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