Andy Granitelli

andy-granatelli-rods-and-roses13-jpgAndy Granatelli. That name carries a lot of weight in the automotive world and the Rods and Roses Car Show is no different. It was in 2002 that Andy first participated in Rods and Roses as the Grand Marshall of the event. The event struck a chord with Andy and he adopted the show and continued his support as Grand Marshall. Under Andy’s influence the style, character and caliber of car show transformed into the show you will see line Linden Avenue this year on Saturday June 27th.

Rods and Roses Car Show Producer, Mike Lazaro said, “I considered Andy family and I miss him everyday. He was a mentor of mine and I deeply appreciated not only his guidance but also his friendship.”

It is a privilege for Rods and Roses to commemorate Andy’s  spirit and his love of cars through the Mr. Indy 500 trophy which is award each year to a special vehicle Andy would have appreciated. The award recipient is selected by close friends and family of Andy. We are happy to carry on the long standing tradition and name Andy Granitelli this year’s Honorary Grand Marshal.

Straight Off The Showroom Floor

My wife, Donna (Martson) Swinford purchased her 1967 Mustang Fastback new in May 1967. The car was purchased from Ralph Williams Ford in the San Fernando Valley a couple of years before we were married (Feb. 1970).  It has the original license plates and license plate frame from Ralph Williams Ford.

Donna literally drove it off the showroom floor when they opened the big glass sliding doors.  The window sticker says the retail price of the car was $3,391. She paid $3,000 for it. The “MartiAutoWorks” report shows that the car was built in San Jose California on March 23, 1967 a short 6-weeks before my wife bought it.

The drive train, including what I call a “Parade” oversize aluminum radiator, engine, transmission was completely restored by R & E Racing in Lancaster, California.  It has a 289cu engine with a “little” work done, and a standard automatic transmission.  A large portion of the interior was done by J.A. Quality Upholstery of Santa Barbara. The car is currently in for a new paint job and will be  “Brittany Blue” when we get it back.

Memories of a 58 Chevy…

I (Jack Sega) owned a ’58 Chevy Impala in 1960 and I have many fond memories of that car.  I kept it for eight years and sold it and have missed having that car ever since. Both Rodger and I are very interested in Classic Cars and have gone to many car shows and car cruises many years ago. In 2005, we were talking about Classic Cars and decided to purchase one together, as co-owners, just for the fun of it. Having previously owned a ’58 Chevy Impala, it remained a favorite of mine so I suggested we should buy one.  Since Rodger had no real preference, he agreed that we should buy the ’58 Chevy Impala, which we did, in 2005.

 We found the car we currently own on EBay, in San Francisco.  The body was totally restored as it is currently, but we were not happy with the drive train.  Soon after we bought it, we replaced the engine with a Chevy 350ci, 350hp Ram Jet (fuel injected) engine. We also installed a Chevy 700R4 transmission, ceramic headers, 2 3/4 inch stainless steel exhaust system, air-conditioning, power steering, disc brake pads on the front brakes and wire wheels. It drives like a new car and can be driven anywhere.

 As far as why the car is special to me/us, well as I previously stated, having previously owned one, the fond memories of that car remained with me since 1960.  Since Rodger and I purchased it in 2005, Rodger has since considers it a special car as well, in his own right.

-Jack Sega and Rodger Sanders

From Cow Pasture to Car Show

“When I found my 1930 Plymouth it was literally, sitting in a cow pasture being used for target practice.  This was in August 1966.  It was in very rough shape and I needed many parts and in those days, it was long before the internet.  Thus I went to countless antique car swap meets, and wrote many a letters looking for parts all over the country.

While I did start working on it after getting it, going to college, then joining the Navy and being overseas, there wasn’t too much I could do for a while, except look for parts.  Then, with a young family, the project was again on the back shelf, but still I would look for parts, get a few things re-chromed along the way, etc.  Then in the mid 1980’s was able to get it painted, started putting the pieces together and then the upholstery done.  The first time of really using the car was for my Son’s wedding in 2003.   The only show I’ve had the car in is the Rods and Roses, first time in 2010.”

