Modesto Century Toppers
The Modesto Century Toppers is a car club formed in Modesto, California in 1946. In 1946 Charlie Bell got together with some friends to form a club. After kicking around some names, someone suggested Century Toppers as the name for the club. As most of the club members were bringing their cars to Gene Winfield for custom work, Gene was voted the first president of the Century Toppers. The Century Toppers held their meetings at Gene Winfield's Windy's Custom Shop. According to Orvel Reichert you didn't have to own a hot rod, custom, or car in order to join the club. The Century Toppers had their own club jackets that were white with Kelly-Green trim and a top hat logo on the back. Often when riding their cars, members of the club would put on a cheap black top hat as symbol.
The Century Toppers held their first car show December 10 - 11, 1949 at Griswold & Wight Ford Dealership in Modesto. The show was called The Century Toppers Auto Club Hot Rod & Custom Auto Show and Orvel "Speed" Reichert was in charge of it. Gene remembers that Al Sloakner, the man behind the Oakland Roadster Show visited The Century Toppers Auto Club Hot Rod & Custom Auto Show in order to pick cars for his first show.
Hedrick M. Rector
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