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Joe Smith's 1934 Ford Four-Door Sedan of Waco, Texas. Joe's C/A Four-Door was Oldsmobile-powered and competed at drag strips in Waco and Dallas. Known for his mastery over the flathead Ford engine, Joe's reputation extended far beyond West, making him a local legend and an inspiration within The Eliminators of West Rod Club. The Four-Door Sedan featured striping by Jezek. Photo courtesy of Joe Smith.

In the 1950s and 1960s, towns like West and Waco saw the rise of a vibrant community of car enthusiasts united by their passion for customizing cars and racing. Drive-in restaurants in these towns were the social epicenters where hot rodders showcased their modified vehicles and shared their knowledge and stories. Founded in 1960, clubs like The Eliminators of West Rod Club played a pivotal role, creating a sense of camaraderie and collective creativity among members. These groups were more than just car enthusiasts; they were tight-knit communities dedicated to pushing the limits of automotive design and performance.[1]

Racing was a significant aspect of this culture. Local drag strips became arenas where speed and skill were displayed and celebrated. Despite the challenges in sourcing parts and equipment, these enthusiasts displayed remarkable resourcefulness, often relying on mail orders, local wrecking yards, and occasional trips to distant speed shops. The influence of hot rod magazines also cannot be understated, as they provided inspiration and connected Texas hot rodders to the larger national scene. This period in Central Texas was marked by innovation, community spirit, and a deep-seated love for hot rodding, contributing significantly to the rich tapestry of Texas's automotive history.[1]

Hot Rods of Waco, Texas

Joe Smith's 1934 Ford Four-Door Sedan



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