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. The ability of U.S. car enthusiasts to satisfy their need for speed changed dramatically in the late 1940s as car-crazy veterans returned home from World War II with formal mechanical training, courtesy of Uncle Sam. This is the story of how one such veteran, an ex-B-17 airman named Alex Xydias, established the SO-CAL Speed Shop and helped transform hot rodding from a scruffy, underground, outlaw sport into a defining part of postwar American culture.SO-CAL racers dominated early salt flats racing and the shop+s products became must-have performance parts, giving SO-CAL international name recognition. This book traces the path Xydias took to develop performance parts, build winning race teams, and become a leader in the early days of hot rod history. Accompanying author Mark Christensen+s compelling narrative about Xydias and nascent hot rod culture are period photos from notable personal archives, as well as new color images of classic SO-CAL hot rods.