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
Johnny had always been a car junky. He raced anything with wheels. Jalopies, dune buggies, drag cars, anything! He saw a local need for auto parts, speed related parts and a specialized engine machine shop catering to the speed addict. Starting small, Johnny opened his first store in the late 50s. In the early 60s he had to move to a larger location because of the increase of his business. This was south of market St. on 47th St.
His store was always busy! He also employed a Prowler member at that location. Johnny always gave a discount to club members. That helped us guys to return with another “want list”.
As his business increased again, Johnny was forced to open a second location. He chose the old Western Auto building in East San Diego. This was just west of Palisade Gardens roller rink on University Ave.
Because of his interest in the Prowlers Hot Rod Club we voted Johnny Jones an Honorary member of our “family”. He was always an outstanding person and a good friend!
Andy Bekech, Historian
Honorary Prowler Johnny Jones owned Action Auto Parts on Market Street when I knew him. Yeah, he sold your normal auto parts but specialized in speed equipment and had a machine shop in back.
A “machine shop in back” was typical for the average auto parts store for the time but Action Auto could build the engine of your dreams. They did balancing and headwork, would install a Crower-Schneider cam or build you a blower motor.
Nowhere else could you just walk in and buy an adapter to mate a late model Caddy, Hemi, Olds, Ford T-Bird or even a Chevy engine to an early Ford transmission, get your multi-carb Eelco linkage kits, Hurst Shifters, multiple carb manifolds, etc. off the shelf?
There were cross town rivalries between speed shops. I remember the guy in Don’s Speed Shop one morning that owned of an XKE Jag that Don had “tuned” complaining that a gold Corvette I’d seen in the Action Auto garage had beat him the night before.
In those days if you were into cars you had a hot rod or a custom. Customs were given a pass unless they wanted to race but if you built a hot rod YOU WERE RACING IT. Street Rods (big buck race car look-alikes) hadn’t been conceived yet and hot rods were all about going fast. Johnny Jones was there to help.
Johnny picked up early on the dune buggy craze way before someone took his VW to the desert. Those are the only pictures we can find.