REMEMBERING BLACKIE: 1926-2016
"BLACKIE" GEJEIAN was at every GNRS since it began. In addition, this true Industry Legend produced his own show (The Fresno Autorama) for 51 years. And, the man NEVER stoped !! Even though he was in poor health for many years, he still traveld around the country to every show he could possibly get to.
Blackie & I first met at Darryl's Starbird's Hall Of Fame many years ago. He was an old friend and one of the BEST story tellers concerning Rods, Customs, and the people that build 'em that you'd ever find.
One of THE MOST Legendary of stories concerns Blackie himself: It happened at the Grand National Roadster show in 1958 when he, Richard Peters, and George Barris, put the freshly-built Ala Kart on display.
The ENTIRE undercarriage/suspension of the Ala Kart was chromed, which had never been done before, and Blackie wanted to make sure that the audience and the judges got to see it. SO, he headed for the Women's Bathroom and proceeded to tear out the mirror on the bathroom wall to put UNDER the Ala Kart !! Ya gotta love it !
Blackie shared this story, and many others with me in our Exclusive Interview at Darryl Starbird's house on the afternoon of the 14th Annual Induction Ceremonies, May 16th, 2009.
SADLY, Blackie passed-away on September 2, 2016...he was 90 years old. I was pleased to have had him for a friend for many years, his impact on the R&C Industry, and his lifelong dedication to sharing his love of cars and car shows, is mirrored in the number of Halls Of Fame that he was Inducted into, and the family, friends, and, fans that loved him everywhere he went.
R.I.P. my friend. Say "Hello" to George, Bill, Dick, "Magoo", Mike & Larry, Bo, "Big Daddy", Gary, Elden, Norm, Boyd, "Lil John", Carl, and all the rest of our friends...I know you'll have some GREAT stories to tell 'em !! JK
(Top Of Page: The restored Ala Kart at the 2008 GNRS. This fantastic restoration was accomplished by Roy Brizio & his Crew.)
(Above left: the best-selling Ala Kart Model Kit; Above right: the original, finished Ala Kart )
SPECIAL: HOW DID BLACKIE get his love for cars & hot rods ? How old was he when he first drove a car ? AND, did you know he was a five-time winner at NASCAR ?Well, all of these stories, and many more, are in the Interview we did talking about his "Early Years" ! To listen to these true, fun, fantastic parts of his history simply CLICK-ON-HERE !______________________________________________________
NOTE: All photos/images on this page courtesy of their original owners/copyright holders...with sincere thanks.)