President's Message

It is March 2022. The SD Prowlers are doing well. We are excited to see things open up in the hot rod world. We have cautiously ventured to the Grand Nationsl Roadster Show and most recently the Early Times Mid- Winter Run. I heard today that Escondido's Cruisn' Grand event has been permitted and will commence on April 1...Hooray!!


The Prowlers are preparing to host our 75th Anniversary Picnic on Saturday June 4 at El Monte Park. We will have a live band (The Ideas) playing favorite oldies. Big Dev will be there with his famous BBQ truck. We will have event t-shirts and free dash plaques for participant cars while they last.

This event will cost $3 per car (for the park)


As many businesses discovered adapting to pandemic restrictions there were new ways to do things. We had to give up meeting in our comfortable indoor restaurant and chose the outdoor setting at El Monte County Park in Lakeside, CA. Attesting to So Cal reputation for nice weather, we have not missed a meeting and at least half the members drive their hot rods. As of our meeting tomorrow March 3, 2022 we will have met 43 times outside with no rain. 


We will keep you posted here. Until then, Keep the Shiney Side Up!

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Upcoming Events Short List !

Labor Day  Swap @ Santee Drive-in

Apr 1-3     Del mar Good Guys

May 5      Freddy Castro Remembrance

May 11    Cajon Cruise 

June 4     Prowler 75th Anniversary

Bill Larson - Active Prowler Member

Member #158

Secretary 2004 - 2008

President 2009 - 2011


My interest in hot rods began many years ago. Early Ford hot rods caught my attention, especially the 1932 model.  I grew up in the small central California town of Santa Maria. The early 60's was my first exposure to the Prowlers through magazine cover cars. It was also when I spotted what would become my first hot rod, a 1932 Ford 3-window coupe, (you know the one that God inspired Henry Ford to build after resting on the seventh day). The fellow who owned the coupe lived down the street from where I grew up.  I remember watching the TV series '77 Sunset Strip on Friday evenings and hearing the coupe outside at the stop sign (See photo below for the stop sign.)

It was powered by a 1956 Buick nailhead 322 cubic inch motor. The camshaft and aluminum flywheel were Weber and the ignition system was a Mallory unit. The running gear was the usual for the day, 39 trans with Lincoln-Zephyr gears, 32 rear end with a 3.78 ratio.

I'd race to the front door just to watch the car drive down the street.  A couple of years later, I learned the coupe was for sale as the fellow had married and family commitments started ... you know the rest.  After buying and selling a couple of cars, I had enough money to buy the coupe.  What a day that was!  I can still feel the excitement 40 plus years later.


The photo below was taken at a local car show in 1967. I had up-dated the tires, removed the hood and installed 6 Stromberg 97 carbs. Boy, did it ever fly. Later, I opted for an easier-to-tune, better idling single Holley carb.

Santa Maria had their own "Oscars" cruise spot.  It was called Leo's Drive-In, complete with car hops and bright neon signs. It was the place to meet friends and was also the turn around spot for the cruisers.  A new Mexican fast food restaurant, Taco Bell, was coming to town and the owner of Leo's thought it should be built where the drive-in was.  Everyone was sad to see Leo's go to make room for the Taco Bell.

As things turned out, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me.  The new owner, retired from the LAPD, had a daughter  I had my eye on.  I can remember coming home one evening and telling my parents "I just met the girl I'm going to marry".  We had our first date, (Dr. Zhivago at the Park Aire Drive-In), in that '32 coupe. This photo was taken Easter Sunday, 1968.  Unfortunately, I no longer have the original '32, but I am still happily married to my original sweetheart and we're still dating in our current 1932 Ford 3-window coupe on a regular basis.

Our current '32 is powered by a GM Performance Parts ZZ3 - 350 cubic inch, 355 horse power motor.  The transmission is a Bow-Tie Overdrive 700 R4 and the rear end is a 9 inch Ford, 3.50 ratio.  Performance and economy - while it's not a race car, it is exciting to drive yet routinely gets 20 mpg on the highway, despite our federally mandated boutique fuels.  It has all the comforts of a modern car, heat & a/c, power windows, and a TCI frame.   Completed, (July 08), a major under-car suspension up-grade with a different look, sans fenders, boards and bumpers - photos to follow time permitting.






Happy hot rodding, and be sure to keep the shiny side up!