My name is Bob Dedmon.  Just before Christmas 1965 I was making the rounds to see my friends that I hadn’t seen in three years since joining the U.S. Army and volunteering for two tours in Vietnam.  I pulled up to my friend Larry Le Compt’s home in Globe Arizona and in his driveway was a 1933 Ford truck (shot Rod).  It was three toned orange, gray primer, and rust.  The only glass was the windshield.  The gas tank was a beer keg sitting against the cab in the bed that had been shortened in length 18 inches with a torch and had no floor.  The cab had a wooden “STOP” sign for a floor and a padded box to sit on.  It had no fenders, running boards or hood.  It had a 1950 engine with three carbs, transmission, and rear end all Oldsmobile.  It ran, who could ask for more.  Larry told me he was so busy with work that he was selling it.  He wanted $150 for it.  Kind of expensive but I had to have it.  I drove it to work and made improvements when I could afford to.  I had a friend named Jay Arter that had two 1960 Bill Cheeseburg Tag-a-long trailers (Bill was a circle track driver that wanted to race at the Indy 500, so he made 50 of these trailers in his shop to raise the money.  His shop specialized in the repair of corvettes and VW bugs.  He went twice and crashed both times).  After pleading with Jay to sell me one for a couple of years he finally sold one to me.  The trailer was designed low to pull behind Corvette’s or VW’s.  I placed the receiver vertically behind my truck license plate so when I don’t have my trailer you don’t see a hitch.  Chevy did this for their “SSR” in 2003.  In 1998 I was ready for paint.  I took it to a shop in Tucson that tried to keep it. 

It took six years and I lost about $10,000 in cash and parts getting it back.  After rebuilding it and help with some of the metal work from an amazing hot rod builder (Dutch Eshelman) it is now 2005 and ready for paint again.  My wife Jan told me if I would paint it purple, she would ride in it.  She had never even sat in it so purple it was.  My son Zane said to name it “Grape Nutz ” with a “Z” for him.  The little tag-a-long I named after my wife (Just Plum Spoiled).   I took it to one of the nicest people I have met.  Gary Glandon owner of Southwest Custom Trucks.  He painted it and my trailer (Chroma base Chrysler Plum Crazy) as well as custom headers, stainless exhaust, and wiring.  Geet Faulkner did the pinstriping, silver leaf, lettering, and artwork.  Dave Melian did the flames. I customized the seat and Craig’s Custom Interior did the interior. After it was done, I took my wife for her first ride ever in an open wheel, over horse powered hot rod.  Then she wanted to drive it.  Then she wanted one of her own.  Then she got “car show fever”.  One of the first shows was in Globe Arizona.  Larry Le Compt got to see it finished at last.  I had tears in my eyes when it won “Best in Show”.  My wife Jan was suddenly my booking agent for car shows.  We have driven to car shows pulling our little trailer all over Arizona, parts of Nevada and California.  We have been to about 200 shows and have placed in over 100.  Without the love, and encouragement of my wife Jan, my son Zane, my two daughters Misty and Star and my good friend Rob Lewis I don’t believe “Grape Nutz” would have ever been.


Bob & Jan Dedmon


1933 Ford &
1960 Cheeseburg Tag-a-long


Grape Nutz

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Photos by Rod Loveless