Before rock-bottom priced parts were sourced from the Interwebs, every town and city had their own local speed shop. It's where you'd go if you were looking for parts or advice about performance modifications - it's also where local gearheads would head to shoot the shit with each other. While the local speed shop is long gone for the most part, the desire for a place of camaraderie and joining together with friends to create awesome cars remains. Which is exactly why a few brothers, friends, plus a son joined efforts to build a workshop of their own - dubbing it "Deluxe Speed Shop" as a nod to the historical places where the traditional-styled hopped up rods they aimed to build came from.
I met these boys a few years back when I was out shooting in El Mirage. Back then, I just fell in love with the style of their cars - they were just so damn straight-outta-1940 and looked so fine out on the lakebed. We got to talking and ended up peeling off their cars for a few shots. Later, in Pomona and having a few beers joking the jaws I found out they were based in Denver, Colorado - near where I used to live. It's funny to think cars like this were so nearby me at the time and had slipped out of my line of sight.
As time goes on, I run into these guys everywhere I go across the country. This crew clearly loves spending time together, as they drive out to events everywhere from Los Angeles to the Jersey Shore. These folk are truly some of the nicest guys I’ have met on my journeys... but let's get to their car builds already!
These are true hotrods in every since of the word - real Henry Ford steel with period-correct engines and drivetrain, getting as much horsepower as they possibly can out of them. Starting with Scott's chopped '32 3-window coupe in Ford's favorite color of choice... black!
The '32 roadster is also owned by Scott, found in a yard in Colorado Springs. They restored it without damaging it's historical heritage as a Bonneville land speed racer from back in the salt's heydey of racing. Times when every hot rodder in the Western United States and beyond would show up with their hopped up engines hoping to gain bragging rights. Many of our modern day performance companies were born from the men who modified and raced their cars back then.
Scott's son, Bryan may be the youngest of this bunch, but chose the oldest car - a 1928 Model A coupe. Of course, it's original 4-cylinder engine has been upgraded to a later-year Flathead V8, which first appeared in the '32 model year and is a favorite among nostalgic hot rodders.
Mark's roadster is one of my favorites, it keeps changing and getting better each time I see it. Starting off very bare bones with a 4 banger in it - much like how a kid in the '40s would have built his car, just strip off the fenders, throw some speed parts on the motor, and go! Since Mark's got his hands on this car, it's seen its fair share of miles, so upgrading the motor to one with an overhead valve conversion on the flatty and a rebuild was needed. Now with a ton of extra power, his cross-country road trips come a little easier. The top and a few other odds and ends were added for creature comforts - but retain the same theme they were headed toward all along.
Willy is a great friend of these guys, who found himself lucky enough to score a true barn find 1932 Ford. The holy grail for hot rodders, an untouched '32 is what we all dream of finding - original paint, fenders, complete with a few old dents. This little honey wagon is one of the most perfect hot rods out there, with way too much originality and pedigree to touch it at all.
Together, these guys are just a good group of friends with a common bond - cars. Whether it's working on projects in their shop or tootling around the country to various events, these guys are always having fun. Currently taking center stage at the shop is their dad's 1932 Auburn. It sure is turning out nice, don't you think?