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Larry "Speedo" "The Wax Wacko" Story


Well actually it all started long before I was born. My Dad, and uncles were all hot rod hell raisers in the 40’s & 50’s, and as They were from the old school of hot rodding they all built their own cars.

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I was practically weaned on hot rods with my dad owning a 39 Ford flat head, I can only reflect on the stories I’ve heard from my Uncles about his street drag racing days. I remember my uncles taking my older brother Sonny & I to the Raisin City Drag Strip when we were just little squirts to see Blackie Jeggian, And all the other ‘seat a their pants’ drag racers and hot rodders of that time. Being born and raised in Fresno, Calif. I had a lot of exposure from an early age to the love of hot rods ,and classic cars.
I was also very fortunate to have had a great auto shop teacher at Clovis high school, Mr. Jim Walker, Who was a resounds drag racer, and salt flat competitor as well, gave all of us in his class an opportunity to get an up close first hand experience with these types of cars. During those early years

I spent a lot of my time building model cars trying to figure out new ways to Chop , & channel and, fabricate parts & panels out of sheet plastic.

I would later be able to use some of these same techniques, not only in building, & restoring my own cars as my hobby , but also in my professional Career in the fine gold jewelry & lapidary business, as a gem cutter, and wax model maker. This all began in 1967 after graduating high school .

It was at that time that I left my home town for southern California. I had a job within the first week I was there working for Dewey Webber Surf Boards as I already had some experience working with fiberglass for a company in Fresno that made fiberglass molds for everything from ‘ 55 Chevy tilt front ends to Indy type race car bodies.

Sometime after that I began my training as a gem cutter with a lapidary guild in Venice beach, California . I soon found myself immersed in the jewelry business, and found my calling as a wax carver – model maker.

After completing a few years of training, I was exploring some new styles of gem cutting that would turn the strait Jewelry establishment up side down. This was illustrated in a issue of the May 1971 cover pictorial story In ‘Modern Jeweler, magazine.

Living in the Hollywood area at that time period gave me the opportunity to create many extraordinary jewelry show pieces for some of the top names in the movie & music entertainment business.

In 1972 I was asked by Loren Green of the ‘American National Theater Academy Awards committee to design, & create a new ‘ANTA’ Award for them to present at that years Awards for their recipients. Not long after that I was presented with the Felland Award for innovative jewelry design concepts, forging Fine gem material, Gold, and Platinum together into freeform-stylized Masterpieces.

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Through out all of that I maintained My hobby as a street rodder, and enjoyed building my own rides…never considering myself a pro car builder, But enjoyed it all the same, and had a lot of pride in doing most all the work myself, winning my share of small local car show awards as well as a few large national awards as well.

A few years ago it dawned on me after looking around a number of venders booths at some of the larger car shows, that all their was in automotive jewelry was those flat pins that every booth sold for $4.00.

I had a new mission in life, to create some fairly inexpensive as well as some high end, and highly detailed 3-D little works of art for my fellow street rodders, & classic car owners to enjoy wearing with pride as hat/lapel pins, as well as some earrings, & pendants for the ladies to wear, and enjoy. Along with that I came up with some great little Key chains, and some really cool little Desktop Sculptures.

coupe4.gif (46682 bytes) Being in the jewelry business now for 32 years, along with being a rod builder for myself, puts me in a rather unique position. Having to work with the most stringent tolerances for carving in wax, minute setting tables for diamonds, and other precious gems, as well as the most intricate details of antique type ring settings, my carving skills are honed in for getting the detail of these minute hotrods so tight that on a car only 15 m.m. long you can under magnification clearly see such details as the shifters, the buttons on the seats, and even the gauges in the dash boards.

We are also giving these little rods a new finish that is also being used by collector coin minters, Its called a’ Two Tone 22K gold & Rhodium overlay’ which is a totally different process than just gold plating them that will wear off after a few times of wearing them. So, what we end up with is not only a product that has the white chrome look on the bumpers, windshields, grills & wheels but also the 22K yellow gold finish on the bodies.


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At the beginning of this car show season (the Grand national Roadster Show) I approached Ed ‘Big Daddy Roth’ with the Idea of recreating several of his Famous Show cars into jewelry related pins, pendants as well as desktop sculptures. These products are now becoming a reality with the Nov. 1999 release of the all-new ‘Rat Fink’ ™ sculpture, and a few of his cars to follow, and they will include a figure of Big Daddy’ himself standing next to his approx. 21/4 long famous creations.

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Wax 1st Prototype Master of Rat Motor (Ed Roth And Rat Fink Buildin' a machine)

Now this has launched a movement to recreate even more famous show cars, and their builders, such as George Barris, Darrel Starbird, Bill Cushenbery, Gene WinField, Hotrods of Norco, the ‘Posies’ cars and the Fred Warren’ collection including the ‘ America’s Most beautiful Roadster’ ‘The Shockwave’ & Aftershock’ as well.

As I entered this arena of top show cars, I have to give credit to all the folks at the ‘Goodguys Rod & Custom Association as I was presented the opportunity to not only create a line of new logo jewelry for them, but also Gary Meadors ask me to Sculpt his Logo car into the’ Goodguys Pick Award, as well as their Grand National Award For 2000 .

I am looking forward to this new year to expanding our own line of keychains ,Pins And sculptures as well including some new releases of ‘Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’™ famous cartoon car sculptures. In Nov. 99 Big Daddy and I were invited to the Mooneyes, car show in Yokahama ,Japan where we had some time to discuss a lot of new ideas for 2000…with him.

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Ed and Larry Talkin' Biz over Sushi in Japan.

I was also able to preview the all new Mooneyes Dragster’ Sculpture at this show…My special thanks to all the Mooneyes staff, Shige, Chico., And of course Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Himself…..

Larry’Speedo’ Henley

New Rug Rat and Rat Motor Accessories & Key Chains

I Wanna See The New Rat Fink and Little Jewel Figurine

New ERTL Die cast Monsters Soon To Be Released Late 2000


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Now I wanna See some of "Speedo's Jewelry

Let's see some of Speedo's Kool Figurines

Go To "Speedo's" Art Gallery

Dealer Inquires Welcome

Call For More Details (800) 880-6567 or (818) 755-0822

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This Page Last Up Date 05/18/00

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