Wednesday, 14 October 2020 11:03

On The Lighter Side: Red Rod Rides Again

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During high school and a few years after, Love had fun racing and cruising in his Red Rod. Upon entering military service in 1956, Love sold his “baby” to a man in Pennsylvania. The car was registered in 1957, apparently driven for a short time, then parked behind a barn and forgotten.


Fast forward to about 1980. Jim Goetz of Twinsburg, OH had been customizing and painting cars in his garage for years, always working on something. A friend found the now much dilapidated Red Rod where it was abandoned and called Goetz who promptly bought the car and brought it home in the back of a pick-up truck.


Screen Shot 2020 10 14 at 11.23.45 AM


The car was literally a basket case… a partial body, frame, and three bushel-baskets full of miscellaneous parts. Years of sitting outside in the rain and snow had badly rusted the body. The engine, drive-train and tires and wheels were missing.


Mechanically, all it really had were some “good bones” to build from. But it had something not every hot rod from that era had… a detailed magazine article about the car, and its builder which appeared in the October 1953 issue, Volume 1, Number 1 of Sports Cars and Hot Rods magazine created by the editors of Mechanics Illustrated and published by Fawcett Publishing.

 Cover Oct 1953 Sports Car Mag



Interestingly, while searching the Pennsylvania title of the car, Goetz found it still had a lien on it from 1957, the last time the car was registered. Goetz found the wife of the person who had placed the lien on the car, only to find that her husband had died two days before. Long story short, the lien was settled and Goetz began tinkering with the car. But it would be another 35 years, around 2015, before Goetz got serious about resurrecting the Red Rod.