rod enthusiasts discuss their hobby and check out a mint-condition
Ford Cobra at the monthly Cruise Night at Whitey’s Jolly Kone
in West Sacramento. Cruise Night is held on the last Thursday of every
and Hot Rods Come Together in West Sac
Spectrum staff writer
The setting at the Whitey’s Jolly Kone parking lot in West Sacramento
seemed perfect for an automotive blast from the past — hot cars
on display on a hot night.
In one of the many informal gab sessions that spring up at Whitey’s
monthly Cruise Night, and not too far from his rebuilt 1932 Ford Roadster,
Don Falloon of Rescue was gently needling Stu Renna of Carmichael.
“Where’s your car?” Falloon asked, smiling.
“It’ll be a while,” Renna, 54, answered with a laugh.
“I’m hoping no more than two years, but you never know.”
Besides admiring the 20 to 30 custom hot rods on display for Whitey’s
Cruise Night on June 24, Renna was looking for ideas for his own project
— converting a 1927 Ford Model T sedan into a street rod.
“On Cruise Night, you pick up a lot of ideas,” Renna said.
“Guys put their hearts and souls into these things. There’s
some cars that took six, seven, eight years to build. It’s got
to be something you just love to do.”
At the same time, Whitey’s Jolly Kone loves having the hot rod
enthusiasts gather from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the last Thursday
of every month to give the West Sacramento landmark an authentic touch
of what the movie “American Graffiti” tried to capture.
“It was too hot,” said Paula Ericson, who runs Whitey’s
with her husband, Steve, after the event. “That was one of the
slowest turnouts we’ve ever had. We usually get around 50 or 75
Nonetheless, Falloon observed, “This is how it was when we were
Whitey’s Jolly Kone, founded by Whitey Boisclair, who passed away
June 4, has been around since 1963, a time when hot rods gathering in
the parking lot was more of a regular occurrence. Cruise Night started
four years ago as an idea suggested by some of the members of the River
City Roadsters who meet every Friday at Whitey’s for coffee.
“The camaraderie — that’s what the car shows are all
about,” said Falloon, 67. “You wind up with some pretty
good buddies out of it. Guys that wouldn’t be your buddies if
it weren’t for your interest in cars, otherwise you’d never
“I’ve got some close friends that have come from doing cars,
going to shows. Worth it for that alone,” he added. “And
if you look around, it gets a lot of old guys off the couch and doing
Falloon said his maroon ‘32 Roadster is worth approximately $35,000.
The average value of the displayed cars is $15,000 to $20,000, he said.
“When I found [the Roadster], it was a little pile of rust that
came over from Australia that I bought in 1991. I went ahead and built
it,” Falloon said. “I had a picture of one that I bought
at a swap meet for three bucks. It’s on the wall in the shop.”
While many such projects can take years, Falloon’s went faster.
“It took me four months because I’m retired!” he said.
Mostly, Falloon enjoys driving his Roadster and “showing it to
“That’s because everybody appreciates it,” Falloon
said. “The ‘32 Ford was America’s true hot rod.”
Renna, meanwhile, figures his ‘27 Ford hot rod will be what he
calls “a daily driver.”
“They’re just neat-looking,” Renna said of his choice
for a restoration project. “A gentleman had it up in Auburn, just
lost interest in it, and wanted to sell it. It was in pretty good shape
when I got it.”
Renna said he’s having much of the work, including welding, done
“The body’s off now. It’s right down to the frame.
I’ll pretty much start from the frame up for the restoration,”
Renna said. “Mostly, I enjoy self-maintenance, doing things yourself,
The two rows of hot rods on this particular night included a 1968 Ford
Mustang, a 1934 Dodge pickup, a white Chevrolet Impala from the 1950s,
a 1941 Chevrolet Deluxe and many others, some sporting loud and distinct
paint jobs that expressed the owners’ personalities.
When Renna’s hot rod is ready for paint, he’s got the color
“We’re going with a pearl tangerine orange,” he said.
“Something a little ballistic!”