1965-70 Hot Rodding, any photo's and stories to tell?

Posts relating to early (Pre 1985) Hotrodding History in Australia, including Hotrod and Custom Shows plus early Drag Racing, Speedway, Hillclimbs etc.
Post Reply
Drewfus
Old Hand
Posts: 2016
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2002 3:51 pm
Location: Newcastle, Oz-Trail-ya
Contact:

1965-70 Hot Rodding, any photo's and stories to tell?

Post by Drewfus »

Been 'tidying up' at home, and reading through a heap (many heaps actually :wink: :D ) of old Aussie rodding 'literature' and mags from that era and want to know more, especially for those that were 'active' in the rodding/drag racing scene at that time.

Like any era, there are good and bad elements, however, as I went through each and every mag, I consistantly came away with a few 'impressions'.....

(1) Rodding & Drag Racing in Oz was at a 'honeymoon high', with all sorts of fresh perspectives and passion, eclectically combined into raw but definative foundations of what we have today.....

This covers everything rodding, from the cars, to the journalism (although, to be honest, I found the tech stories and event coverage to be far 'in depth' & superior to what we're currently 'presented' by any of our existing publications), to the events, to the classifications of vehicles, to the 'rodding scene' and supplier structure. Photography illustrated a 'make do with what we had' approach, with plenty of great examples of people pushing boundries, and enjoying the opportunity.

(2) American Influence, but an entirely fresh perspective, with cars that reflected a truely Aussie taste.

Again, this was steered/influenced by the fact it that we had to make do with what we had, leaving two distinct paths, either become a pioneer and make our own aftermarket world, or use what we had, and many chose the latter. This effectively steered the rodding population and stlying, with the humble Y blocks becoming the engine of choice, closely followed by the early Holden 6's and mopar offerings, big channel jobs, and a less 'structured' cars, that really were forced to have their own identity, without the global influence we have today.

(3) Our pioneers of that era really pushed boundries, harrdly took no for an answer, and their focus was on their passion, with the money being a bonus, not the other way round.

Now, I wasn't there, so the above comments are purely what I interpret from what I've reviewed, can people who were there offer me a better insight, and ideally photo's and stories to feed my curiosity?

Last night, looking through Larrys great book, "Australia's Hotrod Heritage", I noted the array of 'personal' photo's and brief descriptions/details offered by many names I recognise, some of which frequent this forum, hopefully they can share more, both here and in print (Larry, another book please :wink: :D ) as I'm sure there are alot more details to share, and will offer a better insight to what I percieve to be a monumental period in our Australian Rodding development.

As a last request of sorts (in this post anyway :wink: ), are there any more photo's of Darrol Finger's Channeled 34 coupe, there were a few in the book, and it really captures the 'look' from that era, which, whilst commonly out of flavour with our current 'street rods' stands like a blazing light in a sea of darkness.....

Thanks in advance,

Drewfus
"actions speak louder than words....." & "you can only get an expert opinion from an expert.."

http://www.dayofthedrags.net/
Dave
Old Hand
Posts: 12543
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2002 12:47 pm
Location: Castlemaine, Victoria
Contact:

Post by Dave »

Funny thing I was reading the very same book 2 days ago! Fantastic book and yes I also hope that Larry does a Part 2 at some stage soon! The pics and stories were fantastic! Quite a few people mention in the book are here. I know many have a lot of photos from that era. Perhaps they can start posting them again and show some of our younger members what Hotrodding was really like back then.

I don't have any pics of Daryl's but I do have these photos of Lyn Arrowsmith's Coupe which also in the book!
Image
Image
Dave Petrusma
User avatar
Bacca
Senior Member
Posts: 1157
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Stawell, Vic

Post by Bacca »

That was the intention of the Rods & Customs from days gone by thread already running.
I still love the channeled rods better than the hiboy.
1930 Chev Tourer & my others here
http://www.ozrodders.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=34879&start=0
Bodgy Bros. If we can't fix it no one else will once we have a go!
Dave
Old Hand
Posts: 12543
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2002 12:47 pm
Location: Castlemaine, Victoria
Contact:

Post by Dave »

Chaplain Bacca wrote:That was the intention of the Rods & Customs from days gone by thread already running.
I still love the channeled rods better than the hiboy.
Yep I love that thread too! This thread has some specific timelines though so whilst close is not exactly the same. I am hoping the people will continue to post photos and stories in BOTH threads to keep more Hotrodding content on here! Our history is priceless, we can never have too much of it and many of the people with the information in their head are sadly leaving our world!
Dave Petrusma
Oldcol
Old Hand
Posts: 9194
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:31 pm
Location: Warragul,Vic.

