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Shop Stop: Mooneyes
 

Back To The Future

Shop Stop: Mooneyes
 
Posted September 7 2008 10:36 PM by Bob Ryder 
Filed under: Opinions, Observations, Past Events, Opinions, Funny Stories, Truck News , Classic Truck Trends

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Not having to catch a plane to cover a show make my weekends at home time to relax, be with the wife, catch up on some of my honey-do-list, and maybe see the kids. NOT!


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After a nice lunch at Ruby's Diner at the end of the Huntington Beach pier, my wife Cathey and I took a cruise in the ol' '59 Bel Air to Santa Fe Springs, CA only about a 45-minute ride to Mooneyes Equipment. Where I was to pickup a set of famous Mooneyes wheel discs for a project I am working on for Cathey. As a kid in high school I can still remember driven my bad ass '64 Chevy II Nova and pulling into the same driveway. Then the shop and buildings were surrounded by a forest of oil derricks out in the oil fields. As I pulled into the Mooneyes driveway it sent a chill up and down my spin. The Mooneyes property is sacred ground to all car enthusiasts. The original Mooneyes Shop was on the same property it sits today. The original building had to be move back on the property when Norwalk Blvd. was widened in October 1993. If you know anything about hot rodding and drag racing then you have heard of Mooneyes.
Dean Moon was a pioneer and innovator of hot rod and drag racing performance equipment that began during '50's-'60's.  His hot rod parts are still very popular among enthusiasts today.
In 1961 Dean built and debuted his famous front engine sling shot dragster, the Mooneyes Dragmaster. It was powered by a 300 ci Chevy with a unique Porvin blower mounted in front of the engine. First to drive the Dragmaster was Dante Duce, his first pass down the 1/4-mile Dragmaster was clocked at 147 mph and a 10.29 e.t. Dean also built steamliners that held records at Lake Mirage, and the Bonneville salt flats located just outside of Wendover, Utah. The famous "Mooneyes" logo was done by a friend of Dean's who was an artist for Disney. The Mooneyes car culture lifestyle is huge in America and has become very popular in Japan. Unfortunately, Dean Moon passed away in 1987 he was only 60 years old.
Since Dean's passing, Chico Kodama has been running the business. Mooneyes original machinist Manny Florance is still spinnin' Mooneyes wheel discs and fuel tanks. While original cam designer and welder Bill Jenks is still doing his thing in the shop.

While I was at the shop, I ask Chico if I could take some pixs, no problem.

If you ever get a chance to get to SoCal, you must make a cruise to the yellow shop on Norwalk Blvd. in Santa Fe Springs.

Remember Ol' Guys Rule!
Bob Ryder  



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