Greenfield's Hot Rod History

Yesterday and Today!

 

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Once or twice a week I have coffee with a bunch of gear heads that hang out at McDonald's in Greenfield. I never had a desire to build or own a street rod but I've always enjoyed looking at them. Last week I decided to create a permanent page for all you car guys to show off your work. First to email me their photos was long time area rodder, Eddie Montgomery. If you want your project/s included email me some pictures and the info at greenfieldohio@gmail.com.
   
These are some before/after photos of Eddie Montgomery's 1929 Ford 2-dr sedan (Rat Rod*). The b/w photos are of the car when Eddie first acquired it. Color photos are of what it looks like today. Specs are:
  • 331 small block Chevy engine
  • 350 turbo transmission
  • 9" Ford rear end
  • chopped 6"
  • air conditioned
     
     
 
*While there are several definitions of Rat Rod, here is one that hopefully doesn't insult anyone's handy work. ""Rat Rod" is a style of Hot Rod or Custom car that, in most cases, imitates (or exaggerates) the early hot rods of the 40s, 50s, and 60s."  
  

Here is a link to an earlier page focused on the original Axle Masters hot rod club of the 1950s era. Click the AM's plaque to visit the webpage.

 

Area Car Clubs and the 138 Drag Strip

from Eddie Montgomery

There were three other car clubs locally that existed back in the 50s and 60s, two being from Court House, which were the Night Runners and The Dragin' Angels to which I'm a member yet, and there is the Igniters from Chillicothe, that is still going strong.

If my memory serves me correctly, I think that Wilmington, had one called the Connecting Rods.

How many others than myself, has had the thrill of agony and defeat, at one time or another out on 138? I've had to be pulled back to town, on many a occasion.
 
Some of the good times were when the Guards would meet here in Greenfield, on Sundays, and some of them had cars they raced, and after their Guard meeting, they'd make the trek to 138 for some racing.

I can remember, one night, years ago, John Graff from Hillsboro, brought an old 59 black primered 4 door Ford over here and ripped a**. Tom Rambo, Gary Knisley, Larry Garrison, Mike Hall's "Head Hunter" 64 426 wedge and a host of others was all there. Now, those were the good days.

I can also remember Jim Green, John's brother, had a yellow 57 Chevy sedan, and it was another casualty (the car) when he was racing, I'm thinking Larry Cases corvette, and it came apart and the flywheel came up thru the dash.

What memories! Eddie Montgomery

Editor's Note: Every time I've seen the move American Graffiti, I am reminded of dragging on SR 138 east of town. The drag scene in the movie could have been shot along 138. I don't think I ever raced a car out there but I was there with others during many such events. Names I remember from my days were Buck Rooks, Fish Gill, Lowell Comer, Frank Stanley, Randy Angel, Jerry Crouse and a bunch of guys from other towns. I don't remember anyone having anything too "souped up", mostly just old flathead Fords and Chevy six bangers. Everyone had a set of pipes though, and you could hear them going home late into the night if you were trying to get to sleep and the window was open.

On occasion, if the right officer was on duty, you might get invited to meet one of the patrol cars on 138 and be challenged in a duel.

The last two times I went over the speed limit on 138 involved once against my will and one of my own volition. Frank Stanley and I ran into Earl David Groves one evening way back when. Earl had a hot 1955 Chevy and wanted us to take a spin. Before I knew what had happened we were on 138 with the speedometer buried. That was not when and how I wanted to die. The other time was in 1997 and I was alone in my new Chevy Camaro. It was only a V6 but the kid in me wanted to know what it was capable of. I chickened out at 115 mph.

One of my favorite 138 stories involved a former student who on a Saturday night was drag racing on 138 when he pulled into a fellows driveway to turn around for another run. The property owner, enraged by all the noise, met him in the driveway armed with a 12 gauge shotgun and blew out the kid's radiator.

To my knowledge nobody ever wrecked or got seriously injured racing on 138. 1/1/09

  

Input From Mike Hall About SR 138

I remember many Wednesday and weekend nights racing on 138. Guys from WCH, Chillicothe, Hillsboro, Wilmington and Bainbridge all raced on 138. The competition was always best between Rambo, Angle, myself and Kinsley. Who can ever forget Kinsley's Pontiac. We also toured the surrounding towns for competition. The last time I raced out there was with my 55 Chevy, The Hot Canary, that I traded to John McDonald for another 55 Chevy with a small block. However, when I was living in Wilmington in 1998 I had my Corvette in town and proceeded to 138 and ran it up to 135mph before I let off the gas. Of course that was well passed the quarter mile mark. The 1960's were the best days of a car guys life, trust me!

Mike Hall, gmhall@zoominternet.net 1/24/09

You know, I forgot to mention Dick Harvey, I don't know if I remember correct he was probably the fastest with his 1963 "409" Chevy. I could tell stories for hours about racing on 138, we even staged the cars on the two gravel lanes, people that didn't even race came to watch. Not only did we drag race we even road raced. One night John McDonald with his dad’s Mercury and I with Tom’s 1955 Chevy nicknamed Spot, hope Rambo doesn't read this, raced from Greenfield to Leesburg to Hillsboro back into Greenfield, my passenger was Danny Smith I don't remember who was with John. Smith and I went for several we called them record runs from town to town. One time we were jumping the hills on Rt. 28 heading west at about 120mph and busted the oil pan off my 1964 Plymouth. We wonder how we have become Senior citizens.

Mike Hall 2/4/09

  

Greenfield's Chevy 409s

I heard one of the guys at McDonald's mention Dick Harvey having once driven a Chevy 409 and it struck me that there were several others around town. I remember seeing them when home on leave from the Navy. I thought that one belonged to Gary Harvey but he emailed me that it was his brother Bob. Here's Bob's response to my inquiry. (If anyone has any photos or memories email greenfieldohio@gmail.com.)
Larry,

Your memory is correct. There were three of the vehicles. They were 1963 Super Sport Chevy 409 four speed two door hard tops. They were all ordered and received around the same time from Rich Chevrolet. Raymond Smith's dad, Elgar Smith was working there and we bought them from him. That was before the South Street Market days. Errol Black got one, a red one and Dick and I each got one that were the burgundy with gold metal flake paint. All three were black interior with the bucket seat set up. I don't know if I still have any pictures. That was four or five years ago you know and I will have to dig in the archives (attic) and see. There used to be a picture of all three parked in a row in front of Penny's.

Bob Harvey, RDHSR@aol.com 2/5/09

NOTE: If any has a copy of the three 409s in front of Penny's I'd appreciate a copy. Email greenfieldohio@gmail.com.
  

Visitor's Input & Comments

  
All of the 409 guys back in the day, that raced theirs, probably encountered ,The 63 blue Ford Custom of Larry Case's. It was a 385 hp 406,It was a strong runner. Casey said that Harvey had to put a gear in his 409 to beat him.

Another highlight of 138 memories was, One Sunday, Darrell Adams had his 70 440 Challenger
out there running Daniel Knisley's 68 or 69 440 Dart Somehow, Daniel got completely off in the grass and kept his foot in it, and was able to get it back on the road and still beat Adams.

Also, if anyone remembers Danny Smith being in with anyone, in a drag race, He wasn't very good at leaving on 3, after 1-2 they were gone. Am I right Mike Hall?

Hey Mike, I'd still like to have D. Bussard's Ph.# or address. Here's my email address emontgomery3@roadrunner.com. Thanx

  

greenfieldohio@gmail.com

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Page established December, 2008