reel shorts dealing with the adventures of a group of zany 1920s college stereotypes, made by Universal from 1926 thru 1929. This particular episode had amateur auto racing as its main theme, and most of the cars featured were altered Model T's.
Although not too legible in this image, the car is covered in snappy slogans per the fashion of the twenties, most of them emphasizing the "shakiness" of the car due to its overpowered engine. "Not Nervous -- Just Shakey!" "This is a Rattling Good Car!"
Ironically, the Chevrolet brothers made speed equipment for the Model T Fords, most famous of which were the overhead-cam Frontenac cylinder heads. The results were referred to as "Fronty Fords".
I wrote up a real-deal Fronty not long ago, but probably my favorite is this one--thanks to the spare-tire cover. Note the reference to "Sterling Garage" on the door. Sterling was an outfit in LA in the '20s and '30s known for building hopped up Model T's.
If anybody is curious about the current status of my gow, here is the most recent update on the project.
The Class of ’25, Part Three: Meet Tilly
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