The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
6/13/17 1:39 p.m.

Story by Peter Brock

Max Balchowsky’s Hollywood Motors was concealed in a medium-sized, unmarked garage hidden behind a Texaco gas station on a weed-filled, partially vacant lot less than 2 miles from the trashy glitter of Hollywood and Vine. There in the mid-’60s, in self-imposed obscurity, Max an…

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dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/2/17 3:05 p.m.

I think I just saw that car on Jay Lenos Garadge last night. It was in storage in the basement of a museum.

Gary
Gary SuperDork
7/2/17 6:59 p.m.

During the nineties and early oughts (early 2000's that is) I was an extreme nut about getting autographs on my own photos. It was a bit arduous, since I had to have the film developed and printed, or later printed from digital ... then put into a matte and frame ... and then try to find the same people at a subsequent event and ask them to sign the matte. Surprisingly, through meticulous planning, my methodology worked time and again, and I have a fantastic collection of autographed pics from approximately twenty years ago. I won't get into who they all are at this juncture, but it's substantial. But one of the autographed pics is of the good L.A. dentist Dr. Ernie Nagamatsu, current owner/conservator of this car, and none other than Billy Krause (Google Billy Krause Cobra) standing next to Old Yeller II (definitely not "Yallar," as some people mistakenly call it. I don't understand that) at the Coronado vintage races 15-20 years ago. Billy was driving it that weekend, and was (miraculously) the same weekend when I took the pic a year before. That autographed pic is one of my favorites in my library. I have another great pic of Dr. Ernie taken at Palm Springs. He was actually brush-painting white walls freehand on new blackwall race tires for this car prior to that race! He drove Old Yeller II that day. More recently, as I understand it, the original body of Old Yeller II was substantially destroyed a few years ago in a crash somewhere overseas, perhaps. So if you see this great historic race car today, enjoy it of course, but it has completely new sheet metal for the most part. Which begs the question with regard to George Washington's axe ... hmm

Ebby
Ebby New Reader
1/7/24 12:32 p.m.

Many of the parts found in the Old Yellers´ came from Dollar and Double Dollar auto parts yards in Glendale and Burbank, California. The yards were owned by my cousin, Tom Coy, who recently passed away, and a partner.  Tomś brother,  Jimmy,  (RIP) was a close friend and co-hort of the Balchowsky´s and Jim would find the parts Max requested. I would deliver them to the  Hollywood shop, only after they had been cleaned to Max´s standards.

One of the memorable beasts that Max built for Tom was a  ´53 Ford pick up with a monster Hemi engine. I remember Max and Tom,  complaining about tires that would stand up to the horsepower of Max´s creations to the Dayton tire rep at Max´s shop. Tom told him he could burn the tires off the truck, without it ever moving. The guy just laughed so Tom put  a pair of the rear of the truck. With most of the tires going up in smoke, the unbelieving salesman finally told Tom to shut it down---that he was a believer.

There were many of the old So-Cal Hot Rodders who knew and appreciated each other in those days--- Edelbrock, Weiand, Kong...the guys from Harman and Collins, Offenhauser and another of Tom´s relatives, Ed Walker of Walker mufflers. They were the inovators who helped build and promote the LA area as  Ground Zero for speed. They really were the Good Old Boys in the good old days. Mike Eberlein

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