Dick Page Memorial Rodder Award 2019
James Hilton has been into cars and hot rods since he was young. Pretty much since his uncle took him for a ride in his big block corvette roadster when he was 8 or 9... He did the whole auto shop thing in high school, but all that showed him was that he didn’t want to be a dealer tech or something like that. He went to work for his uncle, John Goodman, on his vintage race team right after he graduated from high school. This gave James an enormous amount of hands on experience but also showed him he lacked knowledge. After a couple years of this he decided to enroll into school at Clover Park Technical college. He went through the mechanical side, as well as the paint course. While there, he worked with Brian Moore. They did a few hot rods together and Brian’s impressive attention to detail has stuck with James to this day. Also, while at Clover Park, he met Doug Graf from Classic Reflection Coachworks. Doug was there at Clover Park with his newly completed 62 CRC. James was floored by the car and it’s engineering, but never thought this would be his career. A couple years passed, and James was approached by a buddy who was working for Doug. He said they were looking for a mechanic, so he applied. That was 12 years ago. He has gone from being a mechanic at CRC to the production manager, where he has a hand in all aspects of the builds. James take a lot of pride in being able to assemble these amazing automobiles and is now painting them as well as running the shop. He has hired quite a few employees from Clover Park Tech to work for CRC. Kurt Freeman, the collision instructor at Clover Park, has given him a great deal of knowledge, along with Doug Graf, the people from Goodman racing, and Brian Moore. James hopes to be able to pass what he knows along to young people starting out in this industry. James loves off-roading and has built a few trucks for that. He also has a 1985 Buick Grand National that has gone through a few different builds, as well as a small block powered S10 Blazer. Add a huge love for motorcycles. He rides a lot and has built a few from a bare frame. Most notable is the bike he helped his wife build in memory of her mother, who they lost to cancer a few years ago.
James says he’s just a normal guy who loves what he does. He tries to do the best job he can and pass on the knowledge and skills he has to those around him. I believe James Hilton is a perfect candidate for the Dick Page Memorial Rodder Award.
Dick Page Memorial Rodder Award 2018
Dick Page was the first inductee into the Washington State Hot Rod Hall of Fame and was not only a local icon in our hobby, but the mentor to many young people, as well. As a way to honor his life and efforts to bring young people into the hobby, we present one young person each year with an award in his name. Jacob Lusk is this year’s recipient of the Dick Page Memorial Rodder Award.
Jacob has worked for Art Morrison since he was 18 years old and has gained vast experience, a solid grounding, and lots of hands on involvement when it comes to building cars. Like many young people, lack of personal finances and the curiosity of “What if I changed this…” prevented Jacob from completing an entire build for himself in his early years.
As his Dad, Greg, approached retirement, they put their minds and resources together to build a truck and finish it. Then, his Dad would have something to take to shows once he had the time. They chose a 1958 Chevy Apache pickup and with Jacobs hands and Dad’s finances, the build began. Greg encouraged him and provided unlimited funds to build it. Like many projects, this one took on a life of its own and truly became an award-winning build.
Since completion, Jacob and Greg have taken the truck to shows from Puyallup to Ft Worth, winning huge kudos, from Best Chevy Truck to Builder’s Choice Awards. At this year’s Northwest Rodarama Rod and Custom Show, it was chosen by all show participants as one of two entries to be added to its 2018 Hall of Fame.
Dick Page Memorial Rodder Award 2017
Jeremy Love is the recipient of our first Dick Page Memorial Rodder Award. In my opinion, there is no person on the planet more deserving of this inaugural award.
Most of the following information came from Dick’s lifelong friend, Denny Hall, who is here with us tonight.
Jeremy Love first met Dick Page through his foster family and had been impressed by his cars and reputation. When Dick Page took over the auto shop class at Foss High school in Tacoma, Jeremy Love decided to sign up on the spot. It was hot rod time at Foss high school!
From Dick, Jeremy learned body and painting skills as well as general mechanics… like how to slam a car to the ground.
Tex Smith published an article in Hot Rod Mechanix magazine concerning Dick’s program at Foss. One of the photos accompanying the story was of Jeremy chopping the roof on his ’65 Chev hardtop.
He had wanted to do something major to his car and Dick, true to form, said “Chop it!”
Along with the technical knowledge, Jeremy also gained confidence and pride in his accomplishments… an attitude that Dick was especially good at instilling in young people. That confidence allowed him to go farther in the world of fabrication than most of us can even imagine.
During the time that Dick was having a lot of medical problems. Jeremy became a member of the crew that would take Dick to the many specialists needed to both extend his life and allow him to stay in his home longer.
Dick’s confidence in Jeremy’s abilities prompted many conversations that has prepared Jeremy to restore Dick’s ’32 five window back to its former glory.
This rebuild will include a great chassis innovation and a mild chop. Dick had ideas for improvements as a seventy something year old and he knew just who could do it and get it done. It will have the exact look as if Dick could do it today.
Jeremy is also the caretaker of Dick’s chopped Buick Riviera. Plus, he has just installed a new floor and painted Dicks old ’32 roadster for Denny Hall.