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Old 10-08-2011, 10:30 AM
geeky2's Avatar
geeky2 geeky2 is offline
1968 Ford Mustang - beginner

Last journal entry: garage work
Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Belvidere, IL
Age: 49
Posts: 47
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Originally Posted by cboy
Hey Geeky,

Just noticed you are from Belvidere. I was born and raised in Sycamore so I'm pretty familiar with your stomping grounds. In fact, I bought the glass body for this T-bucket back in the 60's from a little speed shop in Belvidere (might have been called Sterling Speed if I remember correctly - long gone now I am sure). And good luck with that first paint job.

hello cboy,

thank you for sending me the pic of your T-Bucket.

i went over to my mom and dad's house yesterday and asked my dad about Sterling. i was surprised how fast he came back with the information.

my dad has been showing hot rods for almost 20 years. he has been in to hot rods his whole life.

he said that Sterling Engineering and speed shop was located on Broadway in Rockford, IL. it was run until about 4 years ago by a gentleman named, Carl Johnson.

Carl sponsored several racers "back in the day", including Jerry Haley. my dad showed me a few pictures of Haley's car on the strip. on the side of the car it says, "Sterling Engineering".

here is a link to a picture that is similar to one of the pics in my dad's garage.

jerry haley anglia

Carl also raced his own car at Byron, IL. my dad (along with another source i talked to who knows and worked with Carl) said that Carl while trying to break 260 MPH in his own car, had a very bad accident at Byron raceway. After that Carl retired from racing and around the same time, closed his shop on Broadway in Rockford, IL and moved it to his home.

during the same conversation, with my dad, we BOTH remembered another speed shop in Belvidere, IL. This speed shop was in the back of a Western Auto Store on Logan Ave, in Belvidere, IL. the name was Cooks speed shop.

my dad knows both people that ran the shop. they are both locals and still around (he thinks). my dad told me a hilarious story of the two owners being left on their own for the weekend, while Cook's wife went out of town. the two decided to take the family volkswagon and put a 402? engine in the front / trunk and modify the steering so the car had to be driven from the back seat.

because of the car's uniqueness, it was one of the most well know local cars in the general area. back then Belvidere was very small and the locals commonly cruised up and down State street to Logan avenue and turned around in the parking lot at the Beacon (a small restaurant on the end of town) which also was right next to Cook's speed shop.

my dad is very active in the local show circle and said the modified Volkswagon car popped up at a local show last year and was still located about 1/2 mile from his home. he talked to the owner at the show and found out that the owner is slowly restoring the car back to it's original look in 1965 - 66.

take care,
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