Our Annual Picnic
Hello to our website visitors. The San Diego Prowlers are now well into our 71st year. It is August and it's hot even in San Diego. This was our first Summer since the early '70s that we haven't staged our annual
"Picnic and Ol' Timers Reunion". It really feels good to relax a little and have time to drive our hot rods and maybe even work on them a little.
As promised we are reinventing ourselves back into "doing whatever we want" for a change and leave the event planning to promoters who enjoy that stuff!
We are still the unchallenged "oldest hot rod club" continuously corrupting young men since 1947 so please dig in to our webpages and visit the hot rod club that has been there the whole time. See the men, cars and their hobby from post WWII to the present that was the laboratory of power and style that helped shape today’s automobile.
Want to Become a Member?
Are you interested in becoming a member but still have some questions? For more information, use our contact form or just email us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Welcome to our new / updated website.
Prowlers Life Members
From time to time, the San Diego Prowlers celebrate the accomplishments of a truly outstanding member who is not 'Active'. We call this special acknowledgement our Life Member status. Fred was the first Prowler to be recognized this way.
Fred was an active member of the San Diego Prowlers Hot Rod club for many decades. He was always a positive influence on the club and its individual members. We presented Fred with a plaque as Life Member #1 some years back.
Unfortunately Fred passed away but his memory and his contributions to the club live on.
Bob Stewart, Marty Moore, and Bob McCoy
On October 7, 2012 the Prowlers hosted a Reunion Luncheon the day following our annual Picnic at Red Tracton's Restaurant in Solona Beach. We inducted three more of our old members into Life Member status. They are Bob McCoy, Marty Moore and Bob Stewart.
On November 7, 2013 the Prowlers membership voted to honor the memory of Lee Bright and add his name to our list of honored Life Members. This was the first time we have ever chosen to bestow this honor to someone who is not around to accept it, indeed he won't even benefit from not needing to pay dues anymore!
Lee was a jokester always uneasy at the very idea of any seriousness and on guard with something funny to disrupt it.
The daily life of this 24/7 talented hot rodder was barely interupted by his vocation at Lee's Muffler Shop motto..........
"No Muff Too Tough" (see what I mean).
People still recount how Lee would pancake a hood...just walk up with a saw and make cuts that would just line up like magic. He chopped the top of his family '57 Ranchero. Since the tempered rear window couldn't be cut the window and tailgate had to be closed together and sealed--Forever!
He recalled how it looked so cool but the kids hated it on the trips from El Cajon to the beach in the era of no air conditioning.
His paint recipe is still being copied 40 years later in an today's era of undreamed of colors.
Lee, a Prowler since 1961 passed away in 1997.
I had at least six cars before I got a drivers license and cannot remember not being into cars. In 1958 Ed Thompson and Dave Butlemer came by my house when I was working on my flathead powered '29 roadster. They were driving Ed's 1927 purple T roadster (with the big hemi) and invited me to a Prowler meeting. Even in 1958 the Prowlers were famous. What an honor!
I raced the '29 at Paradise Mesa dragstrip with the Prowlers...a real blast!
I enjoyed riding my pearl purple '53 Triumph motorbike to the Prowler meetings wearing my Prowler jacket. You have to understand in the 50's there was a (usually) unspoken rivalry between motorcyclists and hot rodders. So naturally riding my motorcycle to a meeting wearing my club jacket instead of driving the roadster was an "offense" and the Sgt at Arms would fine me. I was never one to follow rules so paying the fines was OK.
One day I replaced the flatty with a 283 Chevy crate motor. The members all had Chrysler and Dodge hemis and Caddy engines were shocked and called my car a 'metal Corvette'. That was not good...they hated Corvettes then.
The '29 A went on to be one of the cover cars on the Dec 1959 issue of Hot Rod and the June 1960 issue of Car Craft. The Chevy engine was "cutting edge" then. Not anymore...duh!
The next couple decades were filled with wives, lovely daughters, beach parties, Prowler picnics and car shows. There was a Nomad, a Jag and a Mustang ragtop but I really missed having a real hot rod. Lee Bright bugged me for years until I found my current 327 powered 1926 T roadster and became an active Prowler again in the 1990s. Since then Bobbie and I have been to many shows and picnics and have many, many happy miles enjoying this roadster and making people smile when they see our fun ride.