NM Car Clubs

Hot Rod Clubs 1948 - 1979

ISBN: 978-1-7923-7034-2
By: Sena, Art


NM Car Clubs was written to document the history of hot rod car clubs in New Mexico. These were clubs that began after World War II, and existed in the fifties to early sixties before nearly dying out by the late seventies. Some however, have survived and still exist today. There was also a resurgence of clubs in the early eighties brought about by the revival of street rodding in the country. Those clubs have not been included. Please note that I have not included low-rider, sports car, or antique car clubs, although those clubs also had a significant presence in the state. In reality, this book should have been written at least twenty years ago, when most of the members were either still alive or could remember things in detail. This book is a byproduct of my collecting club plaques. A few years ago, upon seeing my collection displayed in my shop, a friend suggested that I write a book about the clubs. I said “sure, no problem.” I had about a dozen New Mexico club plaques at the time and thought that maybe only another dozen or so existed, so it would be no big deal. I was very wrong. I have since discovered the existence of at least 150 clubs. Often when talking to someone about a certain club, they will ask if I knew about another that I never knew existed! So began the journey to research and document the stories of these car clubs. I have heard many great stories and talked with many fascinating people. These are not the guys you will read about in any of the current magazines, but grass roots hot rodders from here in our state that really were just as much involved with the evolution of the hobby as the guys from California or the East coast. They built hot rods and customs, formed clubs and associations, and began the movement to have real dragstrips. I have discovered that some of the clubs were very formal in the way they conducted themselves and their organizations, and they worked to educate the public about their new found hobby and passion called hot rodding.


Art Sena

Art Sena is a native New Mexican and a resident of Albuquerque since his family moved here from the coal mining town of Madrid in 1952. He is a life long hot rodder and car guy. Art has been involved with hot rods, street rods, and race cars for sixty years. Aside from a one year “senior trip” to Vietnam, diversions into SCCA sports car and sprint car racing, hot rods and cool cars have always been part of Art’s focus. He has been a volunteer with the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) for the last thirty years, and currently serves as the NSRA South Central Division Director encompassing New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.