The Gearhead Bash

(From the Archives – 07.26.02)

For many years, since establishing their Shady Grove Farm in Bradbury, California, Gale and family have held a large Christmas party for relatives, friends, co-workers, and associates. Since many of these people tended to be gearheads of one type or another, they’d arrive in a broad variety of interesting vehicles. Gale, of course being a hardcore gearhead himself, started parking these cars in a large, grassy area on the property, creating a mini car show. You’d never know what might show up, from rare Ferraris, to ’32 Ford roadsters, to brass-era touring cars, to Al Teague’s 400-plus mph Bonneville streamliner (that he had a great time strapping little kids into the driver’s seat of).

But then, about five or six years ago, Gale said, “Let’s have a get-together, during the summer, just for cars.” This became the Banks Gearhead Bash. Let me tell you, I’ve been to just about every kind of car function you can imagine, and this is definitely one of the best.

It’s first class all the way. Typical Banks deal. Food, drinks, live music, custom-designed shirt (these are going to be collector’s items one day). And there are usually some good surprises. The year the cops arrived at 10:00 p.m. to close it down we thought was the perfect capper. The next year someone fired up a Top Fuel dragster about that time to get back at the neighbors (or was that just a suggestion?).

I forget how many cars and people attended the first Gearhead Bash, but I’d say something like 30-40 cars and a couple hundred people. But since then Gale has more than doubled the grassy area available for parking cars. Last Saturday we had 80-plus vehicles and more than 450 people. Jay Leno drove a very rare McLaren street-legal F1 this year instead of his Duesenberg (that he drove last time, right down the freeway). Ed Iskenderian was there. At one table I saw Ak Miller, Louie Senter, and Alex Xydias swapping tales of the dry lakes. Gene Winfield drove in late in a chopped, full custom ’53 Buick he had just finished. I could go on and on. But since most of you weren’t there, I’ll shut up and give you a vicarious visit to this very cool car event. Enjoy.

Big brass-era cars

Austin Healy

Richard Wilson’s ’37 Chevy

An old belly tank lakester

The pumpkin Seed

That ’34 Ford sedan belongs to Jim “Jake” Jacobs

’37 Woodie

gale found a stream he liked in Yosemite, photographed it, and had it reproduced in his backyard.

A decided patriotic theme this year.

Custom ’47 Ford convertible

’40 Sedan and ’32 Roadster

This truck has quite a story

perfect candy red ’50 Ford

The matching Deuce roadsters belong to the Justice Brothers

Leave a Reply