One of my car buddies here in Woodinville (let’s call him Greg) is a very meticulous guy whom I admire because I am unfortunately less meticulous. His garage is very tidy while mine is not. He takes care of all the minor details on his cars that mine always seem to be lacking. He learns everything he can about a car he would like and searches the states till he finds just the right one, but if I just accidentally find something I like in decent condition I just buy it. Well, Greg decided he would like an original Hot Rod from the 50’s back when Hot Rodding began. Most of the Hot Rods we see today are fairly recent in their construction (if not totally new) so an original Hot Rod in good condition is very tough to find.
Greg heard about a 1933 Ford Tudor Model 40 (or B) in California. Ford made over 300,000 1933 cars and they were very popular due to the recently introduced flathead V-8. This car was acquired in the 50’s by Art Himsel in Concord, California when he was in high school. Art began his auto restoration, customizing, painting and pinstriping career with this car and went on to become famous in custom car circles and is even in the Hot Rod Hall of Fame! Greg just had to fly down and visit Art at his home.
Art had eventually sold his “33” to a friend and it sat for years in a Central Valley garage until Joe Rodgers, a Bay Area car dealer, heard of it and traded a brand new Dodge truck for it, even though by then it was in pieces. All the pieces were there and in great condition, so the car was sent to Brizio Street Rods, a very famous builder of award-winning Hot Rods, for a full, no-expenses-spared renovation.
The car was completed in 2002 and Art Himsel himself even finished it off by adding the pinstripes. The car now sports a small block Chevy 350 with a 30-30 Duntov cam, camel hump heads and progressive tri-power carbs. The transmission is a Muncie 4-speed and as Greg says, “Real Hot Rods have three pedals.”
For those of you who wonder what that means, many of today’s modern Hot Rods have automatic transmissions, partly because the cabs are so small a clutch won’t fit in them and in fact neither will I.
After a few years sitting in Joe Rodgers’ collection, the 33 was sold to a close friend of Art Himsel and Greg got himself invited over to check it out. They were in no hurry to sell but they realized that Greg was someone who would care for, respect and drive the car so they were comfortable with him becoming the next caretaker of this historic Hot Rod.
This car is a rolling testament to the creativity and craftsmanship in the Hot Rodding community, so watch for Greg’s blue 33 cruising through town and if you can catch him he loves to talk about his “33.”