Jason Slover of Pete & Jakes presenting Dennis with his Shelby's Hot Rod Roundup Award....Welcome to the Roundup Family

Jason Slover of Pete & Jakes presenting Dennis with his Shelby’s Hot Rod Roundup Award….Welcome to the Roundup Family

Dennis Slaymaker with his 34 Ford Coupe & Roundup Award

Dennis's 34 Ford Hi-Boy Coupe...this Sweet little ride has a SBC Blown with over 85,000 miles on this car

Dennis’s 34 Ford Hi-Boy Coupe…this Sweet little ride has a SBC Blown with over 85,000 miles on this car

Dennis Slaymaker
1934 Ford Hi-Boy Coupe

Back in the 1970’s CB radios where all the rage,not only did the over the road truckers have them,but anyone traveling had one and for us we always took family vacations by car traveling everywhere.On one vacation I remember my Dad having a very long conversation with a trucker that we where sharing the same highway with for some time,he and my Dad talked about everything family,hobbies,jokes,where they were from and not to mention the presents of the highway patrol.I do not remember his name or handle the only thing I do remember is he was from Missouri  and as when we parted ways to take different routes how sad I was,we had never met this trucker or even seen his face,but for those hundred or so miles I got to know him and felt like he was family…I missed not seeing him.
This past May I missed Pete & Jakes yearly open house and since Jason and his family are supporters of our Shelby’s Hot Rod Roundup I asked Jason if we could send one of our awards along with the Roundup Tshirt,window sticker and plenty of info on Suicide Awareness for him to select a pick from his open house.
Jason and his Dad Jerry are true Hot Rodders and their passion for a traditional style and well driven Hot Rod is apparent with their selection of Dennis Slaymakers 1934 Ford Hi-Boy Coupe inspired by the Legend Jake Jacobs yellow Coupe…which resides at Pete & Jake Headquarters along with the” California Kid”.
So many of us and our stories of how we got started or interested in Hot Rods are about the same,that’s one reason why I think we all are such a close nit group…where Brothers and Sisters from different Mothers but our passion,our DNA is Hot Rodding.Dennis got interested in Hot Rods around the age of 10, He said I can’t explain it because my Father was not a real Hot Rod kinda guy,and I think that statement is true because around the age of 15 Dennis came home with a 37 Ford Coupe,no drivers license or insurance to quote Dennis ” it was not a good day in the Slaymaker household “.
Dennis like most of us wanted to further his interest in Hot Rods,so reading the latest issues of Hot Rod,Street Rod or Rod & Custom is how we obtain stories of other hot rodders along with building and tech information which Dennis says he really didn’t understand and even today he sometimes don’t,but Dennis now at the age of 70 and like the rest of us learned thru hands on progressing our knowledge with some good results and some not so good.Hot Rods have been pretty much Dennis’s life and says that “as far as the BIG picture goes I don’t have many regrets, I have made so many good friends and learned so much along the way some things the hard way,but those are the things you remember the most”.Dennis and his wife have been married for 50 years this year and I would have to agree with him saying ” that’s almost unheard of these days”.They have one daughter Julie Dollansky…that’s right wife of the one and only Craig Dollansky driver of the number 7 World of Outlaws Sprint car,Julie and Craig have two sons and a Daughter which Dennis is proud to say that both Grandsons have been doing some Sprint car driving and his Granddaughter tried out a mini-sprint just a few weeks ago.Dennis and his entire family share that same DNA,but Dennis does say “he has mixed emotions with the Grandkids racing”, but even his Daughter Julie has driven a Blown Flathead Coupe to a class record at Bonnieville in 2003.We are all real proud of her for that…”so I guess it’s all in the family”.
Dennis is retired now for 11 years as a hospital engineer where he spent 28.5 years doing his daily job,he says ” all the hard work finally paid off ” he started doing hot rod work in a shop he built where he performs chassis work,welding & fabricating along with bodywork,paint,wiring,engine building and pinstriping. I don’t make a lot of money,but I enjoy every minute of the work and I always try to do my best on customers cars as well as my own…” Retirement,I am working harder now”.Dennis plays hard also his little Yellow 34 Ford Coupe has over 85,000 miles on its Blown small block Chevy,last week he had to replace the upper pulley because the teeth were wearing off and adds that this is the same small block Chevy he has had in their since the Coupe was driven to NSRA’s first Midwest mini Nats in Sioux Falls,S.D in 1984 with no interior.
Now I have to admit this article came together thru about a two hour first time conversation with Dennis along with a follow up email,but just like the trucker my Dad was talking to on a vacation of ours years ago I really hate that I missed the opportunity to meet Dennis…but I will see him one day soon if not at next years Pete & Jakes open house. Dennis Thank You so much for being apart of our Shelby’s Hot Rod Roundup Family and sharing a little of your families time together. God Bless my new friend I will see ya soon!