Middletown Pacemakers: The Story of an Ohio Hot Rod Club
Author Ron Roberson is a third-generation Middletown Pacemaker member. His father and grandfather were founding members of the club, and Ron has been attending club meetings as long as he can remember. Ron became the youngest member of the club, and he hung around until it disbanded when he was 16. Thanks to Ron's book, the legacy of this Middletown, Ohio club is now well documented and preserved for future generations.
The Middletown Pacemakers was established in 1951, as the age of roadster racing was coming towards an end. Returning GIs had settled down into their civilian lives. Farm boys and city boys had been trained in the most modern military machinery in the world, and they had tapped latent mechanical skills while serving their skills. Harold "Mike" Michael was a charter member of the club. As his round track racing operation was coming to an end, he decided to build a hot rod for street use. Recent articles in Hot Rod Magazine had provided guidelines for starting clubs and running events, so Mike mobilizes friends and like-minded guys in town and decided to form the Middletown Pacemakers. He pitches Ron's dad and some other friend, and it didn't take a long time before things were in motion.
The story of the Middletown Pacemakers is a great story with roots going back to roadster racing. Sparked by local enthusiasm, passion, friendship, and inspiration from the West Coast, Ron gives us a unique chance to follow a Ohio hot rod club. Born in 1951, we follow the guys as they host their first reliability and poker runs, they advance into hosting car shows before the entire club are bitten by the drag racing bug. As the guys get older, family life takes up more space in their lives, and in the 1960s they decided to disband the club. A fate similar to hundreds, maybe even thousands of other clubs all over the US.
I can absolutely recommend Ron's book, as it gives you an insight and better understanding of how hot rodding swept all across the US after the US after WWII. Middletown Pacemakers is one of many similar clubs that were formed in small and large towns all across the nation.
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