Hot rodding historian and author Pat Ganahl takes us on a guided tour of the golden years of hot rodding (and customizing) via vintage images dating back to the 1930s, many never seen before. This is a unique look at the HISTORY: HOT RODDING 101, documenting how and where the hobby started.

HISTORY: HOT RODDING 1011967: L.A. Roadsters/Bay Area Roadsters annual meet. Fred Enke photo.

Silly me. This didn’t turn out the way I expected, or wanted. Pretty soon I was calling it a Herculean task. Now I realize it’s a Sisyphean task.

My plan, given that I am held captive here at home, same as you, was to take the time to rummage through my photo files, looking for interesting, unusual, or just plain cool images that haven’t been seen before. Well….  I’ve spent more than five full days, starting with one shoebox of envelopes containing early color transparencies and some B&W negs, going back to the days before Petersen bought Rod & Custom.

There were hundreds of photos just in that box. All good ones. Then I selected one binder (from a shelf of 25) marked “Early Color, Rods” which contained several hundred more images in clear sleeves. Again, all good, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. I only got about halfway through that. So early yesterday I went out to the garage where I have two five-drawer file cabinets filled with hanging files containing mostly B&W prints and proof sheets with negatives on the back. I started with a file labeled “Bill Burke Negs.”

These are what essentially started my collection, back in the mid-1970s. He gave me a whole box full of loose photos and negatives, stating, “You have more interest in history than I do.” These go back to the early 1930s (remember the SCTA was founded in late-1937, and he was one of the founders). Then I tried files tagged Early Lakes and Early Rods.

To continue reading the HISTORY: HOT RODDING 101, please visit Pat Ganahl’s ROD and CUSTOM blog https://patganahl.com/2020/04/13/pickins/