Terry Chenowth

Hot Rod Deluxe - - Scrapbook - Randy Chenowth

In 2015 you did a story on the Woody Lee Model T road­ster that had been dis­cov­ered in a garage in Los An­ge­les (“The T Un­der the Ta­ble,” May 2015). In that ar­ti­cle you used some of my pho­tos taken in 1951 with Chuck Chenowth (my un­cle) and the car, but I was dis­ap­pointed that the one photo of my fa­ther, Terry Chenowth, sit­ting in the car didn’t make it into the mag­a­zine. Is there any way you can sneak the photo into a fu­ture is­sue?

My fa­ther built many race cars back in the day. I’ve sent you some pho­tos of an oldie but a goodie, the Jack Mcle­nachen dragster. Jack is a Bean Ban­dit, and the car was raced at Par­adise Mesa with a straight-six GMC, then a Chevy V8, and fi­nally a su­per­charged Chevy V8. The car was num­bered 502, re­fer­ring to Cal­i­for­nia’s drunk driv­ing ve­hi­cle code.

The race car was traded to Jesse Van Deven­ter for a Ford three­win­dow coupe. Jesse ran the car in NHRA Mod­i­fied Road­ster class and won three NHRA cham­pi­onships with it, I think in 1961, 1962, and 1963.

The pho­tos of the car be­ing built were taken in my dad’s garage in Im­pe­rial Beach, Cal­i­for­nia. The best story is about its gas pedal. My fa­ther hand-built it. Traced his shoe on steel plate, cut it out, and drilled many holes in it to lighten it up. He drilled the let­ters “CS” into the pedal, which stood for Chenowth-shoe­maker, since Ron­nie Shoe­maker helped build the car. But when peo­ple asked what CS stood for, they would say Chicken Sh-t Rac­ing.

PS: Check out my web­site on San Diego Rac­ing His­tory: sandiego­rac­ing­mu­seum.wee­bly.com.

> 1. Terry Chenowth (left) and Jack Mcle­nachen pose with the car’s un­fin­ished frame. > 3. The ’24 T Mod­i­fied Road­ster that Terry Chenowth and Ron­nie Shoe­maker built for Jack Mcle­nachen. 3

> Terry Chenowth in the T mod­i­fied that Woody Lee sold to his brother, Chuck, in 1951. > 2. Ron­nie Shoe­maker checks the cock­pit’s fit. Be­hind the car is Ray­mond Al­caraz’s midget.

> 4. Look close and you can see Terry’s cus­tom-made gas pedal with the “CS” drilled into it. 4

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> Mcle­nachen’s T ap­peared in the July 1959 HRM when it was pow­ered by a su­per­charged ’58 Chevy truck en­gine. Driver By­ron Blair “booted the tor­rid ‘T’ to 131.64 in 10.27 sec­onds on pump gas; hopes for more,” wrote the mag­a­zine.

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