The Union – Special Edition: Today’s Woman • October 18, 2001 • Story By Pam Jung • Submitted by Sylvia C.
If you thought classic cars were more of a guy thing, there are at least 12 female members of the Roamin Angels Car Club who think differently.
These women have their own vintage automobiles, which they maintain and drive and even helped restore.
As to how they got interested in classic cars, most of the women say it was through their men folk. Once their interest was kindles, however, it quickly grew into a passion. Now it isn’t unusual to see these women driving around town in their hot rods or sleek vintage Thunderbirds.
Here is some background on the women whose cars appear in the photo.
Rose Koch, 63, the first woman member of the Roamin Angels who joined the club in 1992, bought her Model A modified about a year ago. One reason she wanted it, she says, was”I loved it’s bright yellow paint job.” While she purchased it already restored, she admits to ‘doing some minor work on it.” And she drives it daily, too, so it is easy to spot downtown. A lover of bright colors, she also has a red 1965 Thunderbird convertible.
Betty Meyer, 55, acquired her red 1957 Thunderbird four years ago. “It’s a Boop mobile”, she laughs. “Everyone calls me Boop.” she says of her nickname. Not only that, out of the trunk comes Betty Boop herself, disguised a large doll.
The practically life-size doll, which was made by Meyer’s partially blind mother, is the car’s distinctive mascot, delighting spectators at shows and cruises alike.
Edie Heller, 59, is nicknamed “Speedie Edie, the gear grinding Granny”.She got this sobriquet putting her turquoise 1963 Chevy Nova II through its paces. Bought about four years ago, in fair condition, the car was restored by Edie, son-in-law Brian and husband Bud. Alone, Heller spent 800 hours sanding the inside and out, then she painted primer on the Nova. After installing a Clifford 250, straight six engine that turns 16.1 at 88 mph at Sacramento Raceway, Edie says, “The men in their V-8s are not real happy when I beat them.”
Alzina Davis, 60, bought her 1950 Chevrolet in 1988 in Missouri. Its three-year transformation into a street rod, complete with four-wheel power disc brakes, a 350 crate engine, Mustang front end and Lincoln rear end, a stereo system and lots of chrome under the hood, was accomplished primarily by husband Way say Alzina. “She’s basically stock, but looks hot! I really like to drive her!”
When petite, blond Ruth Compton, 54, drives up in her shiny black 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe, complete with 355 cubic-inch ’71 LT1, 671 GMC blower, 550 horsepower, you know it from the distinctive sound it makes – a cross between a rumble and a wheeze. She says her dream hot rod is “totally awesome to drive” and has won numerous awards, including Best in Pro Street at last February’s AutoRama in Sacramento. “I’ve definitely had nothing but fun,” she admits about joining the Roamin Angels and owning her own car.
Hats off to all the women in the Roamin Angels.
Editor’s Note: Edie Heller, Bev Giovanetti, Nancy Johnson, Gai Reinholdt, and Alzina Davis are still Roamin Angel Members. Jan Mulder and Rose Koch Hoyt passed away. Betty Meyer, Bobbie Merrill Bailey, Troy Lester Petersen, and Ruth Compton are no longer club members but still friends of the Angels.