In Northern California’s redwood country, there resides a distinctive white shark: a ’73 C3 coupe built as a tribute to a legendary hot rodder, show promoter and car guy.
In Northern California’s redwood country, there resides a distinctive white shark: a ’73 C3 coupe built as a tribute to a legendary hot rodder, show promoter and car guy. The ‘73’s owner, Don Mayden of Fortuna, California, had it done as a tribute to Don Tognotti, a builder of award-winning rods and customs, and who also established one of the first performance-automotive supermarkets, Tognotti’s Auto World in Sacramento. He also owned the Grand National (Oakland) Roadster Show and the Sacramento Autorama—the two longest-running rod-and-custom shows in the country—before selling them in 1999.Like many projects, this ’73 was anything but perfect. It wore root-beer-spill brown paint, and the body had been crunched in each corner. The repair job was so bad that Budweiser cartons backed the fiberglass, leading Don to quip that the previous owner must’ve been a washout from NASCAR’s Busch Series.Don called on Kevin Bradley at Kreations Auto Body in Rio Dell, California to turn it from project to prize. His fiberglass work on the car is incredible, as is the white pearl Spiess-Hecker paint. Underneath is a 383 stroker smallblock /Turbo 400 powertrain. I’ve driven it, and it’s as at-home in town as it is on the highway. Plus, it never fails to draw attention, especially at shows like Fortuna’s annual Redwood Autorama. Don sent along a couple pictures of his ’73, with his wife Arlene at the wheel. See for yourself how good it is—and what a great tribute it is. --Scott Ross