OUR SEARCH FOR A BITCHIN’ HOT ROD: COULD IT BE?!?!

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photo: Baron Wolman

If you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ll know that we’re looking for the mysterious Dick Patterson coupe: a twin McColluch-blown Y-blocked Model A coupe with a neat roof insert and an Eames-ian interior.

We found Dick Patterson living South Of The Border and he was good enough to talk with us about the car, but as far as he could remember, he had sold it to a guy who owned car washes in Burbank and he thought he had heard it ended up in a used car dealership in L.A., where it was sold again. Beyond that, he hadn’t the foggiest.

And, then…a few weeks ago, we were sent this shot by Nomad Andrew: an image by photographer, Baron Wolman, of guitarist Jeff Beck: seemingly at a used car dealership, signing the paperwork for the Dick Patterson coupe! Could Beck still own the car? Is it stashed somewhere across The Pond? We reached out to Dave over at Roy Brizio’s shop and asked him to get in touch with Jeff to see if we could make some progress on this thing. Brizio has built a few cars for Beck and we’re hoping that proves fruitful.

More to come on this development, and let us know if you can drop some knowledge on this thing…

22 Responses to “OUR SEARCH FOR A BITCHIN’ HOT ROD: COULD IT BE?!?!”

  1. Keith Harman says:

    Hi, although I have only met Jeff once, I know several people who know him quite well and have visited his house. I have to say that this car has never been mentioned in general rodding circles in connection with JB, and he is known to drive his cars, not stash them away. He is also known to mainly own ’32′s these days.

    Keith

  2. Maurice says:

    Perhaps he was just using the roof to write on, I’ve never heard of this car over here & I owned one of his cars for a while. That pic looks quite old, possibly late 60s early 70s when he did keep a couple of cars in the US but, as Keith says, he mainly sticks to 32s now. I’ll ask his buddy who he used to hang around with a lot in the early days.

  3. Maurice says:

    Nope, my man knows nothing about it & he was very close to Jeff at that time.

  4. Ian says:

    Would they be using the roof to complete the paperwork? I’d have thought they’d have done business in the office which is where the paperwork would have been kept surely! More likely that he’s signing an autograph for the owner and the coupe’s roof was just handy to lean on.

  5. Stoner says:

    Hey, we appreciate the digs, you guys! And while what you’re both saying makes sense –– why would he own a bitchin’ car like this that nobody even remotely close to him has been aware of? –– the photo begs the question: what circumstances brought him, the Dick Patterson coupe and Baron Wolman together in (what seems like) the late Sixties?

    There’s got to be a lead in this photo somewhere…

  6. Keith Harman says:

    Maurice, if you were going to ask Ed, he’s already confirmed on a previous FB thread that he’s not aware of any connection with JB, and he’s never heard JB speak about it either. I wondered if DH in East London would know?

    Keith

  7. Maurice says:

    Keith, I spoke to Dave tonight & he knows nothing about it. Further to this, there’s another thread about it on FB, with another link to that pic, about a book called “The Rolling Stone Years”, where I think the above pic comes from, which has the caption “…at S & C Ford in San Fransisco in 1968″. That would have been around the time he bought the Boston Strangler T & shipped it straight back to the UK. I consider it extremely unlikely he would have bought two rods then & only shipped one back here.

  8. Stoner says:

    That’s great intel, Maurice! We reached out to Wolman, but haven’t heard anything from him just yet. In the meantime, it’s REALLY interesting to hear that the shot was taken at S&C here in the city. That means that the car spent some time here and some others must know something about it. Now, the problem is that S&C Ford exists no longer, but I think we might be able to find somebody who might know something from that dealership. This stuff can be some needle-in-the-haystack searching, but we’re used to that…

  9. Simon Emery says:

    Hey Stoner…a mate saw the car in the back of an old magazine for sale by D.S.Evans 2825 N.Fredric St. Burbank….looks like a car dealer…be rad to think that maybe, just maybe it’s sitting in some garage waiting to be found…

  10. ThreeDay says:

    Here is a link to an advert showing the car for sale
    http://on.fb.me/ZWFWBh

  11. Maurice says:

    I would hazard a guess that Baron Wolman will not be too happy to discuss this fact, as I think the book states that Jeff bought this car, reading the caption on an earlier page about the book (where I got the location from incidentally).

