This is hopefully the correct
and accurate (or as close as possible after 45 years) story of
this "urban legend".
For 30 years I have been in constant
touch with Arty Ross, who painted the Wale & Candies Ewing
car twice for Q-Ball Wale.
Q-Ball & I lived in New Orleans,
Paul Candies lived about 50 miles away in desAllemands and Arty
lived about 80 miles away, in Baton Rouge.
I was good friends with Q from
1956 until his death at Monroe, LA drag strip, July 3, 1965.
We ran him and red-lighted the run before he was killed when
his chute didn't open.
I am still in regular touch with
Paul Candies, who I have known since 1958, when he became Q-Ball's
partner in his first digger.
This is not FIRST hand, but it
IS SECOND hand information!
I spent the afternoon today,
with Arty at his shop in Baton Rouge. Arty had told me previously
how this scenario unfolded and clarified some events in person
with me, today. (11-24-09)
Arty made a mold off the rear
body and cowl, after he completed the finish body work prior
to paint, on the aluminum rear body. The Wayne Ewing body was
only rough finished and had lots of hammer dents & ripples
when Arty got the car from Q-Ball. Arty dolly straightened, filed
and sanded the aluminum body so that very little primer was needed
prior to painting. This occurred in Baton Rouge, fall-winter,
1962. Arty had just turned 21 and was doing paint jobs at his
Arty was a local hot rodder,
known as a custom painter in the very early '60's and did some
(if not the first?) metal flake jobs in the Baton Rouge - New
Arty was interested in fiberglass
work, but had never made a mold of anything. He wanted to make
this mold for the experience, plus it was a cool body! He had
no intention of going into business SELLING bodies.
At that time he did not have
Q-Ball's permission to make the mold. But, Q-Ball and "everybody"
knew immediately that Arty had made a mold & Q never complained
or commented to Arty. He painted the Ewing car blue metal flake.
Paul & Q-Ball ran this car at Pomona in Feb, 1963.
Arty made ONE body, which stayed in his
shop for a year. Arty sold no bodies at that time. The mold Arty
made from the blue body was a one-piece mold, which had to be
carefully cut to get the body out. Arty only made one body from
it, which hung on the wall of Lester Guillory's shop. (See below
photos. Also, Arty as he looked in 1964.)Because a one-piece
mold is difficult to lay-up and pop out, Arty made a second mold
from the orange car. This mold was a 2-piece mold. All bodies
sold to Garlits came from this 2-piece mold. The 1-piece mold
A year later (fall-winter, 1963),
Q-Ball returned to Arty's shop for the car to be re-painted (orange).
Arty told Q that he would not charge him for re-painting the
car orange, for making a mold off his body. Q said fine. That
was the deal. Arty had sold no bodies at that point.
Q was very easy-going and could
have cared less, especially since he didn't have to pay for the
paint job. Paul came to Arty's house to pick up the car after
the orange paint job was finished and asked Arty what he owed
Arty? Arty told Paul: "Nothing, as I made a mold from your
body". Paul obviously had not been informed by Q-Ball about
the deal? Neither Paul nor Q was ever charged for the 2nd paint
job. Neither Q-Ball, Paul nor Wayne Ewing ever said anything
to Arty about him making the mold.
In late 1964, I had one of the
first of these Arty Ross fiberglass copies of Q-Ball's Ewing
aluminum rear body on my 1964 built, Cupit & Cunningham AA/FD.
Wayne Smythe, my friend and chassis builder who lived in Westwego,
bought the body from Arty Ross in late 1964. Arty's home shop
was in Baton Rouge. Arty has had a commercial shop in Baton Rouge
since the late '60's. (Today, Arty does not remember Wayne buying
Sometime in late '63, early 64,
Connie Swingle came by Arty's shop and said that the fiberglass
body hanging on the wall, would be great for Garlits' new chassis
he was making for himself & others. Arty made him a body
and Swingle took it to Garlits for his approval.
In the next few years, Arty sold
Garlits 20-30 bodies to be put on Garlits' chassis that he made
& sold. Many of Garlits', Swingle's and Art Malone's cars
sported this Arty Ross body in '64, '65 and later. These bodies
can be easily identified by the definite scalloped peak above
the chute pack opening.
Arty continued to make these
and delivered them to Garlits in Florida or Gar had them picked
up in Baton Rouge. Arty put an "X" reinforcement on
both sides of the bodies, (which is visible in one photo). He
also embedded his business card at the center of the "X",
which could be read through the fiberglass from the inside.
On one trip to Arty's shop, Swingle
told Arty that Garlits would hold each shipment of bodies up
to the light and look them over. Gar commented to Swingle that
there were no air bubbles, lumps, etc and the hand laid-up bodies
were light & strong.
Arty manufactured them for Garlits
and Garlits sold them with the chassis he (and Swingle) built.
Garlits knew where the mold originated, from the "get-go".
This arrangement continued for several years.
As the bodies went out of style,
and none had been made for many years, Arty gave the mold to
Garlits for his museum (probably in the late '80's?). Arty intended
the mold for Garlits' use in restoration of his cars that had
the Arty Ross bodies.
Pat Foster's restoration body
for the Wale & Candies blue cackle car, was made recently
by Garlits from this same ORIGINAL Arty Ross mold. Garlits probably
did not make many bodies after Arty gave him the mold, until
Patty's. This mold was never "rebuilt" or "restored".
