Mecum at Monterey 2010: Classic Hoon Machines

It’s a strange sensation on the insides when you find old hoon machines where you can just feel the amount of work and passion that went into building it. I found two such classics while wandering the aisles at Mecum.

Jerry Anolik has been an enthusiast since the 1950s and put much of his life into building this custom rod based on a 1955 Ford Thunderbird. As soon as he bought it he began modifying it on his own, painting it and learning from his errors along the way. The fruits of his effort paid off when he hit the show car circuit, winning awards and recognition from big car magazines of the time.

Eventually, Jerry would tour the country with his “Moon Rocket” turning heads where ever he went from. He even made it to Puerto Rico for a big car show. Unfortunately, on the way back from that show Jerry and his “Moon Rocket” had an accident. Shortly after, Jerry retired the car where it sat in his garage for 50 years.
“It’s not easy for me to part with it but I hope it goes to a good home,” says Jerry.

This ‘55 Thunderbird Roadster is about as classic hoon as it can get. It even broke a record at Bonneville back in the 50s and kept the record for some time. It still wears the awesome white-walled rear slicks. It’s said to be powered by a supercharged Cadillac engine although we’re not sure if that same mill sits under the hood still.

“A guy earlier today said ‘Hey, why don’t you restore it?’ I said, you know a little history, say you own Man-o-war or Citation…anyone of the great triple crown winners. If that horse had won every race he had been in like this bird has, would you make him win one more or when he got hurt would you retire it? Didn’t he earn that right?” says Jerry. His “Moon Rocket” had been sitting on blocks until now.

Jerry’s “Moon Rocket” was recently featured in the Hot Rod Deluxe July issue, where magazine staff spent two days collecting photos and info for a 10 page spread. It was originally brought out of retirement for a Sacramento classic auto show and did not sell at Mecum’s. Here’s to hoping his piece of Automotive history ends up in a museum for all to enjoy.

Going even more back in time is this badass rat rod from the 1930s. Owner Louis Zurich said his friend originally found it in a barn in Nevada, and after both invested some wrench time it was fully functional. This junkyard racer has parts borrowed from whatever scrap the builders had available at the time. The outer frame barrels were sourced from a 50 caliber machine gun and the firewall is a stop sign from the 1940s. There are other pieces from all over the place, like a rare set of aftermarket headlights from the 30s. These purple-tinted lamps are supposedly valued at around $5,000. In between the driver and passenger seat is a .30 caliber ammo box that looks like it was just pulled from the European theater.

Finally…getting a mention just for the sake of being mentioned was this Defender car from the 90s tv show “V.I.P.E.R.”, a Knight Rider-like show with pretty much the same plot as Spy Hunter. It would transform from a Dodge Viper to the “Defender” car. It’s a working car, meaning it will drive around but headlights and interior pieces seem to be purely decorative. The owner wasn’t willing to talk to us, but from what we know the car didn’t sell.

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  1. Alff Avatar

    Uhh, under what hood? I kid, that T-Bird is an awesome period custom. I hope whomever gets it returns it to its as completed state.

  2. engineerd Avatar

    That T-bird rocket ship is bad ass. I'd pretty much leave it as is, put some new rubber on it, and start making it faster. Take it to Bonneville and the Texas Mile and have a blast.

  3. muthalovin Avatar

    That pulley on that T-Bird made me swoon.

  4. alcology Avatar

    I watched V.I.P.E.R. it stunk about as much as the owner not talking to you. That would've been interesting to know a little bit more about it.

    1. john Avatar

      you obviously a troll. the viper show was awesome.

    2. BAH Avatar

      What exactly does V.I.P.E.R. stand for? I was unaware it was an acronym… lol

  5. packratmatt Avatar

    I saw the Viper on tv the other day. It went for about $270K and didn't sell.

  6. UMCLV Avatar

    I am the owner of the car.I did not have anybody come up and ask me about the car. Dont know who they talked to,if anybody has any question please feel free to contact us.Thanks