Remembering The Past: Hot Rodding Memories

by Diane Norek Harrison

Memories from Thomas Saboy: “Hot Rodding started after World War II (late 40s) and came alive in the 1950s.

“There used to be two drive-in restaurants on Route 22 in Union, where hot rodders hung out; both were on the island between the north- and southbound lanes.


“There was a club in South Amboy called the ‘Bearing Burners.’ I remember three members; Tom Callou, Walt (who owned a garage in S.A.) and another guy had a ‘32 Ford chopped and channeled coupe with chrome collector pipes that were split and attached doors. I later bought that car from him. Tom had a five window ‘32 (Duce) Ford coupe, a street rod. He was the NHRA representative for N.J.

“I was a member of the ‘Raritan Gearwinders.’ Every club had cast aluminum plaques with the club name and logo that hung off the rear of the car. We did our hotrod building at Ideal Garage and Gas Station on New Brunswick Avenue in Fords. It was owned by Pete Beni and is now operated by his son Gerry.”

If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, email me at or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201

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