Meeting Our Heroes



Written by Greg Stokes


At the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California back in January it was an honour for us to meet Jim "Jake" Jacobs who was the other half of Pete & Jakes Hot Rod Parts which GMS Hot Rods are dealers for.

Pete & Jakes were founded in 1973 shortly after the late Pete Chapouris and Jim “Jake” Jacobs met and had their iconic coupes featured in Rod & Custom Magazine – these two cars changes the face of hot rodding to what we know today. (Refer to last month’s eLocal for further Pete and Jakes info). "Meeting Jake was unreal, he's a super genuine guy who's done a considerable amount for the hot rod industry. His designs and fixtures are still used at Pete & Jakes to this day".

What was cool as we talked at the show was the common thread of Model A's and in particular four banger powered Model A's. "It's always hard when you meet one of your heroes, you don’t want to waste their time or bore them, but we hit it off pretty neat and moreso when Jake realised of my own green '29 pickup (NZHRM Project 29). It turns out he inspired me and then he was inspired by mine some years ago! I coulda fainted!”

Taking the opportunity a step further, we visited Jake at his home in the California desert. This was a real trip back in time with an incredible collection of cars, parts and memoribilia. "We spied the Bob Dylan waterslide decal on most of Jakes cars which led to Tania and Jake having a Bob Dylan fan chat! This was also followed by Jake singing a couple of Bob Dylan tunes to Tania in the yard. Cool times and cool memories."

In the shop alongside the Jakeopage brush painted tub and the panel Jake drove to the first Street Rod Nationals in Peoria, Illinois, is Jake's latest - a late thirties era '28 roadster on an A frame and running a Riley OHV on a Kong Jackson and Wes Cooper built B engine. Full of period tricks and oozes coolness which is typical of the fun with cars approach Jake has. Before we left Jake called to Tania, "here, have these". The white envelope he handed her had a bunch of Bob Dylan waterslide decals from Ed Roth from when Jake worked at Roth's in the sixties. A definite WOW moment for Tania, her bare metal '36 Ford coupe now wears one of these cool vintage waterslides.

It was this chance meeting with Jake which led me to think about my own Model A hot rods I have had over the years. I was curious to see where the Model A pickup I had which kinda inspired Jake was. I first slammed the car together quickly around 2001-2002 and then rebuilt it three times with the final rebuild being documented in the New Zealand Hot Rod Magazine in 2007-2008 when I worked there. In olive drab green we called it Project 29 and around 2009 the car was sold and went to the USA. Like a needle in a haystack I managed to keep track of it and just recently it popped up again for sale in the Idaho area.

PHOTO CAPTIONS

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This Model A pickup was one of the most fun cars I have had the pleasure to build and enjoy driving. In the background is the beginnings of a Model T speedster project but that’s a story for another day.

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Surf truck! At the 2008 Beach Hop in Whangamata we made up a surfboard rack for the long board.

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Racing at Meremere Dragway at the Bay Rodders hosted Nostalgia Drags in the Four Banger Challenge.

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The Model A engine was mostly stock but featured twin carbs and Mallory electronic ignition and ran a later model five speed gearbox to give it some legs on the motorway.

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The interior was sparse but totally comfortable and enjoyable.

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It was too good to meet Jake and share a likeness for Model A Ford hot rods.

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At Jake’s in the California desert are his neat Model A Ford hot rods.

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Tania and Jake with the Bob Dylan waterslide decals.


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elocal Digital Edition
October 2019 (#223)

elocal Digital Edition – October 2019 (#223)