Post by Oldcol »

That's a pretty good interpretation Drewfus , it was a good time to be involved in Hotrodding......lots of room to try different things without being laughed at by the "experts" of style and design.....nearly anything was prime rodding material....didn't matter how many doors or even what make of car.....most important of all,you could do stuff without selling your soul. My first rod on the road was a '39 Ford sedan with a Yblock, it cost under a grand finished and with rego.......one of the best aspects of that era was there was none of the snobbery that has seeped into hot rodding today.....sure some of the different body styles were more highly regarded than others, but you didn't see the guys with the rarer cars strutting around as though they'd just re-invented the wheel......generally speaking , there was more of a hands on,pioneer attitude back then....a lot of that has been lost since the advent of all the ready made kit stuff ......earlier on, if you wanted something....you just figured out how to do it and then made it yourself....didn't always work out , but that's how you learn things....trial and error. No forums for people who couldn't be bothered to do any ground work for themselves ( and no-one got the shits if they didn't get the answer they sought in the first 5 minutes :lol: )......I reckon it was the best times......I've got a story tucked away from one of my mates who wrote a piece for AHRR about the first trip out in his Rod after a build , and what it meant to him .....I'll find it over the weekend and post it up here....see what you think......
-------------
Col....

"Works" comes before "looks good", cos "looks good" changes, and "works" works!
Gerry
Member
Posts: 885
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:50 pm
Location: Melbourne

Post by Gerry »

Oldcol wrote:That's a pretty good interpretation Drewfus , it was a good time to be involved in Hotrodding......lots of room to try different things without being laughed at by the "experts" of style and design.....nearly anything was prime rodding material....didn't matter how many doors or even what make of car.....most important of all,you could do stuff without selling your soul. My first rod on the road was a '39 Ford sedan with a Yblock, it cost under a grand finished and with rego.......one of the best aspects of that era was there was none of the snobbery that has seeped into hot rodding today.....sure some of the different body styles were more highly regarded than others, but you didn't see the guys with the rarer cars strutting around as though they'd just re-invented the wheel......generally speaking , there was more of a hands on,pioneer attitude back then....a lot of that has been lost since the advent of all the ready made kit stuff ......earlier on, if you wanted something....you just figured out how to do it and then made it yourself....didn't always work out , but that's how you learn things....trial and error. No forums for people who couldn't be bothered to do any ground work for themselves ( and no-one got the shits if they didn't get the answer they sought in the first 5 minutes :lol: )......I reckon it was the best times......I've got a story tucked away from one of my mates who wrote a piece for AHRR about the first trip out in his Rod after a build , and what it meant to him .....I'll find it over the weekend and post it up here....see what you think......
You've hit the nail right on the head Col :)

Best times.
User avatar
7cylinderHEMI
Member
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:02 pm
Location: geelong victoria australia

Post by 7cylinderHEMI »

yes Col ,i remember you and Kris and Alan McDonald calling in at our place probably' 76. the 32 Graffiti coupe was getting a new diff ,dad wasnt real fond of that car as it wasnt a 38-40 ,he made a set of rear radius rod track bars out of 2x2 rhs welded solid to diff ,you were SO polite in pointing out how they would not work and exactly where they would fail ,yes, you were right as usual,but we were all learning ,and sure i sure enjoyed that car ,met a lot of people i still know today,Macca would call in after work when he was down here and he always let me drive his 3 window or the pick up ,we would go and see local rodders and there cars getting built at home,,,,Rod
Last edited by 7cylinderHEMI on Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andyd
Member
Posts: 990
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:01 pm
Location: Grafton

Post by Andyd »

I can remember one saturday morning when I must have been about 12-13, playing cricket for the local team at Rockdale Park, as usual, fielding left right somewhere when I must of glanced out onto West Botany St, only to see the most beautiful,low turquoise blue hotrod going past...........soon after, Custom Rodder, spring 1967 came out with Lyn Arrowsmiths jaw dropping car on the cover.........I must of been at an impressionable age...........lol......I have had a 318 Poly with finned Edelbrock rocker covers in my 40 Dodge since 1973.......and soon the twin four intake.........now while Lyn's car looks good in black.........if I ever win Lotto I'll pay him to repaint it Turquoise blue again........andyd
Gerry
Member
Posts: 885
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:50 pm
Location: Melbourne

Post by Gerry »

Andyd wrote:I can remember one saturday morning when I must have been about 12-13, playing cricket for the local team at Rockdale Park, as usual, fielding left right somewhere when I must of glanced out onto West Botany St, only to see the most beautiful,low turquoise blue hotrod going past...........soon after, Custom Rodder, spring 1967 came out with Lyn Arrowsmiths jaw dropping car on the cover.........I must of been at an impressionable age...........lol......I have had a 318 Poly with finned Edelbrock rocker covers in my 40 Dodge since 1973.......and soon the twin four intake.........now while Lyn's car looks good in black.........if I ever win Lotto I'll pay him to repaint it Turquoise blue again........andyd

Put your bib on Andy and hang on to that jaw and behold........................

Image

Don't worry about paying him to repaint it Turquoise...he's going to do it....and soon.
Oldcol
Old Hand
Posts: 9194
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:31 pm
Location: Warragul,Vic.

