Gene McCrickard

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Gene McCrickard's 1937 Lincoln Zephyr. Restyled in 1953, the car was Gene's first custom and high school ride.
Gene, Dudley Proctor, and Gil Kohn. The photo was taken during the 1959 NHRA Nationals at Detroit Dragway. Dudley was Gene's driver. Gil was the owner of Detroit Dragway. Photo courtesy of Gene McCrickard.
A decal from Gene's Hot Rod Shop Inc..

Edmond Eugene "Gene" McCrickard (February 24, 1936 - May 8, 2019).

First Car

Gene was born in Rome, Georgia. He moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1946,[1] and his first car was a Crosley Station Wagon. After that followed a 1931 Ford Model A Four Door, a 1935 Ford Two Door, a 1940 Ford Coupe with a 3/8X3/8 Flathead, and a 1948 Mercury Convertible. In 2018 Gene told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that his dad was a car guy and a mechanic; "He always made sure his kid had a car. But when I wanted the Zephyr, I had to give him the Mercury. Of course, I drove the Merc. every time I had the Zephyr apart. Which was a lot."[2]

Automotive Career

When Gene was in high school, he worked on the counter of Highland Park Hot Rod Shop after school. He graduated from Mumford High School in 1954 and continued working at the shop. "My wife’s parents bought the shop in 1954 and kept me on to work. The father died and the wife closed the shop about 1960-1961 and I was forced to move on. That’s when a friend and I bought Gratiot Auto Supply on Grand River that had belonged to Bill Toia." Gene and his buddy named their shop The Hot Rod Shop.[2]

Later on in life, Gene went on to become an icon in the automotive hot rod industry, being involved in marketing, consulting, designing, engineering and selling of numerous aftermarket products. He was a much respected and admired man and his knowledge of the industry set him apart. He became a mentor to many over the years, sharing his passion and knowledge. He was a self taught, self motivated designer who inspired others. He always felt you could accomplish anything as long as you didn’t care who got the credit.[1]

Gene McCrickard's Cars

Gene McCrickard's 1937 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe



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