As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I said be prepared for more “Rodfather” stories. As most of use know, Duke Brown was involved with the International Championship Auto Shows. First as a judge and eventually became a judging supervisor traveling the International Show Car circuit. A yearly must was attending Autorama in Detroit.

    Numerous stories have been told about the Canadians (some funny/some not so funny) attending Autorama. We will start with a funny one and later tell you about being escorted out of a bar by the bartender with a gun.

    In the early seventies Duke, Bob Reynolds, Frank Power and myself attended  the show and most of the time we would be working the show in some capacity or another. For some reason we ended up with some free time on the Saturday. We decided to go to the hotel, have a few wobbly pops and decide what we should do with our time. In the late sixties and early seventies, the place to stay was the Cadillac House Motel, it was right across the street from the Cobo Centre had a great bar that was always full of car people. After a few pops Ren suggested that we should visit Gratiot Auto Supply’s new shop, so after a couple more pops we hopped in Rens car and headed to Gratiot’s I don’t remember much about Gratiots but as we were leaving I remember yelling from the back “stop the car I’m going to be sick” of course REN wouldn’t stop and it must of been quite a site with the car door open head hanging out with Duke holding me by the belt loops and yelling “that a boy Chunk!”.

   As we got back to the Cadillac House it was up to the room for a few more wobbly pops. While in the room REN kept bringing up Dukes suitcase, how ratty it was and being aa ISCA official he should be embarrassed to be seen in public with it. REN went on and on about the case and after he asked Duke if he got it from his grandfather Frank had had enough.

    Frank got up off the bed ,didn’t say a word grabbed the suitcase  opened the motel room door and threw the suitcase over the second floor balcony. The suitcase missed the cars in the parking lot, Duke went down to the parking lot retrieved his clothing that was spread all over the lot picked up his battered case, returned to the room opened  another wobbly pop  sat down on the bed and didn’t say a word.

Duke - ICAS Event 1969

I would love to hear your Hot Rodding experiences. Please comment below or email me at

                                                                                                                                           For now,

                                                                                                                                                         Gary Challice

3 thoughts on “suitcase”

  1. Hi Gary
    Not only that I am proud to call you a friend of mine, I think it’s great that you would share your life stories with everyone.
    Keep up the good work.

    Jim McClean

  2. I called Duke about 40 years later and apologized, and in typical Duke “speak” he said I was a little****late! I can hear him now…the world is not the same without that man…thanks for the memories!

  3. Gary (Caskey) Cascone

    The other day you told me to read this and it is a good one about the “Rodfather” Duke. When Duke said taillights at 6:30 am, he was gone then and you were late at 6:31. A great legend and friend as you are.

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