Author Archives: Dick Steinkamp

How cool is this!…

My house was built in 1929. The same family (mother, father, son) lived in it from the late 30’s until 2001.

Just by accident, I met the son a few years ago. Great guy. He gave me tons of pictures of the house over the years and even the original paperwork when his parents purchased it ($20 a month for 10 years).

These pictures were in those he gave me. It’s him and his “new” custom he had just purchased in California. It was 1958…

I was out cruising the Ute today and couldn’t resist taking a few in a similar spot…

Both are 53’s, both were customized in ’58, and both have “lived” at the same house…only 50 years apart!

It runs and drives!


The Ute went to the GNRS not running. I just flat ran out of time prior to the show.

A couple of weeks ago, I started into wiring it, getting it running, and working out some bugs. The biggest issue was that dummy me had put the clutch disc in backwards . A real rookie mistake.

It is now running good enough and driving good enough that Brian Curtis and I took it out for a photo shoot in several different locations.

Here’s a short video…

Here’s a few of what I took. Brian is the REAL photographer and his will be much better than these. Also, my batteries died before we got to the harbor, and the venues there looked real good to my untrained eye. I’m anxious to see Brian’s pictures.

GNRS

I’ve been away from a computer for 6 days. The good news is, the “shakes” stopped after about the third day.

It was a FANTASTIC 5 days for a car guy. My only regret is that I didn’t get to meet everyone from the SDC Forum that attended the show and didn’t get to spend enough time with those I was fortunate enough to bump into.

I’d have to say that the Ute was well received. It was quite an honor to be staged alongside such milestone cars as Ala Kart, the Sam Barris Mercury, the Glass Slipper, Blackie’s 1955 AMBR winning roadster, Roth’s Outlaw, Tommy Ivo’s nailhead powered roadster, and a host of other cars I only dreamed of SEEING in person…let alone PARKED NEXT TO. The Ute drew as big or bigger crowds than any of the above.

I got to the FairPlex Wednesday afternoon, dropped the trailer and picked up Brian Curtis (TW Custom and Modified Editor) at the airport. Brian and I unloaded the car and found our assigned slot. I don’t think I was much help. I mainly just stood there with my mouth open checking out the top hot rods and customs from the 50’s that surrounded the Ute…

Thursday morning, I picked Jon up at the airport and got him and Brian busy detailing the car while I did “important” stuff…

By noon, we were done…

…and spent the rest of the day looking at the 600 or so BEAUTIFUL cars there. Oddly enough there was only one other Studebaker…a modified Avanti. There were a few more that showed up for the outdoor show on Saturday and Sunday, however.

There were a couple of very nice Studebaker powered cars, however. This one won the Jalopy Journal award as voted on by the members of the H.A.M.B. forum. It was one of my favorites too…

Here’s a few more…

I toured the NHRA museum on Saturday. What a great collection of hot rod history¬†. Here’s the Gale Banks Stude…

The Cad powered, dark blue Model A coupe that was featured in Rod and Custom several months back was there. The Cad motor in this car was the inspiration for how we ended up doing the motor in the Ute…

This one has nothing to do with Studebakers, but I took it for Keoni. I know he wanted to be there…

One of the high points was getting to spend some time with Lee Talbot…the original builder of the car in 1958. Lee is just fun to be around. He’s got more energy, more car stories, more smiles, than I’ll EVER have. He was there with car buddes and his son, daughter, and the grandson that has Lee’s hot rod ’29 Ford that Lee built in the 40’s. On Sunday, Hot Rod Deluxe wanted to interview Lee and take some pictures of him with the car. Just about the time we were finishing that process, Hot Rod Television showed up and did a short feature on the car and the story…

That’s Lee and me on the right and Jerry Pitt, editor of Hot Rod Deluxe doing the talking.

Here’s another shot…

Sunday night is generally a gong show as 600 cars try to get into their trailers at the same time. Jerry Pitt arranged for a special staging area for our trailer behind the NHRA museum which made the process easier for us. Monday AM, I met Jerry and the photographer at his hotel and followed them to Bobby Walden’s Speed Shop where the pictures would be taken. BTW, the photographer was Wes Allison who is one of today’s most famous automobile photographers. There probably is not an issue of any major car magazine that doesn’t have some of Wes’ pictures in it. Wes also works for the major car companies. He is on his way to Detroit today to do a shoot of a concept car for GM. Great guy. Here’s few pictures from the shoot…

Wes explained to me that the background is interesting, but “busy”. For the magazine, he will change the background to black and white so the car stands out in color. Here’s a shot I took right after he took the same one.

Coincidentally, Robert Iannello from¬†www.benchrace.com was at Bobby’s shop when we pulled in. He had been trying to find me at the GNRS to get permission to also shoot the car. Generally, car magazines want an exclusive. For example, Rod and Custom also wanted to shoot the Ute (thanks to Kevin from the SDC forum, but I had to turn them down since HRD has been so good to me from the start. Rod and Custom and HRD BOTH ran Orbitron this month and they were not very happy about it. Anyway, Jerry didn’t feel that benchrace was direct competition and felt it was OK.

After the 3 hour shoot at Bobby’s place, Robert and I took the car into the industrial part of Pomona and took some more pictures. They will look something like this on benchrace…

I got out of Pomona about 3 PM…over the snow covered grapevine just out of LA, hooked up with Mr. Biggs for a few minutes (too few), and back to San Jose about midnight.

A great car experience for sure! Thanks to all on the SDC Forum that helped make it so. I took over 300 pictures, so I’m sure to bore the group with more when I get home and have some time.