Hot Rod Heaven at Walden Speed Shop Open House
Southern California is the birthplace of hot rodding and its heritage is celebrated with the long running Los Angeles Roadster Show that began in 1960. With many coming from out of town and even out of the country for the Los Angeles Roadster show on Father's Day weekend each June, the show goers are looking for the complete automotive experience to continue after the gates are closed at the roadster show. One of the events held for well over a decade is the So Cal Speed Shop Party on Friday, the first day of the show. Looking to keep the wheels rolling late into the evening, a few friends headed over to recently opened Walden Speed Shop after the show and nearby So Cal Speed Shop's Party nine years ago to hangout and continue checking out hot rods, kustoms and given the hot California summer weather, some ice cream. Since then, the Walden Speed Shop Open House has grown year over year to become a must attend event on its own.
Call it coincidence or call it fate that Walden Speed Shop sits just down the road from So Cal Speed Shop and hosts another after-party. Owner Bobby Walden gained his interest in hot rods after seeing 'The California Kid', the famed hot rod built by So Cal Speed Shop owner Pete Chapouris back in 1973, featured in the TV movie of the same name. Bobby was only 12 years old at the time he saw the movie but knew that he wanted to pursue building hot rods with his own two hands. His first was, like The California Kid, a 1934 Ford. Bobby fine tuned his metal working skills on the car and was offered a job building the famed Sniper body for Rad Rides by Troy and George Poteet among others. Soon, with a hefty resume of custom cars and metalwork under his belt, Bobby's life came full circle when he moved from his native Texas to Southern California to work at So Cal Speed Shop. During his time at So Cal, Bobby worked on several well known hot rods and worked closely with General Motors on the shops landspeed program. A few years later, in 2005, Bobby would venture on opening up his own Walden Speed Shop in Pomona, California. Aside from building hot rods and kustoms, Walden Speed Shop also offers an extensive line of chassis and suspension parts as well as metal panels and parts for classic rods (check out this story on blowers we worked with Bobby on!) Inside Walden Speed Shop, the crew had some of their latest projects and parts on display as well as a few guest cars including the Grasshopper tribute car from Galpin Auto Sports, based on the 1915 Ford Model T featured on the cover of a 1959 Hot Rod magazine issue. Lining the lot and a few city blocks were a wide variety of traditional hot rods, kustoms, classics and even a few lowriders. The spectrum ranged from original cars, to vintage lakesters, full custom builds and pretty much anything classic. All came out to enjoy the classic cars, some ice cream and continue the fun from the LA Roadster Show weekend.