“Recorded in 1963. [Originally released on Vault], the original LP version of HOT ROD CITY was performed by two basic groups of surf and hot-rod musicians operating under three names. The Grand Prix and the Quads were conceived by songwriter-producer Richard Delvy, and the Customs were conceived by songwriter-producer Gary Usher. This 1995 reissue adds eight additional songs and alternate takes, including two previously-unreleased tracks by Delvy’s main band, The Challengers. The members of the Challengers also formed the core of The Grand Prix and The Quads. This release includes the alternate take bonus tracks “Candy Apple Buggy”, “Goin’ 88”, “Nifty ’50”, “Hot Rod City”, “Competition Coupe”, and also a few tracks that weren’t included on the original album; “She Rides With Me”, “The Blonde In The 406” and “Little Queenie”.
Gary Usher and Richard Delvy, flush from their success with the top-ten album Shut Down (which they produced), was asked by Vault Records to try and duplicate that success on their label. Vault had already contracted surf-rock band The Challengers to play on the tracks, but never having written car tunes before, Usher was brought in to lend an authentic touch.
Given three fictional group names to work with – The Customs, The Quads, The Grand Prix, and the aforementioned backing group, The Challengers, Usher also brought in friends Dick Burns (The Hondells), Paul Johnson, Bobby Hart, Paul Johnson, Dennis McCarthy and others to quickly shape an album of hot rod tunes in order to strike while the iron was hot. The resulting album, Hot Rod City, while no masterpiece, captures the raw energy of the drag-racing circuit, and includes several songs of interest to Beach Boys fans. Included are the previous Usher compositions “RPM”, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline,” and three Beach Boys songs, “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Shut Down,” and “409.”
Welcome to the Hot Rod City, Dig !!!