Kennedy – Scroggs and T-33

Kennedy – Scroggs

Denver Timing Association      T-33

Chevy men to the bone, Cal Kennedy and Don Scroggs met at the telephone company in the early 50’s, in the parking lot of course, over the fender of Cal’s 1941 Chevy Coupe. The two had the wild idea to take on the flathead Fords of the region with a 1936 Chevrolet pick-up Scroggs had eye-balled over a neighbor’s fence. They swapped in the motor from Cal’s coupe and threw an intake and garage made split exhaust at it and off to the Cam Winder’s Dirt-Drag strip east of Colorado Springs.

In early 1953 Cal found a 1934 Chevy Roadster body in Englewood for $5, they moved the motor back 25% of the wheelbase, dropped it down in the chassis, channeled the roadster shell and sectioned it vertically to align the rear wheels with the wells. The car was a staple at the local drag meets and was at the 1953 Hot Rod Hill Climb.

The boys caught wind of a round track car in Winona, Kansas equipped with a full house Wayne 12 port Chevy six. A deal was struck and they brought it home. The new mill was right at home in the T-33 roadster and it was a force to reckon with. The car was again run at the 1954 Hot Rod Hill Climb and won the “B” Open Class with a time of 2:45:52. They campaigned the Wayne at the Lowry Air

Force Base hosted Drag Safari of 1955 and made it into Hot Rod Magazine September 1955.

The final configuration of the car was in dragster form, still on the narrowed 1936 truck frame, motor moved way back and the seat behind the rear axle. They competed for Top Eliminator in 1958 and won. That was the end of T-33, the car and chassis has been gone for years, the motor well kept in Cal’s crawl space.

Mike Nicholas of Nick’s Garage started the recreation of Cal’s T-33 before the 2013 Hot Rod Hill Climb anniversary event by chasing down a 1936 truck chassis. Cal reassembled the motor with all the original parts. It was July 2014 when the motor finally fired after a 55 year slumber, and Don’s son Dave Scroggs was there to hear the motor his dad boosted about run for the first time of his life. Dave and friends Tom Wentworth and Phil Trill were instrumental in the recreation of T-33.

Cal kicked off the 2014 Hot Rod Hill Climb with his wife LuAnne shotgun in T-33. It took a few men to push start the car, and Cal was off like lightening. The event was also capped with Mike Nicholas, Hot Rod Hill Climb promoter, taking the checkered flag with his Sweetheart Amy in T-33.



by mike nicholas

We have a limited number (only 100) of this original artwork by Jeff Norwell, and hand screen printed by Tiny Bird Press.

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T-33 Chevy Roadster


This is a short Photo essay on T-33, the Hot Rod Cal Kennedy and Don Scroggs campaigned during the 50’s at drag races and the Hot Rod Hill Climbs.

These photos are posted on our Instagram page, seach #t33build for more photos.



While investigating the Hot Rod Hill Climb in 2013, I met Cal Kennedy, he was at both the 1953 and 1954 Hot Rod Hill Climb events. His racing partner was Don Scroggs at those events, Don has been gone many years now, but his son Dave runs in our local hot rod circle.

Cal Kennedy downtown Georgetown getting ready to take on the hill. This photo by Ted Spencer was in Hot Rod Magazine March 1954.

Don Scroggs taking on the climb in the now Wayne powered Roadster. This photo by Ted Spencer was in Hot Rod Magazine April 1955.

Photos from Cal’s scrap book, the top is at the dirt drag strip that the Colorado Springs Cam Winders club ran in the 50’s.

I had this crazy thought that T-33 should be recreated again, and with the help of Dave Scroggs, Tom Wentworth, Phil Trill and so many more, the car has started to take shape.

Cal and his friends rallied with Encouragement and Support to get the old Wayne motor breathing again.

Cal and his life LuAnne brought the Wayne motor to Nick’s Garage so Mike could put it in the chassis.

Cal firing up the Wayne motor for us with the zoomies

We got the Motor in the chassis for the Inliners International Convention

The State of the car 3 weeks before the 2014 Hot Rod Hill Climb, Cal came to take a look and tell us some stories.

