Too Much Fun?

Hot Rod Deluxe - - Where It All Began -

The 1962 sea­son got off to an ex­haust­ing start for Los An­ge­les gear­heads and Na­tional Hot Rod As­so­ci­a­tion work­ers. Wally Parks sched­uled his se­cond editions of the Win­ter­na­tion­als car show and gas-only Win­ter­na­tion­als drags for back-to­back weeks, start­ing Jan­uary 31 with show setup and fi­nally con­clud­ing 18 days later with rain-delayed elim­i­na­tions.

HOT ROD’S Tex Smith hap­pened upon this re­laxed team early one morn­ing of the se­cond race week­end, Fe­bru­ary 17-18, 1962. Not even bright Pomona sun­light and hun­dreds of un­corked head­ers dis­turbed the sleepy­heads, though the boyfriend in the Pon­tiac looks a bit per­turbed. He ap­pears to be the only one aware of the cam­era.

Fifty-seven years later, that kid is push­ing 80—and pos­si­bly still won­der­ing whether such a weird shot ever got pub­lished. Now that it has been, we’re hop­ing that a reader will rec­og­nize and alert him or his pals. We’d love to share their story here.

Mean­while, turn to the 1962 in­stall­ment of “Back­stage Past” in this is­sue, page 58, for ad­di­tional out­takes from both Win­ter­na­tion­als events. —DAVE WAL­LACE

• PIC: LEROI “TEX” SMITH, PETERSEN PUB­LISH­ING CO. AR­CHIVE

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