48 Cars in 48 States #18 : New Mexico

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After my shoot in AZ I headed east on US60, it’s a route that I’d taken a few times when I was in school there 17 years ago. I knew the road was a scenic one and just had a couple of manageable inclines plus a great drive down and back up the other side of the Salt River Canyon.

It wasn’t the quickest route and I was on a time table, trying to beat the sunset to Los Lunas, NM. Once I got to Quemodo, NM I was on road that was new to me. The scenery was great, the road was pretty good too. Unlike going through Colorado the road was more between the mountains rather than through the more tightly packed Colorado Rockies. When I crossed the Continental Divide for the last time it was more of a big hill than the mountains on either side.

The last bit of the drive was driving right into some beautiful storms. I grabbed some photos for you along the way, it was too cool looking to not shoot them.

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When I arrived to New Mexico it was just barely too late. So we made plans to shoot in the morning, even though the forecast was for more of the rain that was falling. My car owner for NM was Frank Brown, a suggestion of Bob Owens (my TX car owner). Frank is awesome! He has great cars and tons of stories from his days as a Hollywood prop man. I’m sure there’s a more accurate term for it than that but I that’s what I came up with. The car is known as the Mayflower and it has a pretty awesome history.

The car was first built as a hot rod in 1948 by Glenn Ball of Bakersfield, CA. He was an early member of the Smokers Inc, a Russetta Timing Association club. The car has history on the dry lakes and in drag racing in the late 40’s & 50’s. In 1950 it was driven to Bonneville and back and raced while there. Originally the car had a flathead but in 1955 the brand new Chevy OHV V8 was swapped in.

The interior was done in 1950 in an oil cloth material that has held up surprisingly well. The Bell sprint car steering wheel, original gauges & panel are still in the car as well and are still functional.

From 48-64 the car was black then was painted to the current “Smokers Purple” that you see here. However in 1956 the car was disassembled and stayed that way until 2005. The current engine is a 1957 Corvette 283 with dual 4bbl carbs, 50’s era Kong Jackson Dual Coil Roto-Faze Ignition, with a 37 LaSalle trans, adapted torque tube & 1940 Columbia 2 speed rear end.

The car has been driven to California from the Albuquerque area a bunch of times and has over 16,000 miles on it since 2005. Great car with cool history and the owners Frank & Andi Brown were great to spend time talking to as well.

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Labor Day Weekend in KC is all about the Greaserama. Held out at the fairgrounds in Tracy, MO, it’s a great time with amazing cars, bands, artists, and people.

One of my favorite shows in the last few years has been Pistons And Paint in Denton, TX each November. Put it on your list!

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