Gor­don Tom’s fam­ily his­tory runs deep

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - LOCAL -

“I worked in our Nguyen Mar­ket on Sec­ond and C streets. I started work­ing when I was nine years old. The first job you get is to sweep the floors. Then later on, I fol­lowed a lot of my cousins and a lot of my younger cousins fol­lowed me; that’s how our fam­ily was. So, then when you go to a fresh­man in high school you moved up a block to Third and C. That was our Marysville Fur­ni­ture store. Then around ju­nior of se­nior in high school – we had an­other store on Fourth Street – you’d go to the Save More store. We had one in Gri­d­ley, Yuba City and in Marysville. Af­ter that I joined the Army in 1958 and I be­came a tanker. My tour of duty was in Ger­many.” Gor­don Tom, a founder of the Chi­nese Amer­i­can Mu­seum of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, stands in the door­way of the build­ing on March 9.

farm and started it in Chi­na­town, but it grew so large I had to move it to an­other farm over in Yuba City. Af­ter awhile, I got out of the chin­chilla busi­ness . ... Around 1966 or so I opened Golden T Au­to­mo­tive. We man­u­fac­tured dune bug­gies and we raced. We de­signed a dune buggy called the GT Rhino. Desert rac­ing was mostly down in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, so we trav­eled and trans­ported ev­ery­thing there. In 1972 I was picked up by a team in Mis­sion Hills.”

Q: So, what hap­pened af­ter that?

A: “Well I re­tired from my rac­ing in 1976. Af­ter I re­tired, I got into re­mote­con­trol off-road cars. I also started up the Golden T Hobby Sports Shop. Some of th­ese things I shut­tled down to L.A., be­cause that’s where it was hap­pen­ing. It would have prob­a­bly been eas­ier and cheaper, but I’m stub­born and this is my home. I’ve

been here my whole life. Be­sides the two years I lived in Tor­rance for my rac­ing and my time in the Army, I’ve been here my whole life.”

Q: What’s the lat­est thing you’re work­ing on?

A: “Three years ago I started the GT Chal­lenge Race. It’s my lat­est thing. The race in­volves five teams of five putting to­gether the cars they use. They race them on the track I have set up in Chi­na­town and scores are cal­cu­lated at the end. Who­ever wins gets all the cars, that’s how we did it in the ’50s. There are no sec­ond or third place win­ners. It was called a pink slip race.”

(Tom plans to con­tinue ex­per­i­ment­ing and ad­just­ing the race over time. He hopes it keeps grow­ing and gain­ing mo­men­tum. He said the Soapbox Derby started in 1934 in Day­ton, Ohio, so maybe his race can grow to a sim­i­lar large scale.) Busi­ness hours: Mon­day-fri­day, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Main num­ber .................... Steve Miller ......................

Jake Ab­bott ...................... Veron­ica Catlin ................. Patrick Groves .................. Chris Kauf­man ................. Ruby Lar­son ..................... Randi Love ....................... Rachel Rosen­baum ...........

John Stevens .................... Sports scores ....................

Chris Kauf­man, Ed­i­tor ....... Ac­counts Re­ceiv­able ........ Clas­si­fied Fax ................... ad­class@ap­pealdemo­crat.com ado­bits@ap­pealdemo­crat.com adle­gals@ap­pealdemo­crat.com

Ac­counts Re­ceiv­able ........ Dis­play Fax .......................

Jake Ab­bott/ap­peal-demo­crat

Q: What are some of the things you re­mem­ber do­ing as you grew up?A:

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