The Before and After progress shot of what we started with and what we have now.


You can also check out the T-33 Fan Page on Facebook.

Legend Don Joy

I wrote this in March as a tribute to my dear friend Don, commemorating his life and the love he had for “the Vic”. I often refer to the relationship the two had with the Hot Rod Hill Climb as bookends. At age 17 Don had the Vicky in Georgetown for the first Hot Rod Hill Cilmb in 1953, shortly after he pulled the flathead heart beat out of it and the Vicky followed him life-less during his years of career, family and children. Until he finally devoted a few years to see his girl all dressed in red, the way he had always dreamed her to be, that was 2005. It was a joy to have Don drive the Vicky to Georgetown September 2013 for the 60th Anniversary event, it was a bookend that marked the 62 years those two shared.


Remembering Don Joy


Don Joy’s battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is over. He passed away March 1st, 2014 in his home. It only seems appropriate that he wait until March being that was his page in the calendar (pictured below). Shockingly (or not), Don’s calendar in his kitchen had been hanging on March since November when I delivered it to him.

Last year on my hunt for information on the 1953 Hot Rod Hill Climb, nearly everyone that I ran into asked, “Have you talked to Don Joy?” Don was not shy about letting people know he was there in 1953, in-fact his business card was emblazoned with that famous photo of him standing proudly by his 1932 Ford Victoria on Rose Street downtown Georgetown. On the flip side is Don 54 years later with his beloved bright red Vicky.

On our first in person meeting, like he did with everyone that asked about his car, he handed me this card. As the 2nd owner, and 62 years at that, he had every right to brag!

He was proud of his family and especially his grand daughters, his black labs and the Joy ranch in Evergreen where he spent much of his earlier years. We sat at the table flipping through his ‘Picture Books’ and laughed about his lifetime adventures. He had documented the life with ‘The Vic’ well.

He showed me a photo of him in the September 2010 Good Guys Gazette, and explained how he had to kick the guy in the shins to get his story and photo on paper, “Mike, how many people do you know that have owned a car for 62 years?” You see, it’s more than a shiny red Victoria, it is an amazing story of a boy and his lifelong partner.

I was lucky enough to hook Thom Taylor, he and his crew from Hot Rod Unlimited flew out to cover the 60th Anniversary event, see the video here. I let Don know  I had some visitors that would like to meet him, we knocked on the door, Don poked his head out. “Don this is Thom Taylor from Hot Rod Magazine, he wants to see The Vic”, I said. Don looked him up and down, paused at the ‘Hot Rod Magazine Staff’ logo on the shirt. Now Don was no dummy, he subscribed to Hot Rod, he knew exactly who Thom Taylor was. Then he turned to me and said in his grumbuly voice, “Mike what have you done?” Ha Ha, it was priceless! You can read the article here.

A photo Thom took of the two that day, in the very garage Don re-built the Vicky.

He found ‘The Vic’ on South Pearl Street behind a service station. Don’s father told him he had to “sell the Cord to buy the Ford”, that was 1951, he joined the Strippers Car Club of Denver Colorado, built a ’48 flat head to 276ci backed by a 1940 Ford column shift trans (incidentally he pointed to that as the cause for not winning the 1953 hill climb). After his 1953 Hot Rod Hill Climb appearance he raced at Lowry Air Force base on Nov. 7, 1954 and was clocked at 72.46. Don went to school at CU Boulder with Jim Nielsen, during that time the motor was pulled out and sat for many years. In 1960 he started to fit the chassis with a Dodge Red Ram, after finding out the block was cracked he started to fit a BB Chrysler in the rails, it was now 1964. Don’s dad was a devout Chrysler man, with that in his blood Don finally settled on a Dodge 360 for ‘The Vic’. During the mid 2000’s Don was able to rebuild the Vick to the Bright Red version most of us have come to know. Don was an avid body man for years working over many British cars, he applied those skills and had the body painted. With help Jim Nielsen, Bill Rush, Gary Nardi, and so many more he was able to enjoy ‘The Vic’ in his Golden Age.


I’ve referred to this story as ‘Book Ends’, there were so many years in-between where the car was ‘on the shelf’, but the left and the right of that where Don’s Joy with ‘The Vic’.

