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Discussion Starter #1
Saw an article in Autoweek about the passing of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.

Now those of you who're under 45 are probably wondering "Who????". Ed Roth was an icon of our hobby. Back in the late 50s and 60s, Roth was doing car-related graphics for the SoCal Hot Rod set. His best known creation was a creature named "Rat Fink" - a slimy-looking rodent with flies buzzing around its head. His graphics were everywhere - T-shirts, window stickers, painted on dragsters... Every car magazine featured ads with Ed's stuff including (politcally incorrect for today) T-shirts declaring Coors beer to be the 'Breakfast of Champions", and references to Viet Cong as "Gooks".

Anyway, news of his passing made me dig up some of my collection of 60s car magazines looking for ads for Roth's stuff. Not only did I find plenty of those, I found a virtual anthropoligical mother lode of background on where the car hobby came from... Two words, "Southern California" kinda summed up the basis for our hobby.

Just looking at articles about drag strips and road courses in SoCal back in the sixties that are all now long gone brought back a flood of memories about just how important Southern California was to the developmentof the car hobby and the cars we all love today.

A number of us here are old enough to remember those days, but many are not. I would suggest that the next time you're at a swap meet or yard sale and you see a stack of 35-year old magazines - buy a handful of them. See Ed Roth's ads and others like the $80 set of Magnum 500s or the complete early Mustang dual exhaust systems for $50 or Carrol Shelby crowing about his European race victories or hawking his dollar-fifty Cobra T-shirts.

Very cool stuff....

Glenn Morgan: 66 GT V-Burgundy Fastback 351w+toploader+9 in. TracLoc. Started out as a rusted-out Chicago-area crusher. After sacrificing a solid 66 coupe for its sheetmetal sub-assemblies, I have one solid (and expensive) work in progress!
 

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Thanks for the quick memory tour. I am unfortunatly old enough to have bought those mags when new, I remember RAT FINK and all the rest.

68 GT500
68 1/2 CJ Coupe

MCA# 18519
 

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Glenn - Thanks for that explaination. As you know, my age group might not know a lot of stuff about when the mustang first arrived on the scene.
I do remember the Rat Finks, thought....But I was collecting the little figures that snapped onto rings etc - as toys. Think that I was around 6 or 7 at the time....*G*
Hope your car is coming along nicely - Dickson

1965 GT fastback / "Fastbasketcase" (by Midlife)
There's a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bob: I was at a car show in Western Colorado the summer before last and Big Daddy was there, doing custom art and signing autographs. Seems he'd become a Mormon and retired to Utah a number of years back. He'd sorta abandoned his art and cars and was just getting back into it.

Almost no one there knew who he was and his booth was largely ignored...kinda sad.
RIP Big Daddy!

Glenn Morgan: 66 GT V-Burgundy Fastback 351w+toploader+9 in. TracLoc. Started out as a rusted-out Chicago-area crusher. After sacrificing a solid 66 coupe for its sheetmetal sub-assemblies, I have one solid (and expensive) work in progress!
 

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Glenn,

Ah, the stirring of memories!! Spending my teenage years from 1967 to 1970 in Orange County (suburb area south of Los Angeles), I got to see first hand the proliferation of musclecars and drag strips here in SoCal. Names like Lions, Fontana, OCIR (Orange County Intl Raceway), Pomona, Irwindale, and a slew of others still ring in my ears along with the car sounds of 426 Hemis, 454 Rats (chevys), 455 Ponchos and of course, Ford 428s, 427s and Boss 429s. Seems like you were nothing unless you had at LEAST 400 cubes and a 4-speed under your feet.....

Today, the streets are filled (here in SoCal) with primarily Hondas/Acuras/Toyotas/Nissans and tons of sport utility vehicles. Most of the newer Mustangs (and F-body Camaro/Fiebirds) that you see are the more anemic 6 cylinder variants that are barely audible. Rare is the time now that a gurgly, solid lifter V8 pulls up to the stoplight for a "go" at some stoplight-to-stoplight contests. I get amused at the front wheel drive burnouts and the tiny chirps the foreign car tires produce. Long gone are the days when a car left a stoplight in a cloud of tire smoke, the result of being unable to hook up due to the immense horsepower and torque being produced....

It is sad that Big Daddy has gone on, but I am sure he is up there driving one of his many, many creations such as the Mysterion and others. Most of the older speed shops here in SoCal have either gone out of business or sold out to foreign owned large coroporations (like Mooneyes who was bought out by a large Japanese company). Now, the streets are cluttered with window tint shops, body and spoiler kit installers, and wheel/tire emporiums to see who can equip you with the LARGEST diameter wheel and sticky rubber. My son belongs to a large Honda/Acura club here in Riverside and they seem just as excited about their cars as we were back in the 1960s/1970s. I am sure one day in the future, my son along with his "old" friends will be reminiscing about things I currently regard as a joke......

randy

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You made me think of my box full of old assembled and some unassembled model kits of cars and some of the Roth creations. Like the guy hangin' ten with the bug-eyes, tongue hanging out, and a crab dangling from his toe; Or remember Hot Curl? Wasn't that one of his creations. BTW I still have Alan Sherman's 45 of Rat Fink, what a Classic! I think the flip side was either Letter from Camp or The Little Nash Rambler (beep beep)!

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I, too, remember RatFink. Sigh...

BTW, this is the second time I've seen Ponchos referred to, but I can't figure out what it means...can someone help out someone with a Senior Moment?

http://clubs.hemmings.com/baymustang/platesmall.jpgLet me check your shorts! My multimeter is just a-waiting! Formerly known as Midlife in the old VMF.
King of the Old Farts *struts*
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Poncho was 60s slang for Pontiac....

Glenn Morgan: 66 GT V-Burgundy Fastback 351w+toploader+9 in. TracLoc. Started out as a rusted-out Chicago-area crusher. After sacrificing a solid 66 coupe for its sheetmetal sub-assemblies, I have one solid (and expensive) work in progress!
 

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Although I'm under 30 I've been a big fan of Ed Roth for years. I've always thought he was pretty cool, and I'm sorry to see him go. I guess I'm one of the few younger people who thinks "Kustoms" are really cool.

http://216.71.48.244/archive/mikecar.jpg



65 Fastback 289 4spd in storage :-(
91 CRX Si... A.K.A. my go-kart with AC!
 

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Last season, at the Hot Cars on the Beach show in Santa Cruz my wife and I won a raffle prize each. One was a Rat Fink toy in the box, rat on a hot rod skate board that has a V8 on the back. Its autographed by Ed Roth. When they announced that, I turned to my 40 yr old friend and asked who's he? Man, I was so embarassed. And the guy who donated the raffle prize was sitting right next to us. He was a friend of my friend. Lately I have seen some of his creations. I'm sad to hear he passed away.
 
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