I spoke to Garlits at Bowling
Green in 2006 and he told me that he could furnish another body
for my 1965 digger that I wanted to recreate . . . which he did.
Boogie Scott & I drove down and picked it up in Jan, 2008.
I personally saw and photographed Arty's original mold at Garlits'
shop which was used in late 2007 to make the body for my Cupit
& Cunningham 1965 AA/FD cackle car recreation. This original
mold still exists today, which Arty says is EXACTLY the same
as it was when he had made it in 1964. Even has the same wing
nuts! I am regularly in touch with Boogie, who told me recently
that he was the one who originally went to California to pick
up Q-Ball's car at Ewing's shop in 1962. It was not nearly ready
and he returned to Louisiana after driving all the way to California!
Another crew (Patty's "Alligator
Wrestlers"?) had to be sent by Paul from Louisiana to pick
it up. Boogie knows the rest of this episode, too. The story
is that it STILL was not ready, so they "camped" at
Ewing's shop until it was finished! I'm copying this to Paul
for his input and recollections.
Garlits Swamp Rat VIII,
Bowling Green 6-2006
Q-Ball Wale - Pomona
Q-Ball - Paul Candies
- Pomona, Feb 1963
Wayne Ewing - Pomona
- Feb, 1963
Paul Candies, Q-Ball
(in car), Wayne Ewing, Pomona 2-63
Paul Candies, Q-Ball
(in car), Wayne Ewing, Pomona 2-63
Paul Candies home-built
trailer - Pomona, 2-63
Burglar John Harbard,
Q-Ball, Candies, Pomona, 2-63
Paul pouring fuel - June
Lester Guillory' shop
- late 1963-early 1964
No ID, Q-Ball's son,
Joe Wale at Lester Guillory's.
Lester Guillory, Burglar
Lester Guillory welding
headers. Ross body in back.
Arty Ross bodies ready
Arty's house, 1964
Pat Foster - Wale &
Candies restoration 2006
Cupit & Cunningham
cackle car, Bakersfield 10-09
Art Malone - 1964
Brougher & Reese
Garlits chassis, Arty Ross body 1965-66
Sent: Saturday, July 8, 2006 2:35 PM
Subject: [Standard1320] Dragster Bodies
I noticed that the body on Garlits
car at Bowling Green was fiberglass. Does anybody sell these
bodies or know of a possible source? Thanks
On Jul 8, 2006, at 5:06 PM, Terrible
Tom Barnhill wrote:
That body was brand new but the
originals were fiberglass too. Don said that he found the mold
for that body and asked a guy to clean it up and make him a chute
pack body and asked him how much it would cost. The guy told
him $150 so Don bought 6 of them. He might sell you one if you
ask or he might be willing to have another one made for you.
I bet it ain't $150 though!
Sent: Sat, 8 Jul 2006 18:41:47
Tom and group - I feel I should
step in on the Garlits body shit before it gets much deeper.
The body in question was built in 1963 by Wayne Ewing in Van
Nuys Ca. It was built for Paul Candies and Q-Ball Wale, Ewing
also built the car. I have the car at this time and have just
completed a total restoration on it for Paul Candies.
When it was built and sent the
paint shop a splash was taken off the hand formed aluminum body
by an employee of the paint shop. This splash was done without
the permission of Wayne or Wale and/or Candies. The thief produced
a mold and pulled a few bodies from it before Wayne found out
and went postal on the guy, that mold was destroyed at that time.
One of the bodies produced by the thief ended up with Garlits,
who mounted and ran it on one of his cars. Don, the clever man
he is, got many comments on this body, so pulled another mold
off his body and started selling them in the mid-sixties, many
went to many racers including Glenn Cupit of the 1320.
When Paul asked me to restore
the original Ewing car there was no sign of the body Wayne built,
in thinking about it, I dimly remembered the Van Nuys 'happening'
and wondered if any bodies still existed (?) I called Don and
asked if he had or knew of any still around, he said no but I
still have that mold somewhere!
He and TC drug it out of the
scrap heap, I paid Gar to have it rebuilt and got a body out
of it for the Candies resto. I laughed with Don and said: Now
you won't pull anymore of these will you, we'd like an exclusive
on this deal, you know he just laughed and winked, don't you?
Any questions as to whether he
will have some for sale, what with the nostalgia craze and lack
of tin benders and monied folk who can afford em'! Paying to
rebuild the mold in Ocalla and getting a body was a tad more
than $150 but I must say he was more than fair with me, maybe
he likes me. ya' think?
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 12:27 PM
Subject: [Standard1320] Wale & Candies car "urban legend"
I remember hearing a story --and it may be a bit of an urban
legend by this point-- involving the Wales & Candies car.
If anyone knows Ewing, the guy was a master craftsman, but an
incredible stroke. My ex-partner, John Guedel, used to piss Wayne
off by wearing this old army jacket that had the construction
times of various cars (Tugboat's beingone) written on the back
with a Marks-A-lot.
The story I heard was that Candies
got so exasperated that he sent a couple of guys ("Alligator
Wrestlers" was the term I heard) to Ewing's shop to hasten
the build process. These guys supposedly held him hostage in
his shop, and refused to leave until Wayne finished the car.
They would bring him food, etc. but not let him leave.
After putting up with Ewing,
you can imagine the pleasure it was to deal with Hanna --a craftsman...and
someone whom you could rely on.