38 “Rock Vest” 1968 Datsun Fairlady

In January 2018 We began the campaign to reintroduce Rock’s car to those who hadn’t seen the old girl in some 25 years. What kind of shape was the car in…first stop a shakedown at Buttonwillow. Then off to the start of the VARA season, at Spring Mountain, and Willow Springs… How about 1st in class and first overall in the first 2 events.

March 2018 Rock’s #38 went back to Road Atlanta for The Mitty.

Rock and his 38 Fairlady made many a visit to the SCCA Nationals, while “the Curse” prevented a 1st, most all visits included the announcement that Rock and the 38 are in the lead…The response we got by bringing the car back to the track was amazing, we also got to include a visit to the Jim Fitzgerald memorial as well. Back when Rock was running it took a lot of friends… Fitzgerald, Newman, Sharp, Vargo, Carter, Childress & Petty, good friends to have. We’re about to understand the value of friends.

May 2018 HMSA Spring Classic

Just before the trip to Georgia we got the call from Laguna Seca…we were going to the Reunion. In preparation, we decided to run in May at the Spring Classic in order to be prepared to show the car in her best light when we came back in August. What a great weekend, including a trip the podium on Saturday. But Sunday in the final race, while making the pass for third disaster struck, a broken rear axle sent the car on its side, #38 was hurt bad, very bad…But Randy Carter from Rock’s fraternity called, “Its not the first time, Like a Timex, she keeps on ticking”. We’ve got work to do, Time to rely on some friends.

A whole lot to do and Not enough time…

We got the car home and realized what a project this was going to be. The list was long…Frame, Body, Fiberglass, paint, suspension, fabrication, Rear End, wheels and Axles. A 3 year restoration in 2 months. Thank you to all— Body, Paint and Framework—Gongora’s in Pomona; New Fiberglass—Japco molds and Hannemann in Azuza (we have the molds!); Suspension—RE Suspension in North Carolina; Fabrication—Barkers Fabrication in Lake Havasu; Rear End—Tri County Gear in Pomona; Wheels—WIlliams Machine and Garage Star; Axles—Summers Brothers in Ontario; Handpainting by Ron’s Colorworks in Upland; suspension setup by Indotech Motorsports in Arcadia; Replacement Graphics—Replica Graphics in Santa Fe Springs Of course it all had to be put together, it wouldn’t have happened without Kevin Desirello of Kevins Roadster Designs in Hemet. Others who helped Ron Carter, Erik Dickson, Cole Hastings, Mike Unger, Keith Church, Randy Carter, Terrible Herbst & Palomar Solar.

The rich connections to this car:

  • Rock Vest – Fitz’ys adopted son
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Paul Newman – close friend
  • Linda Sharp – close friend and driving coach mentor
  • Childress Racing – race heads and tach (Dale Earnhardt)
  • Petty Racing – Headers
  • Hendrick Racing – Suspension