Weâ€™re excited to announce Inside Hot Rodding: The Tex Smith Autobiography is now available from The Rodderâ€™s Journal. The brand new 255 page hardbound book offers a glimpse into the rapidly developing hobby from LeRoi â€œTexâ€ Smithâ€™s point of view. Tex, a diehard hot rodder, spent more than half a century building, driving and writing about all types of vintage tin. He was a member of the Hot Rod Magazine editorial staff during the â€™60s, worked for the NHRA, won the AMBR with his experimental â€œXR-6â€ in 1963, and helped found Street Rodder, Rod Action as well as the Street Rod Nationals in the early â€™70s. His style was unforgettableâ€”far from politically correct but always honest.
Tex lowers the C-T Automotive-built 410-cid Olds into his 1934 Ford touring in this 1960 shot. The car was later painted blue and featured in Rod & Custom.
This book offers invaluable insight into hot rodding from the perspective of one of its best storytellers. Tex passed away earlier this summer, but Inside Hot Rodding commemorates his colorful life and spirited dedication to our hobby. Each chapter is filled with stories told in a way only Tex could, bringing you along for hot rodding adventures spanning from the Hot Rod Magazine headquarters to tin hunting out West. Tex lived the hot rodder's lifeâ€”and now, for the first time, his full story is being told in his own words.
Inside Hot Rodding is informative throughout, funny at times and serious in others. Within the pages, the eight-decade story of a Great Plains kid unfolds. Although he was born in Oklahoma, Tex got his first taste of hot rodding and customizing when he moved to California in 1941. Under the guidance of his stepfather he learned the ins and outs of body and paintwork, lending a hand whenever possible. After making the trek to Idaho in 1949, Tex sharpened his automotive skills by working on a string of early Fords. Always the adventurer, Tex served in the U.S. Air Force and traveled around the country for flight training. During these stints he bought and built a slew of interesting machines ranging from a Deuce roadster to a hot rodded Austin-Healey. His hands-on approach and interest in all things mechanical continued for the remainder of his life, and he eventually brought his love for hot rodding down to Australia where he lived for close to two decades. Flipping through the pages, youâ€™ll spot dozens of familiar cars ranging from Tommy Ivoâ€™s four-engined â€œShowboatâ€ to Tom McMullenâ€™s iconic Deuce roadster. There are images and stories from the drags and Bonneville, as well as coverage from early NSRA events. In addition, Tex gives a behind-the-scenes look at the fast-moving â€™60s publishing industry. Inside Hot Rodding: The Tex Smith Autobiography is available by clicking here or by calling us at (800) 750-9550 in the U.S. or (650) 246-8920 internationally. Also, if you havenâ€™t taken a look at the new TRJ #67, make sure to check it out here. â€˜Nuff Said, Your Friends at The Rodderâ€™s Journal
After moving to Idaho, Tex scored his first hot rodâ€”a '33 Ford. The car was later chopped and received a McCulloch supercharger from a neighboring farmer.
Tex, a seasoned Air Force fighter pilot, incorporated aircraft influences in his Steve Swaja-designed XR-6. The futuristic slant-six powered T took home the AMBR award in 1963.