Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Grand National Roadster Show 2009
OK, now this is really what it's all about. So imagine you're walking the buildings at the GNRS and you make your way into the "Oakland's past winners" building, displaying a sampling of the winning cars from 1949 to present. Then, say you come to Blackie Gejeian's "Shish Kebab special" which was the Oakland winner in 1955... a completely restored car made up entirely of all its original bits. What if the car and its display leave you with some unanswered questions? Well, you're in luck because you are at the GNRS and chances are if you walk the buildings long enough you'll see the one and only Blackie Gejeian in the flesh and can walk right up to him and ask him yourself.
For the record, that's exactly what I did and boy was I not disappointed. I shot the above photo while my friends, author Robert Genat and former American Hot Rod foundation historian Henry Astor, and I stood and talked ( mostly listened ) with Blackie for at least a half an hour. Blackie thrilled us with stories of the old days by the dozens and, unfortunately, there isn't a single word from any of them that I can repeat here.
For the record, Blackie built his car in 1945-46 and it has never left his side.