Avenue Angels of East Rocakway

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An Avenue Angels club plaque. Photo courtesy of Don Schleich.
A story about the Avenue Angels car club was published in Custom Rodder June 1961. Photo courtesy of Kustomrama.
A photo of Richard Xeller's 1940 Ford coupe, Harry Shamroth's 1934 Ford coupe and Paul Mac Michaels' 1932 Ford coupe taken at Harry Shamroth's gas station, where the club was started. Photo from Custom Rodder June 1961.
Jack Schleich's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe of Oceanside, New York was first built in 1957. This is how it appeared in 1958.
Paul Mac Michaels, Roger Teck and Harry Shamroth tuning up the town ambulance. Photo from Custom Rodder June 1961.
A small portion of the club trophies on display at the D & H Service Center. Photo from Custom Rodder June 1961.
George Seitz setting up a four-carb manifold on a 1956 Oldsmobile running a unique dual LaSalle transmission setup. Photo from Custom Rodder June 1961.
Roger Teck working on the club dragster, setting up a pair of tube shocks on the front end. Photo from Custom Rodder June 1961.
A club meeting, held at D & H Service Center in East Rockaway. Photo from Custom Rodder June 1961.

The Avenue Angels was a chartered car club out of East Rockaway, Long Island, New York. The club was formed in 1955. In 1961 Martyn L. Schorr wrote a story about the club that was published in Custom Rodder June 1961. When, the story was written, the club boasted 16 active and 5 inactive, Armed Forces, members. They met weekly at the D & H Service Center in East Rockaway.[1] Around 1958 - 1959, Jack Schleich was the President of the club. In 2012, Jack's brother, Don Schleich, told Kustomrama that as a club member, if you saw a motorist stuck on the side of the road, you would stop and help them; "For instance change a flat tire free of charge. Then you would hand them a Courtesy Card which had a picture of a hot rod on it and said “you have just been helped by a member of the Avenue Angels”. All done to try and promote the sport of hot rodding which was about as low as you could go in those days."[2]


According to Schorr's story in Custom Rodder June 1961, most of the members held respected positions during the working hours, such as Carl Klepper, winner of over 20 drag trophies with his fuel-injected Corvette-powered 1957 Chevrolet coupe. Carl worked as head Corvette Technician for Don Allen Chevrolet in New York City. President Roger Teck was a physics major at C.W. Post college, and Harry Shamroth was a co-owner of the D & H Service Center and active in the East Rockaway fire department. For a yearly donation, the Avenue Angels awarded a trophy to the winner of the local Fire Departmen tournament. As the club ran an annual rod and custom show, a healthy treasury was built up to absorb the costs of building club competition machinery. The money did also go towards the renting and furnishing of a four club garage, completely equipped with hand and power tools, a Sun distributor machine and electric and gas welding outfits. other expenses included engines, speed godies and a dragster chassis that in 1961 was being made ready for the coming drag racing season.[1]


Members

Carl Klepper
George Seitz
Harry Shamroth
Jack Schleich
Paul Mac Michaels
Richard Xeller
Roger Teck


Club Cars

Jack Schleich's 1932 Ford Coupe
Paul Mac Michaels' 1932 Ford
Roger Teck's 1932 Ford Sedan
Harry Shamroth's 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Richard Xeller's 1940 Ford
Carl Klepper's 1957 Chevrolet Coupe


References



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