    My understanding was that Jeff was on tour in the US in 68/69 & saw the Boston Strangler either at the side of the road or maybe in a dealership or car sales site & did indeed buy it immediately & had it shipped back home to the UK. Over the years I had several involvements with that car, from working on the UK mag that did the first feature on it, repairing parts of it when Jeff damaged it & even owning it at one time. As Keith knows, it’s now languishing in a lockup garage somewhere with the current owner hoping it will sell eventually for a large sum, purely on the fact of a previous owner(!), when in fact it bears little resemblance to how it was when Jeff owned it.

  12. Maurice says:

    According to a thread on the HAMB back in 2010, someone said that the coupe is in Jay Leno’s collection.

  13. Stoner says:

    Good stuff, boys!

    That old classified ad rings true with what Dick Patterson told me about his faded memory of the car being sold at/by some sort of dealership at one point. And it makes more sense that he would’ve been aware of the dealership if it was in the Burbank area (as opposed to San Francisco – but that just leaves more questions about the Wolman image).

    As for the car being in the Leno collection; I kind of doubt it. I’ve been to Jay’s compound and have laid eyes on just about all of it (albeit just scanning the unbelievable vastness of it all after walking through the first building) and I probably would’ve noticed a car like this in one of the buildings. A hot rod with significant history like this doesn’t seem to fit his collecting habits, either. Having said that, anything’s possible, though, right?

    And one more observation about that classified ad: don’t mind the different wheel/tire combo, but who the hell screwed up the front end by replacing Dick’s bitchin’ original friction shock treatment with that coil-over box tubing mess?!? But thanks for the tips, guys – we’re ON IT.

  14. According to Baron Wolman’s book, the car was bought by Jeff in 1968 at S&C ford in SanFransisco. Wolman also said Jeff was never able to ship the car to England.

  15. Wolman also says Jeff bought the car “on the spot”. 1968/69 was a real busy time for him and dealing with owning a car in the US was probably a bigger pain in the ass than he expected. I wonder if the car was kept at the dealership and later resold.

  16. Maurice says:

    Anything’s possible I guess, although we do know he did import a rod at that time. I will try to dig out my copy of the mag with the feature in it & refresh my memory of events.

  17. Stoner says:

    Whoa. Thanks for the tip Hawk! OK, so beyond the mindblower that a car like this was sold at a Ford dealership in San Francisco at one time, it’s totally feasible that the car might be kept here on the West Coast or even in Nor-Cal for him to geek over while he was on a West Coast jag. We know more than a few guys of means who keep cars on the coast for when they’re here for a few days.

    Once again; good intel and we’ll make some calls, too…

  18. defeated but not deleated says:

    Thats the car that Mick Ronson stole out of Becks carraige house on Christmas Eve back in 72. He ended up trading it to Keith Richards for his boat MANDRAX. Keith and John Phillips finally drove it east to a small village near Istanbul and traded it for about 6 kilos of hashish and some old SS Officer daggers. Last I heard its still in a small farming village in Pirincci, Turkey. Its in a handicapped childrens school. Its been converted to run the pump house to water the llamas and turn the merry go round.

  19. Stoner says:

    Y’know, I always just KNEW it, Defeated! Well, I’m always up for a trip to Turkey…

  20. Maurice says:

    & if you believe that, you’ll believe anything!!!

  21. Terry Hauck says:

    I work with Dick’s son Greg. He has pictures of it being built and he talks about it all the time. I guess his Dad was a pioneer in the hot rod culture back in the day. I would love to go back to those days!!

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