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Friday, November 22, 2013

CAL AUTOMOTIVE - A NORTH HOLLYWOOD MURDER STORY



CHERISHING OUR VALLEY              2013

Cal Automotive Inc. (vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  (click on image to enlarge it.)

 The following is unedited - as printed:
"8044 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91605 - Phone 767-8025
INTRODUCING   This worlds nost powerful Mustang Mr. Cal Automotive, Driven by TEX COLLINGS the famous Hollywood badman. Powered by the World War II P38 and P51 Mustang - 12 Cylindrs, 1710 Cubic inch, 3500 H.P. Allison, Tex Collins, the only man that ever successfully made a Aircraft engine run in a car. No problem to go 200 MPH in 1/4 mile."

Hey there may be a real story here!
The hot rod shop called Cal Automotive Inc. in North Hollywood was bought out by a Hollywood stunt man named Tex Collins. Several internet accounts have it that Tex died as a result of being shot to death over equipment sold to a Texas client.

According to a posting on the T Busketeers blog:
http://www.tbucketeers.com/threads/what-ever-happened-to-cal-automotive.10725




"Curt Hamilton who founded Cal Automotive has a shop in Van Nuys, California on Stagg Street called Hamilton Automotive Industries. He still has the T-Bucket molds with the improved dash panel and molded one piece pick up bed body. All his bodies were hand lamenated fiberglass., cleaner and stronger than a messy chopper sprayed body. Tex Collins, who purchased Cal Automotive from Curt tried to mass produce T-Bucket bodies by selling franchiases with hastley made molds to "Mom and Pop" operations. One such operation soured and as a result Tex was shot in the back by the son of a law enforcement official and was later aquitted at trial. Tex was a part time Hollwood Western stuntman who had a fiberglass company called Ford Duplicators in North Hollywood when he purchased Cal Automotive."

There’s a little more to the story. The Tudor ended up in the hands of a sometime Hollywood stuntman named Tex Collins, an Allison fanatic who ran one in a Mustang Funny Car, plus the Lytle-built oddity seen here, The Bad Brawma Bull, which used a White 3000 truck cab and modified chassis (check the bolted-together roll bar, as with Big Al IV). Collins, who owned Cal Automotive and was, sadly, shot to death, actually made passes in this thing and got to the far end unharmed. Mike owns the Bull, too. - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2012/01/18/rip-jim-lytle-a-power-crazed-genius/#sthash.2YjjHEf1.dpuf
There’s a little more to the story. The Tudor ended up in the hands of a sometime Hollywood stuntman named Tex Collins, an Allison fanatic who ran one in a Mustang Funny Car, plus the Lytle-built oddity seen here, The Bad Brawma Bull, which used a White 3000 truck cab and modified chassis (check the bolted-together roll bar, as with Big Al IV). Collins, who owned Cal Automotive and was, sadly, shot to death, actually made passes in this thing and got to the far end unharmed. Mike owns the Bull, too. - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2012/01/18/rip-jim-lytle-a-power-crazed-genius/#sthash.2YjjHEf1.dpuf

4 comments:

Frank Collins said...

My name is Frank collins and Tex collins was my dad I don't know where you got this info on your site but you only got one part right the fact my dad was shot in the back by a dirt bag from the sfv not Texas. it happened in a town called Fillmore the town my mom and step dad lived in I spent a lot of time with my dad and was standing 10ft away when it happend it was over a bad deal that my stepdad had made over a rented piece of property that my stepdad not my dad had gone in with two dirt bags and they wanted to cut out my dad my was just dropping me off on a Sunday after being at his house for the weekend I was 10 years old at the time I rembember driving up and getting out and my dad walking over to say hi and all hell breaks lose the two dirt bags pulled out guns and started shooting my stepdad and my dad run to get me and got it in back then they shot at me a ten year old kid they got off because his dad was a cop . Part two my dad own two companies t.c automotive and ford duplicaters before he saved cal automotive from curt my made all the fiberglass for the Shelby mustangs and roller rockers dean Jeffreys made the t bucket molds not curt when curt sold cal automotive it was bankrupt and tex collins keep curt on and payed his bills For years curt Hamilton is a nice guy but has always felt that he never got his do. And for the molds he has they are junk the molds that we make to today are 10 times better I hope you guy the your facts correct in the future it makes for better reading know it not made up thanks

Bob Rocco said...

Glad you spoke up to make the story right!

I remember your dad's place on Lankershim. As kids, we would press our snotty noses against the glass to look at the cool cars. And in my teens in the late '60s, I worked at the McDonalds across the street.

Great memories. Sorry I never heard about his passing until recently.

Bob Rocco

Ha-Milton said...

In response to Frank Collins, the molds that Curt has are not junk. They are the original molds and they are still pulling parts from them to this day. From my understanding your father took the business over because he saw the long con, as well as having them make parts for him for free, with a "franchise" pipe dream. Regardless of what you believe the story is, pre Tex Collins Cal Auto bodies were the real deal, not chopper gun cheap imitations. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

Frank Collins said...

You mean the ones that Dean made all the molds curt lifted from calautomotive after tex died from the low life Earl he left outside for forty years that i saw with my own eyes sorry but in 1965 tex had a deal with shelby it was not a con. he needed bigger shop and more employees to get it done on t bucket plans.com its stated by curt that he sold calautomotive in late 67 but was not the way it was tex was writing the checks in 1965 not 1967 no chopper gun .intel 1971 by the way i still have some of the bodys with tex collins business cards in them not made with a chopper gun get it right.