The Surfers Meet Kent Fuller
The Strong, Silent Type
By Tom Jobe
I remember a race at Fremont race that shows, once again, what a class act and genuine "character" chassis builder Kent Fuller is.
Okay... we roll into Fremont, go to unload the car from our open trailer and see that the front torsion bar tube has peeled off of the end of the frame rails on the tow up from LA. We are wondering what to do about this when Fuller walks up. He looks it over but doesn't say anything. We ask if he has any ideas on how we could get this fixed. He doesn't say anything but walks over and sits down in our '55 Chevy, closes the door, and looks straight ahead -- like "let's go." It took us about one second to realize we were going to get fixed up somehow; we pile in and down the road we go.
We ask where we are going. He just points ahead -- no talk. He points whenever we should turn. Across the bay, we go to his shop in Belmont. Pull up in front of the shop and ask if we should get it off the trailer. He shakes his head "no" and points to back it in by the door; still no talk. He brings out something to put under the frame to get the front end propped up so he can get all around the front of the frame. He drags out some tools and his welding stuff and has it all fixed up like new in just a few minutes.
While he is putting his stuff away, we tie the car back down, fire up the '55, and wait for Kent to come out. We hear something fire up in the shop and out he comes driving his slick new Porsche-powered T-bucket "double bitchin'" street rod. He motions for one of us to get in. One by one, he took each of us for a five-minute ride that included an off road deal over some train tracks and through some rough stuff at a pretty good clip that definitely scared us all a little. Still no talk. He puts the "T" away and hops in the '55 and back to the track we go.
We thank him and try to pay him as we drive along, but he shakes his head "no." We pull into the pits and as soon as the car stops he gets out and walks off. Never said one word during the whole deal!
And we got back in time to make a qualifying pass, too!
The Surfers AA/FD