Hot rodding pioneers, builders, record-breakers
In 1946, upon returning to Los Angeles from WWII service as a B-17 engineer-gunner, Xydias opened SO-CAL Speed Shop in Burbank, one of the first such establishments in the country. “To get the SO-CAL name out there, we decided to build a belly tank,” he said. The streamlined car created from the wing tank of a P-38 Lightning helped start a revolution, running 130 mph in 1948. The envelope-bodied SO-CAL Streamliner, built by Xydias on the chassis of the belly tanker with a body designed by fellow B-17 alum Batchelor, changed hot-rodding forever, running 193.54 mph at the first Bonneville Nationals in 1949, then becoming the first 200 mph hot rod (210.92) a year later. The Streamliner set numerous records and took home several Hot Rod Top Time Trophies. It was destroyed the following year during a record attempt on the beach at Daytona. Later Batchelor designed the record-setting Hill-Davis and Shadoff Special Streamliners. In 1995, both were voted into the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame.