We’re excited to introduce Rodder’s Journal #78, which is printed with pride in the United States. Although we have changed where we’re printing, we have worked hard to maintain—and exceed—the quality you have come to expect from us. On the newsstand cover of this milestone issue, we showcase a bright red roadster that may be familiar to many: Gray Baskerville’s full-fendered ’32 Ford. For the subscribers, we photographed Jon Wright’s timeless ’36 Ford as the sun was setting over the Nevada desert.
Working your way through the magazine’s 160-plus pages, you’ll find everything from the Rolling Bones’ newest chopped ’34 Ford and an early custom scrapbook to the definitive story of Popular Hot Rodding’s “Project X” ’57 Chevy. We also have an artist profile on Jeff Norwell, a supercharged drag roadster in baremetal and much more.
With traditional hot rods and custom cars from cover to cover, TRJ #78 is an issue you won’t want to miss!
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The late Gray Baskerville championed traditional hot rodding throughout his 30-plus year career as a stellar writer and photographer at Rod & Custom and Hot Rod Magazine, and he logged hundreds of thousands of miles behind the wheel of his Deuce roadster. We dig into the car’s backstory, which includes everything from drag strip passes to cross-country road trips. The car is well used, well loved and is now owned by Jim Shelton of Las Vegas, Nevada. He drives it often.
Jon Wright of Grafton, Ohio, first laid eyes on this ’36 Ford cruising through his hometown of Irwin, Pennsylvania, in the late-’50s. In the years that followed, it was customized, wrecked, revived, taken apart and almost restored back to stock. Jon purchased the car as a basketcase in the ’90s and rebuilt it into this modern classic custom with the help of his friends—including famed customizer Squeeg Jerger.
Canadian illustrator Jeff Norwell’s work is all about motion, and we take an in-depth look at his portfolio in the new issue. Throughout his professional career, he has drawn everything from post-war poster art to Roth Studios-style street freaks. In this article, we showcase some of our favorite illustrations and talk to Jeff about his background, influences and garage filled with old Fords and blown Hemis.
Darren Moeller was eight years old when his dad brought the Shreve Automotive “333” Model A home to Taylor, Texas. Although it didn’t stay in the family for long, it sparked Darren’s lifelong automotive obsession. More than 30 years later, he tracked down the original chassis and restored the roadster to its early-’60s form, complete with a supercharged Oldsmobile between the rails. “A Roadster to Remember” shares the tale of this father-son project and includes a wealth of historic images and a baremetal photo shoot by John Jackson.
You would be hard pressed to find a more influential project car than “Project X.” Initially instated as Popular Hot Rodding’s rolling research laboratory, the famed ’57 Chevy grew from a salmon pink stocker to a supercharged movie star. In “Project X,” we catch up with past caretakers Lenny Emanuelson and George Elliott to discuss the ’57’s best years. It’s a story filled with trial, error, testing, tuning, stolen cars, movie stars, wheelstands, and hundreds—if not thousands—of drag strip passes.
In TRJ #77, we highlighted some of the cars in Jim Walker’s expansive early custom collection. We’re back with Part II, “An Early Custom Scrapbook,” which focuses on the state of the customizing scene during the ’40s and early-’50s. The article is loaded with previously unpublished snapshots of customs in Jim’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio, as well as images taken by his friends on their annual pilgrimages to Southern California. With chopped and smoothed ’35-’41 Fords, Mercs, pictures of the Carson Top Shop and more, it’s one of the most comprehensive collections of early customs we’ve ever encountered.
Over the past two decades, the New York-based Rolling Bones have forged a reputation for building no-nonsense early Fords with plenty of attitude. Their latest, a ’34 Ford three-window that they’re putting together for English hot rodder Jon Suckling, is no exception. “Chopped” tells the story of this heavily hammered competition coupe and delves into the Rolling Bones’ colorful history.