I’m honored he packed the O2 bottles in September and drove himself up the hill to relive the Hot Rod Hill Climb 60 years later. Some sweet moments with Don were captured by Adam Reynolds in this video, a must watch.  Enjoy.

God Speed my friend

* this article is a reprint from the March 2014 email  – Join the list here

Another Hot Rod Hill Climb Legend

This adventure just keeps on giving.

Saturday July 19th I took my mother, in town from California, and my two boys to Green Mountain Falls, west of Colorado Springs, for the Thin Air Nationals. This was the 35th Annual event hosted by the Colorado Springs Rod and Custom (CSR&C) car club. These guys also staff the NSRA event in Pueblo, so they now how to put on a good show.


Thin Air Nationals

We stepped into the Pantry for lunch and Brain Anderson of the CSR&C spotted me. Brian and the club are HUGE supporters of the Hot Rod Hill Climb, he and the CSR&C club ran the tech inspection last year, and will do it again this year, along with hosting the Valve Cover Races (more here). Brain grabbed a stack of HRHC post cards and ran out the door, but before I sat down he was back! He had two very tall men behind him. Before I tell you anymore, I want you to know, I’ve been working really hard to round up as many living HRHC legends as I can, I’m going through old photos, programs, results etc to get names with faces and track these guys down.

Brain spit out, “Mike, this here is Cotton Warren and his son Spider”, he continued after catching his breath, “Cotton was at the original Hot Rod Hill Climbs!”

HA HA! All Of course I  new the name! I’ve been looking for him! I stuck out my hand, the hand shake would have to wait, Dann “Spider” Warren handed me a framed photo of Cotton in front of his car on Rose Street in Georgetown 1953. The store front is now Troia’s Italian Restaurant. It would seem that they were looking for me too. Awesome. Cotton went right into how his flathead Vicky was the hottest of the times! (Seems everyone of the legends had the fastest hot rod around… ha ha)


There were two Vicky’s at the Hot Rod Hill Climb in 1953, Cotton’s fender-less one, and of course Don Joy’s with full fenders. What I found ironic is that the only photos I have with proud drivers posed in front of their Hot Rod’s, are the Vicky’s. Don proudly shared this photo on his business card (seen below).

DonJoy Business Card

After lunch we sat under the trees and I showed them the photos so many have shared with me.

Dann, Cotton, Mike

While going through the album, I had this photo (below) that I gave to Cotton, Dann commented on the two boys sitting on the wooden sidewalk (upper left), “That may be my brother and I, we were there as a family with my mother too, I think I was 5 at the time”. Only a magnifying glass and a fortune teller could tell us for sure, I like the story and that’s the way I’m going to tell it! In the case you don’t know, the ‘W’ stood for Cam Winders of Colorado Springs, and if you noticed the photo above, Cottons plaque is mounted on the body above the fuel tank. The W2 car is that of Doug Cimino who would come back in 1954 with Ardun heads on the same coupe.

Cotton Warren 1953

It was a pleasurable afternoon, and of course I encouraged them to come to the tribute 60th Anniversary Hot Rod Hill Climb event September 13th, 2014.

Join us.




Meet the Legends – Cal Kennedy

#T33 Cal Kennedy
Cal is a regular member of the Thursday morning coffee clutch that seems to be a core of DTA members. He drives from west Denver to east Aurora to bring his long time friend Bud Irons to breakfast, they are quite the pair. Cal and his friend Don Scroggs met at the telephone company where they worked, they bonded over the Chevy bowtie. They went on through the early 50’s racing a six cylinder Chevy. The car started as a 1936 Chevy pickup and later got a 1934 Chevy roadster body. This was there entry for the Hill Climbs both years. In 1954 they had a super rare Wayne 12-port Chevy motor in the car, Vern Holmes said, “you could hear that thing coming from Denver”, describing the car at the 1954 event.

Cal attended the Historic 60th Anniversary event with his smooth black 1934 Chevrolet Roadster on 15” red wire wheels.


Wayne Chevrolet

Cal Kennedy and Don Scroggs