Clyde Freeman

Blue Beauty

“I searched online for a C2 corvette roadster (1963-67).  I was looking both for one that was Nassau Blue with either Bright Blue interior or white but it had to have an automatic transmission.  Only 8.3% of C2’s had this option.  I gave my e-mail to several classic car dealers and one called Sarasota Classic Cars in Sarasota, FL contacted me that he had just receive one from a collector that only had 43K miles and was pristine.  I gave a deposit and made arrangement to fly down on Labor Day 2014 to see and drive the car.  It more than exceeded my expectation.  I bought it on the spot but had to arrange financing back here in CA.  It took me 10 weeks to finally get all the financing and to make arrangement to have it delivered in an enclosed truck.

I received the car around mid November.  But I was keen on restoring the interior to showroom condition and decided to replace a lot of faded parts such as seat belts, carpeting, etc.  It now looks today as the photos show.”

– Harry Sutter

1965 Corvette Roadster

  • 43K Original Miles
  • Purchased from private collector
  • One Owner
  • 327/300 Engine
  • Rare Automatic 8.3 % only made
  • Nassau Blue with matching interior
  • Restored interior to show quality
  • Detailed engine compartment


  •            Power Windows
  •            Power Steering
  •           4 wheel Disk Brakes
  •           Knock Off Wheels
  •           Red line Tire
  •           Seat Belts

– Harry Sutter

It was 1971…

“I fell in love with the 1956 Ford Truck when I was in my pre-teens back in the early 1960s and always wanted one. Friends of my family had a son that was older than me and built model cars. He did one of the ’56 lowered and customized a little and I was hooked.

On January 17, 1971 while out looking at cars with my Father-in-law, I ended up buying the truck of my dreams. My son was 13 months old at the time. That May we took a road trip to Seattle (see picture of Tan truck) to visit my In-Laws. It was used as a daily driver, work truck and everything from camping trips (see red truck c. 1975) to taking the jet skis to the beach (see blue truck c. 1979)

Both my son and my daughter have grown up their entire lives with the truck and it holds a lot of memories for all of us.

From the beginning, I had ideas about what I wanted to ultimately do with it. However, work, family and life in general kept those ideas on the back burner. In the late 80s I was in the process of adding headers and had sent the radiator out to be re-done when things got busy for me and there it sat until 2008 when I had to move it. That spurred me to make it the way I always wanted it and so began a 3-1/2 year project. A complete frame up restoration was commenced. 

The truck is fitted with a Heidt’s front suspension and coil over triangulated 4-bar rear suspension. The wheel base was lengthened 4-1/2 inches and rear fenders widened 2-1/4 inches. There are many subtle custom touches to the body including rounded door corners. It is powered by a big block Ford FE with Shelby intake and Edelbrock aluminum heads. The transmission is a Tremec 5 speed manual sending the power to a Ford 9 inch rear with eaton true track differential and 3:50 Strange gears. Paint and body work was performed by Bill Anderson of Hot Rod Alley. “

-Jim Buster


Full Circle

Rods and Roses would like to thank Steven Behar for being our very first featured story for the 2015 car show. We feel privileged to share Steven’s story with you.

“Life came full circle when I found my red 1957 Ford Thunderbird in 2001, forty-four years after I first saw it drive by my bus stop where I grew up in Monterey Park, Ca. I later became principal of a school in La Puente, Ca where I hired a band teacher named Tina. One day, she mentioned her mother had a red, 1957 Thunderbird . I asked her where she grew up. Well, Tina lived two blocks away from me but she was 25 years younger. You can figure out the rest yourself. Yes, I bought the same car that I had first seen some 44 years before! It is fully optioned. I am the second owner. Karma came full circle for me and the Tbird.

photo 2

The car was destined to come back in my life. And here is the second amazing part of the story. My girlfriend Jacki, lived across the street from the car. We went “steady” for two years when I was 14,15 and she was 13,14. Her mother made us break up but I never forgot her and always loved her. Well, 5 years ago I found her again, some 50 years later. We shared the last 5 years seeing the world , enjoying life, being best friends, and loving as soulmates do. Unfortunately, when we came back from Bora Bora two months ago, she suffered a stroke and passed. I have the most beautiful memories to cherish forever. And yes, the T Bird popped up in Jacki’s home movies shot in the 1960’s. Jacki and her family had returned from  vacation and had some extra film footage to shoot. Her father had her and her brother stand in the street in front of their house. Guess what was behind them parked in the street while he was taking the 8 mm film? You guessed it! The red T Bird. So….both Jacki and the car came full circle for me.”

To Participate in the 2015 Rods and Roses Car Show, fill out the online application here. To share your story, email