Post by Oldcol »

....always polite Rodney..you know that..... :lol: :lol:

OK....did a Drewfus and sorted thru a pile of early AHRR's and found the article I mentioned earlier.....anyone wants to read the whole thing and look at a picture of Barling's head encased in the customary sombrero :roll: .....go to Australian Hot Rodding Review,Sept'73...page 49..... (remember,this was before plastic repo bodies ,over the counter ready made parts,kits ,etc,etc,).....and I'm going to type it out 'coz it won't scan for shit......

...so...

Aussie street rodding came of age at the first national rod run, but what does the future hold now that the excitement has died down?
When we try to report on the atmosphere that was Narrandera, we inevitably end up with a plastic summary. In fact, Narrandera was a plastic event.
Don't get me wrong ,I thought it was great. As a social gathering and spectacle it was totally unreal - it had comradeship, high spirits,the works.
But the RUN itself was the real Narrandera.
That's what the real street scene is all about , out there on the open roads leading to "Mecca".
A street rodders heart and soul are in his iron, and those long, often lonely miles out on the highway are what this game is all about.
This is the union of the man and his machine. Cruising around town is kid stuff in comparison to the long haul.
Out in the back of nowhere a guy and his car become one - the mind conjures up images of fantasy, climbs to great heights of achievement and plunges to depths of despair.
The rodder becomes a loner, encased in a rhythmic shroud of living steel.
Great ideas and designs are born as the machine roars into the dead of night on the endless highway, twin lasers piercing the murkiness as the mill and tyres wail a monotonous, numbing tune. Total involvement,a beautiful experience.

Just picture the guy with the barely finished or revamped iron with zero miles on the clock ( there were quite a few at the Nats).

Imagine his feelings as he sets out- the worry, the nervousness and in some cases the nausea.
Those first few miles out on the lonely road are critical.
Then comes the gradual easing of tension,finally progressing to uninhibited excitement as reality dawns - this hunk of blood sweat and tears is going to make it - it's really got what it takes.
So you gun it a little , tickle the secondaries open and check out the high speed stability....then, suddenly,without warning....a peace shattering noise from the engine.
Excitement turns to terror , logical thought is gone and panic reigns. Shut off, pull over to the shoulder, pop the hood, strike a match and peer in. The you break into hysterical laughter with sheer relief.

The pulley bolts have backed out and the belt tension has forced the pulley against the water pump housing. After swearing at yourself numerous times you promise to remember the Loctite next time.

This is the birth of a street rod - sometimes exhilarating , sometimes tragic - but always eventful. This is what it's all about - the RUN made Narrandera.
Each guy who drove his early iron could relate a similar tale....
Bill Barling 1973.
-------------
Col....

"Works" comes before "looks good", cos "looks good" changes, and "works" works!
User avatar
HOT ROD FRED
Old Hand
Posts: 2520
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Ringwood,Vic

Post by HOT ROD FRED »

Y'now Col,l remember reading that article.Very eloquent for the time.Went back into the collection to look at it again;turns out it was one of the half dozen l lent to a mate that were stolen :evil: Managed to replace a couple,but not that one.

Very true sentiments though.
User avatar
7cylinderHEMI
Member
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:02 pm
Location: geelong victoria australia

Post by 7cylinderHEMI »

we were coming back from a run/swap meet in Bendigo run in late 73 in dads 38 coupe he had just got on the road ,the oldCol/Bill Barling36 coupe blasted past us it must have had its mouse motor transplant ,the guy in the passenger seat had his jacketed elbow out the window ,that image has stuck with me forever it looked so good,its exactly what hotrodding was all about ,and i was stuck with my dad and mum in the slow old coupe ,i was only 15 and i suppose it wasnt that bad ,but i imagined myself being in that 36 coupe being the cool one ,,
Andyd
Member
Posts: 990
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:01 pm
Location: Grafton

Post by Andyd »

Narrandera was a buzz......lol...........It took me & my brother 2 goes to get there in the 40 Dodge, the fuel pump conked out before Liverpool outside of Sydney, went home, repaired it & setoff again. At 19 & 17 Yrs of age we were both young & silly but had a great time getting there and feeling that we were actually part of what we'd been reading about in not only the local hot rod mags but also the US mags that really inspired us. BTW, seeing MY name in that Hot Rod Heritage book listing of Nats entrants makes me feel very humbled to be included alongside the names of dozens of those whom I feel are the real Hot Rod Heros...........andyd
User avatar
hewey
Old Hand
Posts: 4927
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:11 am
Location: Penrith, Sydney

Post by hewey »

Great yarn Col :D

The other thing Ive noticed is how the chanelled/sectioned Aussie rods and customs reflected the sports cars of the period - slinky sleek bodies and a kinda top heavy roof. I dont know if this was intentional or not?
Image
Image
Image
Pariahs C.C.
User avatar
7cylinderHEMI
Member
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:02 pm
Location: geelong victoria australia

Post by 7cylinderHEMI »

Top Heavy ? I love Top Heavy,, ,better than looking like a sqaushed pastie,,
Post Reply