June 22, 1944 to August 1, 1965
of the ROAMIN’ ANGELS 1962/63
By Lanny with Maggie, Pete’s sister.
life was too short, only 21 years. But boy, did he have a flair
for it! My memories of him are of a young man who seemed to
be always in a hurry for the next challenge. Most of the time
that meant a drag race somewhere. In October '01, we were privileged
to have a visit from Will Peters and Maggie Laney, Pete’s
father and sister. Will donated a model that his son had built
of his beloved ‘55 Nomad. I was able to talk to Maggie
about her memories of her brother and his zest for all things
with wheels and motors that “go fast”.
She said that they grew up in a small town in the bay area
called San Geronimo. When I said that I had never heard of
it she replied, “well it wasn’t
much of a town”. Pete missed a lot of school because he was born with
a lung disease called cystic fibrosis. If he were sick, or if any of the kids
at school were sick, he had to stay home. This left him with a lot of time
to devote to his love of mechanical things. Maggie said that he got his first
ticket from the CHP when he was 12 years old! This was a result of him running
a go-cart on the local roads. With the approval of his father, the judge “threw
the book” at him. Trying to make an impression, no doubt, to prevent
any further crazy acts like this. Well, it didn’t work.
At some point the family moved to Nevada County. When I knew Pete they
were living in a house in the Glenbrook area. Maggie remembers that
Pete acquired an old phone company car, a 1954 Ford, and put a stick
transmission with a floor shift in it. She says he used to take her
out on Brunswick Road and show her how to drag race it. She reminded
me that from the point where the current stop lights are now to just
where the road begins to dip into a turn is exactly 1/4 mile. I know
for a fact that Pete used this stretch more than once. His vehicle
that I remember best was a late 40’s Dodge pickup that Pete had
installed a “hemi motor of some kind” (Red Ram I think) with a
stick tranny. I remember going to the drag strip in Vacaville and seeing him
burn the tires at least halfway down the strip. The truck was very light in
the rear. Occasionally the rear would start to chatter violently and this would
lead to dropping a driveshaft or a broken axle.
Maggie is not sure what happened to that truck. He may have sold it
to purchase his next ride. This was a 1955 Chevy Nomad that was originaly
an ambulance. She remembers it as all white when he brought it home.
Pete took care of that by repainting the car a candy apple red. This
was a color that was really popular in the 60’s. As a matter of fact, his Dodge pickup had been that color
too. I am not sure of exactly what Pete did to the drivetrain in the Nomad.
I am sure that whatever it was it was intended for racing. Maggie provided
a picture of her brother taken at the dragstrip in Orville in 1964. The name
on the side of the car says “sodbuster” and Pete is holding a trophy.
She thinks one of the other people in the picture is a guy named Dennis Pisani,
the rest she is not sure. She says she was 17 at the time and into “other
things” besides cars at the time.
It is sad to note that it was only approximately a year after this picture
was taken that Pete passed away. I personally never heard him complain of his
illness. He seemed just too busy with getting on with life to complain. One
can only imagine what his life might have been had he survived, and the effect
he may have had on us all. After all, he was The President of the best darn
car club in Nevada County! [TOP]
Will Peters, who’s son Pete Peters
was an Original Roamin’ Angel Member and 2nd President,
next to 1st President of Roamin’ Angels-Lanny and '01
Roamin Angel secretary, Wayne . [TOP]
Submitted by Len • Photo circa 1947
1946, My twin brother and I were sixteen. We moved from Bismarck,
North Dakota and came out to Auburn, California on the train.
At the time we didn’t have a car. Dad had sold our 1940
Chevy in 1945 because someone had offered him twice what he
paid for it!
Once we had moved in, Dad went to Sacramento and brought back a 1936 Stude
Dictator Coupe. It was a business couple with small jump seats in behind the
While it was a great car and drove easily, it wasn’t what a high school
kid would want to drive. Our Dad ended up working back in North Dakota to work
for another year or so. After he left, we met a young father and his familyh
in town one day. We were admiring his 1937 Ford Coupe. We offered to trade
with him. He was happy to get a car with juice brakes and back seats. We traded
straight across. Everyone was happy.
Now, this was a car that fit in with our lifestyle for the last year of high
school! We kept the car for about 2 years and then went onto other cars. In
the picture above, I was seventeen and proud of the old Ford. [TOP]
drove you further in ‘55
From the scrapbook of John Q
1955, I bought my first car for $50.00. It was a stock 1931
Model A Roadster. The above picture is of my friend Harold
Camechi and I working on it at the old Signal Service Station
that used to be on So. Auburn Street in Grass Valley.
We had just installed a ‘39 Ford flathead V8 into it as well as ‘39