Bruce Meyer donates world’s most well-known scorching rod


A current donation to the Petersen Automotive Museum will be certain that generations to return can take pleasure in one of many quintessential American scorching rods.

Famend automobile collector Bruce Meyer lately handed over the keys to his 1932 Ford “McGee Roadster” to Terry L. Karges, govt director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Constructed by famous hot-rod builder Bob McGee, the McGee Roadster launched an aesthetic that rapidly turned almost ubiquitous within the roadster neighborhood. The favored scorching rod will grow to be a part of the Petersen’s everlasting assortment.

Bruce Meyer and Terry L. Karges

Bruce Meyer and Terry L. Karges

The Petersen Automotive Museum and the McGee Roadster share an origin story that stems from Sizzling Rod Journal, based by Robert E. Petersen in 1948. The McGee Roadster’s reputation skyrocketed after showing on the quilt of Sizzling Rod Journal, the primary road automobile to take action. Petersen’s subsequent success in publishing allowed him to launch one of many world’s most interesting automotive museums in 1994.

“Sizzling rods are very important to your entire automotive business, and Robert Petersen is the person who actually introduced scorching rodding to the individuals. This automobile is a vital piece of automotive historical past, and there’s no extra worthy vacation spot than the Petersen Automotive Museum,” stated Meyer, who can be founding chairman of the Petersen.

Ford 1932 McGee Roadster

Ford 1932 McGee Roadster

The long-lasting roadster has raced on the Bonneville salt flats, served as a every day driver and originated most of the design cues synonymous with scorching rodding. McGee, who began engaged on the roadster in 1947, created the signature look with loads of customization, together with lowered suspension, bigger Lincoln Zephyr rear wheels, a three-piece louvered hood, peaked and stuffed grille shell, hidden door hinges and shaved door handles, all painted brilliant purple with a customized inside.

“The McGee Roadster is a lot greater than only a automobile. It’s the image of a complete period and technology of revolutionary scorching rodders,” stated Karges. “We’re honored by Bruce’s donation and proud to protect this piece of historical past.”

In 1956, McGee offered the roadster to Dick Scritchfield, an avid scorching rodder and automotive profession man. Scritchfield, who had contacts within the movie business, began leasing the automobile to film producers and tv reveals to be used of their productions. Repainted by a good friend of Scritchfield’s utilizing Sweet Apple Pink paint and silver metallic flake, the roadster additionally turned the primary non-experimental metal-flake paint job within the automotive business. Over the next years, the automobile underwent many further modifications earlier than Meyer restored it to its authentic 1948 configuration within the late Nineteen Nineties.

The McGee Roadster paved the way in which for warm rodding’s entrance into mainstream tradition. Its appearances in lots of movies and basic tv reveals, corresponding to “Pleased Days,” “Dragnet” and “Fantasy Island,” helped it grow to be an icon for a technology.

Hot Road Stamp

Sizzling Highway Stamp

It was featured on the U.S. Postal Service’s “Sizzling Rods Perpetually” commemorative stamp in 2014; the stamps had been designed by Derry Noyes and digitally rendered by graphic artist John Mattos. The automobile has additionally been proven and gained in its present configuration on the Pebble Seaside Concours d’Magnificence and the Grand Nationwide Roadster Present. On April 12, 2017, the McGee Roadster turned the one scorching rod added to the Nationwide Historic Automobile Register.

The McGee Roaster is at present on show within the Ross & Beth Myers Gallery on the Petersen Automotive Museum.

This text, written by and initially printed on, an editorial companion of Motor Authority.


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