Rodger Beaton sent these great photos of hot rods that use to burn rubber in the Dearborn area around the late 50’s and early 60’s. Rodger writes…

“Here is my bad boy 1931 Ford Roadster on 32 rails. Gary Ankenbrandt had built the car. In the early 60's I prowled Telegraph road looking for races and hung out at Geiger’s, Daly’s, Telway and Richard’s on Grand River. I had my best races on the e-way, Ecorse road, and e-way on ramp in Taylor. It had a 283 punched to 301 with solids, dual quads, and a close ratio 4-speed with 4:56 rear end.

I finally got bored on the street, plus I was sick of posting watchers for cops. I started racing at the dragstrip and had to put a rollbar, pushbar, and 8 straight pipes on the car. Only got in the low 12's. But I did beat some guy with a 392 Chrysler roadster that held the class forever. He had 1/2 the strip on me and when I screamed by him at the 1/4 the crowd got to their feet. They liked the little orange roadster.

The ’34 Chevy was the best car I ever had! It was my daily driver, used it for dates and even drove it in the winter with no heat…yeeek. The car was called Hell's Angel when I bought it for $600 from a guy that ended up in the slammer. I renamed it Angel. It was a little terror on Woodward in 1959. Not much could touch the screamer. Had a hopped up 265 Corvette in it with solids and 3 deuces. Eventually I went with a 4-speed and dual quads. I traded it to my cousin, Gary Ankenbrandt (the corvette shop) for his ‘31 roadster. Mistake of my life. The body was done extremely well, doors and trunk that went thunk.

This is my 1934 Plymouth, it had a 361 Chrysler Saratoga engine in it with a Carter 4bbl and a 3-speed trans. I had to replace the 3-speed every 2 weeks as I would rip it apart. It was painted dark grey primer not for the look, but I was a broke kid of 17. I raced it at Detroit Dragway once and did poorly. I usually raced up and down Schoolcraft and Telegraph in those days”.

Rodger Beaton

See Rodger Beaton's Little Orange Roadster
8mm clip from early 1960's


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